How to Write Perfect ECFMG Letter of Recommendation

writing documents for ecfmg online application

Foreign students who are considering applying for a residency program in the United States will have a much harder time getting in unless they can prove their qualifications not only through their academic standing and their personal statement but also through the recommendations of professors and colleagues alike.

The ECFMG letter of recommendation does play a role in one’s chances of getting accepted into the residency program because a well-written letter, admissions officers won’t be convinced that you do excel in your medical field because there is no one to support this. This is one of the reasons why you need to look for reliable individuals who can attest to your qualifications and personal traits to beef up your residency application. For those who are asked to write an LoR, you will need some help to get this done fast.

ECFMG refers to the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates and founded far back 1956 to help determine via a certification program if graduates from other foreign institution meet the criteria for consideration into fellowship or medical residency programs in the United States. Once International Medical Graduates (IMG) meets the requirement the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has the obligation to instruct IMGs to receive certification from accredited ECFMGs.

Also, for an IMG to become licensed as a medical practitioner, possessing unrestricted practice license in the United States such a person must amongst others become certified by the ECFMG. IMGs must also become ECFMG certified to qualify for step 3 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).

Parts of the subjects, requirements during the training and examination leading to certification include:

  • Proficiency in English language
  • Medical science courses
  • Residency and academic credentials

As at 2010, over 295,000 international medical graduates have submitted an application to seat for the ECFMG examinations; over 180,000 applicants making 60.7% securing the certification. The ECFMG program, therefore, does not try to make it impossible for IMGS to secure admission into residency and fellowship programs in the US but to serve as a veritable tool in training prospectus graduate students and ensure only those qualified make it through.

ecfmg letter of recommendation

What Is ECFMG Letter of Recommendation? Who Needs It?

The ECFMG letter of recommendation forms part of the requirements for consideration to be a part of the ECFMG certification program. And the letter of recommendation usually comes from the recommender or the person providing a recommendation for you.

The letter of recommendation expresses what the recommender has to say about your skills, achievements, and qualities. It focuses on your skills, areas of competence, achievements, volunteer service, qualities and even your weaknesses to help convince the committee that you would be an excellent addition to the program in the US. The available number of slots into a residency program is not usually much. Hence when someone writes an exceptional letter of recommendation it gives the applicant an edge over others.

Not every person qualifies to write a letter of recommendation, therefore, you need to identify early enough those relevant to your need. Also, the LoR has several guidelines and instructions to help come out successful. Things such as the length of the letter, who should write the letter, the structure as well as the content of the letter and how detailed the letter is can make or mar a candidate’s chances even more.

What to Write in Your ECFMG Letter of Recommendation

Are you having a hard time deciding what to include in the letter of recommendation that you are writing?

  • A good place to start is to think carefully about whom the applicant is and what unique traits did they exhibit during their classroom days. You can jot down your knowledge about the applicant and from there, choose their best points that you can include in your letter of recommendation.
  • Ask yourself what qualifications you think they have that sets them apart from other applicants. If you can refer to a situation where they exhibited their unique skills don’t be afraid to talk about it. After all, the main goal of the letter is to show your readers why you think the applicant is a good candidate for the residency program.
  • When writing the letter of recommendation, make sure that you keep it short but meaningful. Your readers don’t want to be bogged down by too much information so make sure that you trim your letter down to the essentials. There is no need to be flowery in your sentence but rather get straight to the point to ensure that there is no time wasted.

writing letter of recommendation ecfmg

Tips to Writing LoR for ECFMG Online Application

It can be incredibly daunting to write a letter of recommendation for someone who is relying on you to help boost their chances of getting accepted into a residency program but before you start worrying about how you’re going to pull this off, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Share details about you first. Your letter of recommendation should contain a brief introduction about your qualifications. This will give your readers an idea on what your standing is in the medical field.
  • Talk about how you know the applicant. Share details on how you know the applicant. Is it in an academic, clinical, or perhaps research setting?
  • Focus on their skills. Write about the skills that the applicant exhibited during their school years. Have you noticed anything that made them stand out? State their skills that you think are important in their residency LoR.
  • Highlight their personal characteristics. Anyone who is entering the medical field should have the right personal characteristics such as compassion for their patients, passion for learning their specialty, and patience to handle the demands of their work.
  • Write your recommendations. Your letter of recommendation won’t be complete without recommending the applicant for the residency program. This should be inserted at the end of the letter.
  • Keep your letter short. You don’t have to write a novel just to show how qualified the applicant is. A two page letter is just enough to cover everything that you think will help increase the applicant’s chances of getting noticed.
  • Review your work. Don’t forget to go over your letter to see if there are any errors that you have made. Edit them accordingly before proofreading your letter once more.

Write a Professional Letter of Recommendation

Your ECFMG letter of recommendation can contribute to the applicant’s bid to be considered for a residency program in the United States so make sure that you start working on it as soon as possible. Keep in mind that your letter is critical to the application and that you won’t be able to edit it once you have submitted it into the program.

This is why you need to proofread your paper first before anything else because you don’t want to end up sending in a letter that is riddled with grammar errors and the like. The way you write the LoR can also aid the admissions panel in their decision as to whether to accept the applicant into their residency program or not. Also, you can check our sample letter of recommendation for residency and write your perfect paper.

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