Foreign medical graduates (and U.S. allopathic seniors alike) should be aware of the various fees associated with applying for medical school. Many of these fees are less than $100, but they can add up over time. In this article, we outline some of the expenses associated with applying for U.S. medical residencies.
In order to be considered for the NRMP match program, foreign medical graduates must receive ECFMG certification. One of the largest expenses associated with this program is the examination fees. The ECFMG breaks down the fees as follows:
- $75: Application for Certification
- $895: Step 1 Examination
- $895: Step 2 CK
- $1550: Step 2 CS
These costs are the basic ones associated with ECFMG certification. However, there are additional costs that foreign medical graduates may incur. There are fees associated with taking the Step 1 and Step 2 CK in a country other than the U.S. The Step 2 CS must occur in the U.S., so foreign medical graduates should be aware of the travel costs associated with taking the test.
Many U.S. medical residencies require applicants to complete U.S. clinical clerkships. These clerkships can range from 3 months to 6 months and can rotate the foreign medical graduate among various specialties. A 1995 study estimated that these kinds of clerkships cost between $1000 and $2100 USD. Costs are likely to have increased since the study was completed. Foreign medical graduates should also be aware of the costs of relocating temporarily for the clinical clerkship. Some U.S. cities, like New York City, have an expensive standard of living.
National Resident Matching Program (NRMP)
The NRMP is a program that matches U.S. medical residencies to medical graduates. Both the graduates and the residencies rank their preferences. Then an algorithm matches the graduates to the residencies. Participation in this program costs $75, according to the NRMP. There is an additional $50 late fee if the fee is paid after November 30.
Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS)
ERAS is a U.S. service that transmits residency applications to program directors. Many medical residencies require that applications are submitted through ERAS. To apply for up to 10 medical residencies, ERAS costs $99. Additional applications are charged per application according to the following rates:
- 11 – 20: $12 each
- 21 – 30: $16 each
- 31 or more: $26 each
The costs of applying for a U.S. medical residency can quickly add up. Although the examinations and relocation/travel expenses are probably the largest costs to incur, other registration fees add up to hundreds of dollars. Knowing the costs ahead of time can help foreign medical graduates prepare for a successful U.S. medical residency application.