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  1. #1
    rspr41's Avatar
    rspr41 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    ECFMG Certification problem with IAU

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    To put it simply go to ROSS SGU St Mathews or AUA. They have dealt with certification issues many times over and never have problems that cost students starting residency on time.

    I'm currently a IAU graduate who matched in Internal Medicine at a University program. I'm writing this as a warning to other students to be weary of what the school tell you with regards to the ECFMG certification process. It has cost me starting on time (yesterday) and will cost me up to two weeks. I also will have to use vacation time to make up for this because I want to start a fellowship on time and can't afford to start late. The biggest problem with this school is there lack of experience with Graduates and students starting on time. I know I was the ONLY ONE to graduate this year and MATCH which is why I'm the only affected by the administrative confusion that goes on at IAU (one other student matched but had his certificate ahead of time because he finished in December I believe).

    After I graduated (april 20th) I asked the school what needs to be done with regards to this certificate. They told me NOTHING just waiting. After about almost a month of hearing nothing I called ECFMG on May 13th. They told me the school had sent the forms but no 345 and 344 forms are on record which the school knew nothing about. After those had been sent in they sent out the 327-A form that needs to be verified by your school. This form reached IAU towards the end of May and was sent back by the school promptly.

    However once ECFMG received the form around June 6th they said the form was incomplete because the person who signed the form was not on the authorized signature list since she had been promoted to a different title. When I called they school they said ECFMG had received an updated list and this promotion took place over a year ago. However after talking with ECFMG no such list existed. IAU had to resend another form to ECFMG and had they listened to my concerns about sending the forms FEDEX or DHL instead of USPS I might have been able to start on time. They however disregarded my concerns because USPS is cheaper then FEDEX. Instead I lost 10 days of waiting for ECFMG to scan in documents because USPS is not trackable. The explanation of what I mean is below

    ECFMG does not sign for USPS packages even if you send them overnight or two day priority. If you send packages USPS then the packages are signed by the POST OFFICE then delivered in bulk to ECFMG. After that you must wait between 5-10 business days for your documents to be scanned in. No matter how urgent you need the document scanned in nothing can be done because they can't be tracked. However if you send them by FEDEX they are able to tracked immediately and you don't have to wait the 5-10 business days because the packages can be located. By the time the package was scanned into my record it was June 28th and my certificate was issued.

    Getting your certificate issued is just one step in the licensing process and the reason its important to get it done early is because you still have to send this ECFMG certificate to the State board online. That will take at least 3-5 business days (sometimes up to two weeks) for it to arrive at state boards.

    Tips for ECFMG and IAU:

    1) I believe I'm the first to graduate on time and match in four years so they've never had to deal with the small two month window before. BECAREFUL about what they say (they don't have experience with this) and follow up with ECFMG weekly. Set up your own FEDEX Currier service so ECFMG and IAU can use it.
    2) Hound ECFMG constantly because even though IAU's paperwork caused most of the problems for me they are slow as well
    3) Get constant clarifications if you have problems. I made them send me emails so I knew exactly what they wanted for follow up

  2. #2
    Crane is offline Permanently Banned 511 points
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    This is a mess

    Quote Originally Posted by rspr41 View Post
    To put it simply go to ROSS SGU St Mathews or AUA. They have dealt with certification issues many times over and never have problems that cost students starting residency on time.

    I'm currently a IAU graduate who matched in Internal Medicine at a University program. I'm writing this as a warning to other students to be weary of what the school tell you with regards to the ECFMG certification process. It has cost me starting on time (yesterday) and will cost me up to two weeks. I also will have to use vacation time to make up for this because I want to start a fellowship on time and can't afford to start late. The biggest problem with this school is there lack of experience with Graduates and students starting on time. I know I was the ONLY ONE to graduate this year and MATCH which is why I'm the only affected by the administrative confusion that goes on at IAU (one other student matched but had his certificate ahead of time because he finished in December I believe).

    After I graduated (april 20th) I asked the school what needs to be done with regards to this certificate. They told me NOTHING just waiting. After about almost a month of hearing nothing I called ECFMG on May 13th. They told me the school had sent the forms but no 345 and 344 forms are on record which the school knew nothing about. After those had been sent in they sent out the 327-A form that needs to be verified by your school. This form reached IAU towards the end of May and was sent back by the school promptly.

    However once ECFMG received the form around June 6th they said the form was incomplete because the person who signed the form was not on the authorized signature list since she had been promoted to a different title. When I called they school they said ECFMG had received an updated list and this promotion took place over a year ago. However after talking with ECFMG no such list existed. IAU had to resend another form to ECFMG and had they listened to my concerns about sending the forms FEDEX or DHL instead of USPS I might have been able to start on time. They however disregarded my concerns because USPS is cheaper then FEDEX. Instead I lost 10 days of waiting for ECFMG to scan in documents because USPS is not trackable. The explanation of what I mean is below

    ECFMG does not sign for USPS packages even if you send them overnight or two day priority. If you send packages USPS then the packages are signed by the POST OFFICE then delivered in bulk to ECFMG. After that you must wait between 5-10 business days for your documents to be scanned in. No matter how urgent you need the document scanned in nothing can be done because they can't be tracked. However if you send them by FEDEX they are able to tracked immediately and you don't have to wait the 5-10 business days because the packages can be located. By the time the package was scanned into my record it was June 28th and my certificate was issued.

    Getting your certificate issued is just one step in the licensing process and the reason its important to get it done early is because you still have to send this ECFMG certificate to the State board online. That will take at least 3-5 business days (sometimes up to two weeks) for it to arrive at state boards.

    Tips for ECFMG and IAU:

    1) I believe I'm the first to graduate on time and match in four years so they've never had to deal with the small two month window before. BECAREFUL about what they say (they don't have experience with this) and follow up with ECFMG weekly. Set up your own FEDEX Currier service so ECFMG and IAU can use it.
    2) Hound ECFMG constantly because even though IAU's paperwork caused most of the problems for me they are slow as well
    3) Get constant clarifications if you have problems. I made them send me emails so I knew exactly what they wanted for follow up
    Your situation confirms the many suspicions I have about IAU. The licensing down the road is a major concern as is the truthfulness of the admission staff with telling people what they want to hear. I am still skeptical about this school getting final NY approval.And whether this place will even be around once the state baords start to question its creditability. I'd not be surprised if the NY approval didn't go through with this school.

  3. #3
    metrocrest is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Congrats on your match. I admire anyone who successfully completes a MD at a carib school and gets into residency. The challenges are immense. This further goes to saying that caribbean schools all have issues. If you are focused and work hard, you will be successful. Good luck rspr

  4. #4
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    houmd is offline Elite Member 7229 points
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    sorry to hear that rspr but I do wish you the best of luck in your IM residency and can gratefully say that after day one of residency you wont have to worry about that crap anymore

  5. #5
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    cutelilMD is offline Member 527 points
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    AUA and st mathew have issues

    AUA students had to wait 4 months in order to start their rotations from the time they finish step 1
    St. Mathews just got on Cali's disapproval list, so that means there are more states that you can't practice in, thus you can only practice in 35 states in St.Mathews

    IAU is not on cali's approve or disapprove list so you can practice in more states.

    St. george is just down right expensive hahahh

    Ross has a very high fail rate for their first two years basic science. This is due to the high amount of students in the class and their strict grade curves.
    Last edited by cutelilMD; 09-11-2010 at 12:18 PM.

  6. #6
    adidas1 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Hmm well I don't see how a school that could get NY approval so quickly would be subject to closing down. When I first started at AUA, we studied out of rented buildings + a "campus" that had old pink buildings. The first day our class arrived, we were all in shock. Now look at AUA, they're sitting pretty with a huge campus and their own loans. If anything, I'd think that schools which lack NY approval are more prone to shutting down.

  7. #7
    dr.kidd is offline Member 511 points
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    IAU will never close down. The exec dean was saying that we are pursung NJ approval and are in the process of getting ready for a site visit by the NJ medical board. I have seen the blue prints of the new campus and it looks magnificient. Plus we now have two brand new hi-tech class rooms with double projector screens and flat screen TVs to seat 70 students in each class. This is in addition to 4 other class rooms that can hold 50, 45, 40 and 35 students respectively.

  8. #8
    Crane is offline Permanently Banned 511 points
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    N.j.

    Quote Originally Posted by dr.kidd View Post
    IAU will never close down. The exec dean was saying that we are pursung NJ approval and are in the process of getting ready for a site visit by the NJ medical board. I have seen the blue prints of the new campus and it looks magnificient. Plus we now have two brand new hi-tech class rooms with double projector screens and flat screen TVs to seat 70 students in each class. This is in addition to 4 other class rooms that can hold 50, 45, 40 and 35 students respectively.
    N.J. Medical Board no longer approves schools and has not done so in many years. The last school to receive an approval to conduct clinicals in NJ was Ross and that too was many years ago. The information you have posted is incorrect. If your Dean is saying this, somebody is out to lunch as usual because they will be pursuing that ghost for many more years to come.

    I hate to tell you that but every Caribbean school has a blue print of some massive campus to be built in some uncertain date in the future. Others even go as far as conducting ground breaking ceremonies with much fan fare. But few campuses are ever built and few promises ever materialize. This is called reality check, Caribbean style.

  9. #9
    adidas1 is offline Junior Member 510 points
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    Does IAU own the buildings it uses or are they rented?

  10. #10
    Crane is offline Permanently Banned 511 points
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    Rented

    Quote Originally Posted by adidas1 View Post
    Does IAU own the buildings it uses or are they rented?
    They operate out of the top floor of a shopping center building!

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