International Medical Education

State licensure board requirements for international medical graduates


State licensure requirements are designed to provide that graduates of foreign medical schools meet the same requirements to obtain a medical license as graduates of accredited United States and Canadian medical schools. 

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All state licensing jurisdictions require a graduate of a foreign medical school to complete at least one year of accredited U.S. or Canadian graduate medical education before licensure.

However, 12 states require two years and 25 states require three years of accredited graduate medical education, so it is important for international medical graduates (IMGs) to verify licensure requirements for each state

Credential verification requirements

Many hospitals, managed care organizations, licensing boards and other institutions may require that IMGs provide credentials verification directly from their medical school, even though most international medical graduates have their credentials evaluated by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates. 

All information should be verified with state licensing boards. Medical licenses are granted to those physicians meeting all state requirements and are at the discretion of the board.

Find more information on the American Medical Association (AMA) policies related to IMG state licensure.

AMA PolicyFinder