ECFMG® Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA®) - General Information

New for 2004

ECFMG CSA

The ECFMG Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) evaluates your ability to gather and interpret clinical patient data and communicate effectively in the English language. The CSA consists of ten, eleven, or twelve stations, ten of which are scored; in each station you will encounter a standardized patient (SP), a lay person trained to realistically and consistently portray a patient. The SPs will respond to your questions with answers appropriate to the patient being portrayed and will react appropriately to physical maneuvers. You will be expected to proceed through each encounter with an SP as you would with a real patient.

The CSA assesses whether you can obtain a relevant medical history, perform a focused physical exam and compose a written record of the patient encounter. The CSA requires that you demonstrate proficiency in spoken English, which will be evaluated by the standardized patients you encounter in the test stations. The CSA is administered only in English.

The date of your most recent passing performance on the CSA will appear on your Standard ECFMG Certificate. This CSA Date is valid for three years from the date passed for the purpose of entering a program of graduate medical education in the United States. If your CSA Date expires before you enter a U.S. program of graduate medical education, you must revalidate your CSA Date before you may enter such a program. You can revalidate the CSA Date for an additional three-year period by passing a subsequent CSA. Once you enter a program of graduate medical education in the United States, the CSA Date is no longer subject to expiration, and you may request permanent validation of your CSA Date.

Comprehensive information on CSA is available in the ECFMG Information Booklet and the CSA Candidate Orientation Manual.

USMLE Step 2 CS Replaces ECFMG CSA

In June 2004 USMLE Step 2 CS will replace the ECFMG CSA as the exam that satisfies the clinical skills requirement for ECFMG Certification. For additional information, refer to Transition from USMLE Step 2 CS to ECFMG CSA and Step 2 CS

End of CSA Registration

ECFMG has registered enough applicants to fill all CSA testing spaces available through the end of CSA administration. As a result, registration for the CSA is now closed.

Issue Thirty of The ECFMG Reporter and announcements on the ECFMG website have reported that ECFMG would continue to register applicants for the CSA until either:

  • enough applicants had been registered to fill available CSA testing spaces, or
  • all CSA applications received through January 5, 2004 had been processed,

whichever occurred first.

As previously published, the ECFMG CSA will be administered through March 26, 2004 at the Philadelphia test center and through April 16, 2004 at the Atlanta test center. In June 2004 Step 2 Clinical Skills (Step 2 CS) of the United States Medical Licensing Examination™ (USMLE™) will replace the ECFMG CSA as the exam that satisfies the clinical skills requirement for ECFMG Certification.

If You Are Already Registered for the CSA:

As of the time of this writing, there are still a limited number of CSA testing spaces available. Registered CSA applicants should use CSA Scheduling on the ECFMG website to schedule their CSA exam date as soon as possible. If you do not schedule a test date before all CSA testing spaces are filled, ECFMG will contact you on approximately February 1, 2004 regarding the transfer of your registration from the ECFMG CSA to USMLE Step 2 CS.

If you plan to participate in the 2004 National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), or "the Match," you must take the CSA no later than January 31, 2004 to ensure that your CSA results will be reported to the NRMP in time to participate in the Match.

If Your CSA Application Has Been Received at ECFMG, but You Are Not Registered:

If your complete CSA application has been received at ECFMG, but you were not registered because CSA registration ended, ECFMG will contact you on approximately February 1, 2004 regarding the transfer of your application from the ECFMG CSA to USMLE Step 2 CS.

If You Are Not Registered for the CSA and Have Not Applied:

If you are not registered for the CSA, have not submitted a complete CSA application to ECFMG, and you need to fulfill the clinical skills requirement for ECFMG Certification, you must apply for USMLE Step 2 CS. Registration for Step 2 CS has begun and Step 2 CS application materials are available on this website.

For additional information, refer to Step 2 CS, Transition from ECFMG CSA to USMLE Step 2 CS, and Resources.