A Physician or Surgeon (M.D.) is an individual that is issued a license allowing them to practice medicine. A physician or surgeon may diagnose, prescribe, and administer treatment to individuals suffering from injury or disease.
The comprehensive review of an application verifies that the licensee has the requisite qualifications and educational credentials for medical practice in the State of California.
The Board licenses and regulates Physicians and Surgeons, Postgraduate Training Licenses, and Licensed Midwives. In addition, the Board registers Polysomnographic Trainees, Technicians, and Technologists; Research Psychoanalysts and Student Research Psychoanalysts; and issues Special Faculty Permits and Special Program permits. The Board also issues Fictitious Name Permits through its Licensing Program.
Credentials for licensure in California are reviewed on an individual basis. The Board has the authority to deny licensure based upon unprofessional conduct, conviction of a crime, discipline of another state license, or inability to practice safely.
A Postgraduate Training License is issued to an individual who has graduated from medical school, passed all required examinations, has not received either a minimum of 12-months credit (for U.S. or Canadian medical school graduates) or 24-months credit (for international medical school graduates) of Board-approved postgraduate training, and is enrolled in a Board-approved California residency program.
Licensed Midwives are individuals licensed to practice midwifery. A midwife may attend cases of normal pregnancy and childbirth and, provide prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum care.
Polysomnographic individuals are registered individuals who may assist with testing preparation and monitoring, documenting observations, data acquisition and scoring, and assist with patient interventions, under the direct supervision of a physician and surgeon.
A Research Psychoanalyst is an individual who has graduated from an approved psychoanalytic institution and is registered with the Board. Research Psychoanalysts may engage in psychoanalysis as an adjunct to teaching, training, or research.
An Outpatient Surgery Setting is any facility, clinic, center, office, or other setting that is not part of a general acute care facility, where anesthesia is used in compliance with the community standard of practice.
The purpose of a Fictitious Name Permit (FNP) is to allow a licensed physician and surgeon or podiatrist to practice under a name other than their own.
Physician License Application Processing Times
Processing times for Postgraduate Training License, Physician’s and Surgeon’s License, and Transition from a PTL to a Physician’s and Surgeon’s License applications are available on the License Application Processing Times webpage.
Priority Review and Expedited Application/Registration Process
The Medical Board of California (Board) is required to expedite the licensure process for applicants applying for medical licensure in California who meet one of the following:
- Honorably Discharged Veterans of the Armed Forces;
- Practice in Medically Underserved Area or Population (excluding Postgraduate Training License applicants);
- Intend to provide abortions within the scope of practice of your medical license;
- Spouse or Domestic Partner of an Active Duty Member of the United States Armed Forces; or
- Admitted to the United States as a Refugee, Granted Asylum, or Have a Special Immigrant Visa Status.
If you have questions, please contact the Board’s Consumer Information Unit at (916) 263-2382.
Potential License Denial or Suspension
Your license could potentially be denied or suspended if it is determined you are either on a delinquent taxpayer list or are delinquent in court-ordered child support payments (Business and Professions Code (BPC) section 31).
Note: The law prohibits the Board from refunding any money paid for the issuance or renewal of a license where the license is denied or suspended (BPC sections 31 and 494.5, and Family Code (FAM) section 17520(e)(3)(D)).
Potential License Denial or Suspension for Failure to Pay Taxes
The Board may suspend the license/certificate/registration if you have outstanding tax obligations due to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) or the State Board of Equalization (BOE) and you appear on either the FTB or BOE's list of top 500 tax delinquencies over $100,000.
Once it has been determined that you are on a delinquent taxpayer list, you have 90 days from the issuance of a preliminary notice of suspension to either satisfy all outstanding tax obligations or enter into a payment installment program with the FTB or BOE. If you fail to come into compliance, your license will be denied or suspended until the Board receives a release from the FTB or BOE. The form for requesting a release will be included with the preliminary notice of suspension.
If you believe you are on a delinquent taxpayer list in error, contact the appropriate entity.
Potential License Denial or Suspension for Failure to Pay Family Support
The Board may suspend the license/certificate/registration if you are delinquent in court-ordered child support payments and your name appears on the Department of Child Support Service’s (DCSS) “Absent Parent Master File" (BPC section 29.5 and FAM section 17520).
Once it has been determined that you are non-compliant, you will be notified and have 150 days to meet the family support obligation or enter into a payment program with the local child support agency. If you fail to come into compliance, your license will be denied or suspended until the Department of Consumer Affairs receives a release from the DCSS County Child Support Agency Services.
For additional information, please contact the Department of Consumer Affair’s Family Support Program at (916) 574-8018.
Tax ID Requirement
State law requires disclosure of a Social Security Number (SSN), Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) to the Board as a condition of licensure. Individual license types require an SSN or ITIN. An FEIN may only be used when applying for a Fictitious Name Permit.
The number is used for tax enforcement purposes, for purposes of compliance with any judgment order for family support, or for verification of licensure or examination status by a licensing examination entity which uses a national examination and where licensure is reciprocal with the requesting state. If a state tax obligation is not paid, an application for licensure may be denied and a license issued by the Board may be suspended (BPC section 494.5).
Reporting a number on your application that is not your SSN, ITIN, or FEIN may be grounds for denial and you will be reported to the Franchise Tax Board, which may assess a penalty against you.
Additionally, in order to apply for licensure or check the status of your application online, a SSN or ITIN is required to register with the BreEZe online application system. If you do not have a SSN or ITIN, you will be required to submit your application by mail.
The Board often receives questions about criminal convictions and how it could affect a license application. Every situation is unique and is addressed on an individual basis. Although, the Board reviews each conviction based not only on the conviction itself in relation to the statutes, but also on the underlying issues that led to the conviction, the Board is unable to provide legal advice.
As an applicant, you are personally responsible for all information disclosed on your application, including any responses that may have been completed on your behalf by others.
The Board has three options relative to licensure which must be substantiated by appropriate evidence: issue an unrestricted license, deny a license, or issue a probationary license.