Upon renewal of a physician's license, the Medical Board is required to collect certain data (Business & Professions Code sections 803.1, 2425.1 and 2425.3). The data collected includes: activities in medicine, specialty, zip code within California of physicians who are treating patients, training status, ethnicity, and foreign language fluency.
The goal of the survey is to gain a better understanding of the physician workforce in California. While we know how many licensed physicians reside in the state, there is little information regarding the time that is spent in actual clinical practice, or the location or specialty of that practice. Foreign language and ethnicity responses are voluntary.
- I'm retired. Do I have to fill out the survey?
Yes, current California law requires every physician with a California license to complete the survey.
- What is "license type?"
The license type is the letter code that precedes your license number.
- When must I supply the information?
We are requesting you either complete the survey online or mail back with your renewal.
- Can I fax the survey back?
No, faxed copies can not be read by the scantron machine. It must either be returned by mail or completed online.
- Why do I have to answer these questions?
The Legislature deemed it important to obtain information on physician distribution and practice characteristics to address physician access issues and to assist consumers and patients.
- What will the data be used for?
The data will be used to define specific physician shortages defined by geography, specialty, and other key variables. The data may also help consumers find physicians who meet their needs.
- How will the data be made available?
The mandated data about practice status will be made available on the Medical Board's Web site. Data regarding foreign language fluency and the ethnic background will only be available on the Medical Board's Web site with consent of the physician.
- Why should I fill out the optional data?
This data will increase understanding of the state's needs in the areas of language, numbers of specialists, and other physician workforce characteristics.