Getting your first medical license

October 9th, 2020 3 Min read Getting your first medical license Blog

Attaining your first medical license can be a daunting task. If you start the process with a clear understanding of what documents you must include, the process can be much easier. Use the following list to determine what documents you will need to procure your medical license.

Medical Board Time Frames

Each medical board is independent and the time frame is consistent with their licensing process.

  • Majority of the states quote 6-8 weeks
  • Massachusetts and Texas quote 4-6 months
  • California (DO) quotes 6-9 months

Boards That Require a Personal Interview

  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina (International Medical Graduate or IMG)
  • West Virginia (DO only)

FCVS Required

  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Nevada (DO)
  • New York (IMG)
  • North Carolina (only with a previously completed FCVS packet)
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Utah
  • Wyoming

Most Difficult States

  • California
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • Pennsylvania (IMG)
  • South Dakota
  • Texas

Controlled Substance

  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia*
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii*
  • Iowa*
  • Idaho*
  • Illinois*
  • Indiana*
  • Louisiana*
  • Massachusetts*
  • Maryland*
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey*
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada*
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota*
  • Utah
  • West Virginia (DO only)
  • Wyoming


10-Year Rule

Medical boards that require the physician to have taken his/her exam or become board certified/re-certified within the last 10 years:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Louisiana
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina

SPEX exam may be required if not within the 10-year time frame.

7-Year Rule

The majority of the state medical boards require the physician to complete all parts of his/her original licensing exam within a 7-year period to be eligible to apply for licensure.

“YES” Answers

The majority of the medical boards will require the following documentation for any “yes” answers on the application and possibly a personal interview:

  • Court documents
  • Explanation letters from other medical boards, facilities, treating physicians, Medicare, and/or Medicaid.

Also, please keep current contact information for the attorney, courthouse, and any other pertinent information that would assist in locating documentation.