Important Changes to Postgraduate Training and Licensing Requirements

Senate (SB) 798 (Hill, Chapter 775) revised postgraduate training and licensing requirements for physicians and surgeons beginning January 1, 2020. Effective January 1, 2020, all applicants, regardless of whether the medical school attended was domestic or international, will be required to successfully complete 36 months of postgraduate training accredited by either the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCSPC), or College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) that includes four months of general medicine. An applicant will need to complete 24 consecutive months of training in the same program in order to be eligible for a physician’s and surgeon’s license.

Further, a Postgraduate Training License (PTL) will be required for all residents participating in an ACGME accredited postgraduate training program in California in order to practice medicine as part of their training program. A PTL must be obtained within 180 days after enrollment in the program and will not be required to be renewed. The profile of a holder of a PTL will be displayed on the Board’s website for public view.

Any resident participating in an ACGME accredited postgraduate training program at the time the law goes in effect, and is not eligible for licensure, will need a PTL by June 30, 2020, to continue in the program.

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Within 180 days of enrollment into California ACGME program, obtain PTL

Complete 36-months of ACGME accredited postgraduate training

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Within 90 days of completing training, obtain Physician's and Surgeon's License

During the Transitional Period

Effective January 1, 2020, the Board will no longer issue Postgraduate Training Authorization Letters (PTAL) to international medical school graduates. As a result, international medical school graduates applying for the 2020 residency match will not require a PTAL and may apply for residency through the Electronic Residency Application Service.

The Board has corresponded with applicants that have a pending application on file regarding the status of their application and what is required to proceed with the application process.

Current third year residents who have completed 36 months of ACGME accredited training and will be continuing enrollment in and ACGME accredited training program will have 90 days to obtain their Physician’s and Surgeon’s. During the 90 days, they may continue all their clinical activities related to their training program in California.

The resident must cease all clinical activities in California if they completed their 36 months of ACGME-accredited training and is no longer enrolled in an ACGME accredited training until they obtain a Physician’s and Surgeon’s License.

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