Obtain A Medical License – A Guide for Physicians
To practice medicine in the U.S., all physicians must obtain a medical license in the state in which they intend to offer clinical medical services.
Medical Licensing Requirements
All physicians that want to obtain a medical license must demonstrate that they have met either the licensure by endorsement or licensure by examination state requirements.
Prior to submitting a medical license application, we highly recommend physicians go over these requirements to make sure everything has been met. Basic medical licensure requirements include:
- A Medical Doctorate or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from a U.S. or internationally accredited medical school
- Certificate of completion of a medical residency training in an accreditation for graduate medical education (ACGME) accredited program
- Passing of national exams (i.e., NBME, FLEX, USMLE) among other requirements
Medical Licensing Process
Each state has its own unique medical licensing process due to each state having its own medical board.
The licensing process involves the collection of credentials from the physician submitting the medical licensing application and other sources. While some states are more complex than others, the main difference comes down to whether the state accepts or requires all healthcare providers to undergo the Federal Credentials Verification System (FCVS). If the state, you are applying too requires FCVS be prepared to factor in an average processing time of 45 days or less for initial FCVS applications and 20 days or less for subsequent FCVS applications to the state licensure process. Times also vary based on responsiveness to FCVS requests. Please be advised, the FCVS verifies credentials via regular mail services.
A few states that have been considered “quick and efficient” when it comes to obtaining your medical license include New York, Indiana and Michigan while Massachusetts, Texas, and New Jersey have been considered some of the most difficult.
Becoming a licensed medical doctor is a time-consuming process. One way to ease the burden is to work with a physician licensing expert you trust. If as a physician you decide to go this route, it is still recommended that you have a general knowledge and understanding of the state licensing process and requirements.
With that in mind, MASC Medical has developed the Medical License Guide which lists all of the U.S. Board of Medicine organizations along with their contact details and key information as to what physicians need to know about state licensing.
How Much Does A Medical License Cost?
There are several fees associated with a medical license application. Here are some of the medical license fees you can expect when applying to obtain a medical license:
- Initial application fee (ranges between $35 to $1,425+)
- Controlled substance application fee (~approximately $200+)
- The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) uniform application one-time fee ($60 or $80 for international physicians)
- The Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS) fee ($375 base fee; then $95 per state)
- VeriDoc (~approximately $10 to $60)
- The National Practitioner Data Bank (~approximately $4 per query)
- Transcripts (costs vary)
- Criminal background check (~approximately $40 to $60)
- Fingerprinting (~approximately $5 to $10 per card)
- Notary fees (costs vary)
- Postage (costs vary)
- Licensing renewals (~approximately $200+ per year)
- CME required courses for license renewals (costs vary)
How Long Does It Take to Obtain A Medical License?
The time it takes to obtain your physician medical license varies and can take anywhere from a few weeks to months depending on the state in which you intend to practice.
Keep in mind some states will void applications if not completed within the specified deadline. Applications submitted with errors can also delay the process for being incomplete. Additionally, if FCVS is required, you must factor in the average processing time previously mentioned to the state licensure process.
Need Assistance with Physician Medical Licensing?
As a trusted, industry leading physician recruiter and healthcare staffing firm, MASC Medical understands that healthcare professionals don’t have the time to stay abreast of the medical licensure process, medical licensure requirements and medical licensure fees per state.
Our experienced licensing team knows the ins-and-outs of the medical licensing process and requirements from working hand-in-hand with all U.S. medical licensing boards. Allow our medical licensing professionals to work on your behalf – we will gladly facilitate the entire state medical licensing process while you continue to focus on other priorities.
For more information on our healthcare licensing services, simply give us a shout!