International Medical Students

Application Process and Interview Program for Graduates of Foreign Medical Schools

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

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from interested International Medical Graduates are as follows:

  • Minimum USMLE Score Requirements
  • Prior U.S. Clinical Experience
  • Visas
  • Other Policies Regarding IMGs

Minimum USMLE Score Requirements

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) may be at a disadvantage in competing for Pediatric 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.

Prior U.S. Clinical Experience

Since clinical and cultural preparedness are also keys to success here, we require prior clinical experience in the United States. We expect letters of recommendation from these experiences as well, which will further strengthen an IMG applicant's documentation of overall readiness to begin residency training in the U.S.


Our program does NOT sponsor visas of any kind for IMGs. The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) will sponsor a J-1 visa for candidates. Please refer to their web site,

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. Each year, we are able to seriously consider a few highly qualified IMG applicants for matching in our program.

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

Step 1 - 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. If you do not yet have this certificate, you will need to contact the ECFMG office directly and arrange to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). After you pass the examination, including the English test, you will be granted an ECFMG certificate.

Step 2 - After you have received your ECFMG certificate, and prior to applying for training at UCSF, you must contact the California Medical Board (CMB). The CMB will require that you complete their application form and submit various documents and records along with a processing fee.

Important Changes to Postgraduate Training and Licensing Requirements

Senate (SB) 798 (Hill, Chapter 775) revised postgraduate training and licensing requirements for physicians and surgeons beginning January 1, 2020. Effective January 1, 2020, all applicants, regardless of whether the medical school attended was domestic or international, will be required to successfully complete 36 months of postgraduate training accredited by either the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or College of Family Physicians of Canada. An applicant will need to complete 24 consecutive months of training in the same program in order to be eligible for a physician’s and surgeon’s license.

Further, a Postgraduate Training License (PTL) will be required for all residents participating in an ACGME accredited postgraduate training program in California in order to practice medicine as part of their training program. A PTL must be obtained within 180 days after enrollment in the program and will not be required to be renewed. The profile of a holder of a PTL will be displayed on the Board’s website for public view.

Any resident participating in an ACGME accredited postgraduate training program at the time the law goes in effect, and is not eligible for licensure, will need a PTL by June 30, 2020, to continue in the program.



Step 3 - ALL APPLICATION MATERIALS MUST BE SUBMITTED VIA ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service), which is provided to you through ECFMG.

PLEASE NOTE: The basic components of your application (the Common Application Form, transcript, personal statement, USMLE scores, at least 2 letters of recommendation and the Medical Student Performance Evaluation [MSPE—formerly Dean's Letter]) MUST BE RECEIVED at UCSF by November 15.

All tracks within our residency are selected via ERAS—ACGME ID # 3200521040.


General Pediatrics Program
(designated "categorical" in ERAS)


Pediatric Leadership for the UnderServed
PLUS Program
(also designated "categorical" in ERAS)


Revisit our program design page if you wish. As you become more familiar with the UCSF Pediatric Residency Training Program during the application season, you may ADD or DELETE one or the other of the General Pediatrics or PLUS Program tracks to suit your residency training goals. Since the PLUS program has significant overlap of core educational experiences with the General Pediatrics program, many applicants who are primarily interested in PLUS apply to BOTH programs. Conversely, applicants who are primarily interested in the General Pediatrics program do not necessarily apply to the PLUS program, owing to its more specialized curriculum at the slight expense of a more "general" residency training. However, especially after visiting our program on Applicant Day, some applicants find the PLUS Program an appealing training option and are allowed to submit their preference for this track at any time through ERAS.

Please see "Application Process for US and Canadian Applicants" for further details of the "Applicant Day", dates for interviews, etc.

Step 4 - If you are eligible to submit an application to UCSF, please use the following checklist to ensure that your application is complete. All items must be in English or have an official translation attached.

1. ECFMG certification (you must have passed both the medical and English sections, and hold a valid, current ECFMG certificate).

2. Applicant Status Evaluation letter (or a valid California Medical License) issued from the California Medical Board.

3. ERAS Application, and should include the following:

a) CMB Applicant Status Evaluation letter or California Medical License

b) Three letters of recommendation: at least two of these letters must be from faculty at academic institutions in the United States who have worked with you in a clinical setting.

c) Medical School transcripts.

4. A copy of your current visa status or green card.

IMPORTANT!!!! As noted above, an application WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED unless it complies with all of the above. Incomplete application packets will not be considered.

The Department of Pediatrics, following review of 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.

If you have further questions about the application process, you may contact the Housestaff Affairs Office at:

Pediatric Housestaff Affairs Coordinator
Box 0110, M-691
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA 94143-0110
(415) 476-5001
E-mail address: [email protected]

Relevant Addresses and Telephone Numbers

CMB (California Medical Board)
1426 Howe Avenue, Suite #54
Sacramento, CA 95825-3236
(916) 263-2382

NRMP (National Resident Match Program)
2450 "N" Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20037-1127
(202) 828-0566

ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates)
3624 Market Street, 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685
(215) 386-5900

ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service)