Physicians and Surgeons

A Physician or Surgeon (M.D.) is an individual issued a license allowing them to practice medicine. A physician may diagnose, prescribe, and administer treatment to individuals suffering from injury or disease.

Applying for a Physician’s and Surgeon’s License

All allopathic physicians must receive a license from the Board prior to practicing medicine in California.

Osteopathic physicians and surgeons are licensed and regulated by the Osteopathic Medical Board of California.

A United States, Canadian, or international graduate from a Board-approved medical school who has not already completed 36 months of accredited training, does not hold a physician’s and surgeon’s license, passed all required examinations, and is accepted in an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited postgraduate training program in California must obtain a Postgraduate Training License (PTL) within 180 days of enrollment.

License Types

Physician's and Surgeon's License

Type A — Licensee is a U.S. or Canadian medical school graduate whose pathway to licensure was based on: 1) The FLEX, USMLE, or LMCC written examination and has been licensed less than four years in another state, OR 2) An international medical school graduate whose pathway to licensure was based on the above exams or approved combinations of the NBME, FLEX, and USMLE.

Type C — Licensee is a U.S., Canadian, or international medical school graduate whose pathway to licensure was based on licensure in another state for four or more years. Additionally, international graduates may also be subject to the C-SPEX examination.

Type G — Licensee is a U.S. or Canadian medical school graduate whose pathway to licensure was based on the NBME examination.

Learn More

Postgraduate Training License

An individual who has graduated from medical school, passed all required examinations, has not completed 36 months of Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) training, and is enrolled in an approved California residency program, is eligible for a Postgraduate Training License.

Learn More

Transition License

The transition process is for an applicant who currently holds a Postgraduate Training License (PTL) and is transitioning to a Physician’s and Surgeon’s (P&S) license.

Learn More

Temporary License

An individual who is eligible for a Physician’s and Surgeon’s License and is married to, or in a domestic partnership, or other legal union with an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces who is assigned to a duty station in California under official active duty military orders may be eligible for a Temporary License pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 115.6.

Learn More

Limited Practice License

An individual who is eligible for a Physician’s and Surgeon’s License and is unable to practice some aspects of medicine safely due to a disability, may be eligible for a Limited Practice License.

Learn More

Special Permits

Special Permits are issued to international physicians who are not currently eligible for a Physician’s and Surgeon’s License in California. You must be sponsored by a medical school, hospital, academic medical center, or an approved fellowship training program in California. These permits authorize you to practice medicine only within the sponsoring medical school, academic medical center, hospital, and any of its affiliated institutions. Depending upon the type of Special Program, there may be supervision requirements, limits on permitted activities, or eligibility limits based on U.S. citizenship.

Learn More

Fictitious Name Permit

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.

Learn More

Third Party Services

Listed below are commercial services that may assist the applicant in completing the application for licensure. The Board does not mandate any of the services listed below. This information is being provided only as a convenience to the applicant.

The applicant is personally responsible for all information disclosed on their application, including any responses that may have been completed on their behalf by others. An application may be denied based upon omission, falsification, or misrepresentation of any item or response on the application or any attachment. The Board considers omission, falsification, or misrepresentation of any item or response on the application or any attachment to be a serious breach of professional conduct.

Federation Credentials Verification Service

The Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS) is operated by the Federation of State Medical Boards. Utilization of FCVS is not a requirement for completing an application for licensure. If FCVS is utilized, the applicant is still required to submit an application to the Board. The applicant may request FCVS to submit their Medical Professional Information Profile directly to the Board. Once the profile is received, the primary source documents will be reviewed to determine which documents will be accepted. The Board does not accept Letters of Good Standing/License Verifications from FCVS.

NotaryCam

NotaryCam is a company that provides an online notary service that is valid in California and may be used on the Board’s application forms.

Certified Electronic Diploma

Certified Electronic Diploma (CeDiploma) is a company that provides an alternative to a paper diploma and is accepted by the Board. If a CeDiploma was not issued by the medical school, contact the medical school directly.