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.

All state licensing jurisdictions require a graduate of a foreign medical school to complete at least 1 year of accredited U.S. or Canadian graduate medical education before licensure.

However, 12 states require 2 years and 25 states require 3 years of accredited graduate medical education, so it is important for international medical graduates (IMGs) to verify licensure requirements for each state.

Find specific licensure requirements by state by reviewing the Initial Licensure of U.S. Medical Graduates and International Medical Graduates (PDF).

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

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