Transition from Resident to Attending

Give med school grads at least 10 years to finish licensing exams

Brendan Murphy , Senior News Writer

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Passage of a series of licensing exams—either the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), for allopathic medical school graduates, or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA), for graduates of osteopathic medical colleges—is a requirement for physicians to earn full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the U.S.

But these requirements can be confusing for, and burdensome to, young physicians who are often living lives that require geographic mobility, particularly after residency. So says an AMA Council on Medical Education report, whose recommendations were adopted at the 2019 AMA Interim Meeting in San Diego.

Related Coverage

Interstate medical licensure by the numbers

The AMA House of Delegates adopted new policy calling on the Association to:

  • Urge the state medical and osteopathic boards that maintain a time limit for completing licensing examination sequences for either USMLE or COMLEX to adopt a time limit of no less than 10 years for completion of the licensing exams.
  • Urge that state medical and osteopathic licensing boards with time limits for completing the licensing examination sequence provide for exceptions that may involve personal health or family circumstances.