Application Process for Graduates of Foreign Medical Schools

Thank you for your interest in the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program at the University of California, San Francisco.

Minimum USMLE Score Requirements

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) may be at a disadvantage in competing for residencies in the U.S., partly because of large variation in the formal training and clinical experiences offered by foreign medical schools, when compared to the relatively uniform curriculum and clinical requirements offered by U.S. medical schools. Our residency program is concerned with any International Medical Graduate's educational, clinical, and cultural preparedness for the American medical system, so as to lead to successful completion of our program. Although we have no minimum USMLE score requirements, strong scores (>230) would help document an applicant's educational readiness for our program, and strengthen an application. Please note, UCSF now requires applicants to have passed the clinical knowledge (CK) of Step 2 (on the first attempt) by February 15th in order to be ranked by our program.

Prior U.S. Clinical Experience

Since clinical and cultural preparedness are also keys to success here, prior clinical experience in the United States is helpful. Letters of recommendation from these experiences will further strengthen an IMG applicant's documentation of overall readiness to begin residency training in the U.S.


The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) will sponsor a J-1 visa for candidates. Please refer to their website at: Our program, on a limited basis, sponsors H1B visas.

Other Policies Regarding IMGs

We have no additional policies regarding the selection of IMGs for our residency training program. Once minimum application requirements have been met, we consider every applicant's merits and weigh them accordingly.

Before you may apply to our clinical training program, however, it will be necessary for you to accomplish the following:

  1. Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG)

    You must hold a current, valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). This is mandatory for appointment at this institution as well as for medical licensure in the State of California. You will need to contact the ECFMG directly and arrange to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). After you pass the examination, including the English test, you will be issued an ECFMG certificate.

    If you are not a citizen of the United States and do not hold Permanent Resident status, you will be required to secure the ECFMG-J1 or an H1B visa to enter this institution for medical training.

    The following is the address of the ECFMG:

    Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates
    3624 Market Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685
    Telephone: 215-386-5900
    Web Address:

  2. National Resident Matching Program (NRMP)

    If you are applying for a first-year residency position filled through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), it will be necessary for you to register with that organization. The following is the address of the NRMP:

    National Resident Matching Program
    2121 K St, NW
    Suite 1000
    Washington, D.C. 20037
    (202) 400-2233 or 1-866-653-6767

  3. Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS)

    To apply for an Internal Medicine residency position, you must apply through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Contact the ECFMG for application information by sending an inquiry to ERAS, ECFMG, 3624 Market St. Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685. Students and graduates of Canadian schools should contact the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS). Contact CaRMS at 171 Nepean Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario K2P-0B4 Canada or call (613) 237-0075 for ERAS processing information and materials.

    Applications submitted through ERAS must include the following:

    1. ERAS Application
    2. USMLE Transcript
    3. Medical School Dean's Letter
    4. Medical School Transcript
    5. Letters of Recommendation (at least 3)*
    6. ECFMG Status Report

As the above procedures are lengthy, you should organize your activities to accommodate the dates and time requirements.

PLEASE NOTE: The basic components of your application (the common application form, transcript and Dean's Letter) MUST BE RECEIVED by us by October 15.

The Department of Medicine, following review of all completed applications, will request interviews of selected candidates. Interviews will be scheduled only AFTER our selection committee reviews applications. We will send interview invitations to you by email, so be sure to indicate your preferred and accurate email address on your ERAS application.

Relevant Addresses and Telephone Numbers

The Medical Board of California
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95815
(916) 263-2382
California Toll-Free line: (800) 633-2322

National Resident Match Program
2121 K St., NW , Suite 1000 
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 400-2233 or 1-866-653-6767

Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates
3624 Market Street, 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685
(215) 823-2274

Electronic Residency Application Service