The process of obtaining a medical license can be challenging and time consuming. Find resources and information on how to obtain an initial license, 2nd license and additional licenses by state.

Physicians seeking initial licensure or applying for a medical license in another state should anticipate delays due to the investigation of credentials and past practice as well as the need to comply with licensing standards.

Follow these tips to help ease the process of applying for medical licensure:

When contacting a licensing board for the 1st time, request a copy of its current licensing requirements and the average time it takes to process applications. This helps prevent unreasonable expectations in processing time and gives a better idea of when to close a practice, plan a move or arrange a start date with a new employer to minimize financial loss.

Physicians should provide the licensing board with a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) when they first make contact. This will allow a licensing board to evaluate potential problem areas early in the process.

Don’t try to hide potentially derogatory information from a licensing board. It is much better to come forward with the information, assist the board in obtaining records and other necessary data, and provide information about mitigating circumstances that would prevent license denial.

Personally contacting and following up with the medical schools, training programs and appropriate hospitals will motivate these institutions to verify credentials more expeditiously. Following up with the licensing boards in other states where licenses are held also may assist in shortening the time for licensure.

The Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS) provides a centralized process for state medical boards to obtain a verified record of a physician’s core medical credentials. Call FCVS at (888) 275-3287 for more information.

Physicians should plan for at least a 60-day period from the time they submit a completed application for a license and the actual date licensure is granted.

Physicians who are graduates of a medical school outside the United States should anticipate a slightly longer period. It takes time for the state medical licensing boards and their staff to fairly evaluate each application for licensure.

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