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.

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Transition from a Postgraduate Training License to a Physician’s and Surgeon’s License

The transition process is for a resident who currently holds or has held a Postgraduate Training License (PTL) and is transitioning to a Physician’s and Surgeon’s (P&S) License. To apply for the P&S License through the transition process, you must have successfully:

  1. Received credit for either 12 (United States and Canadian medical school graduates) or 24 (international medical school graduates) months of board-approved postgraduate training; and
  2. Taken and passed Step 3 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) within four attempts or Part I of the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (LMCC).

P&S Initial License Renewal Requirement

As a requirement of the initial license renewal, the P&S licensee must provide verification of receiving credit of 36 months of board-approved postgraduate training. The program may submit the Certificate of Completion of ACGME/RCPSC/CFPC Postgraduate Training Form (Form PTA-PTB) to the Board within 60 days of the license expiration date.

If your training was part of the MD-integrated Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) postgraduate training program, then you must provide evidence of receiving credit for at least 24 months of postgraduate training accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) to meet the initial renewal requirement. CODA-accredited postgraduate training must be part of an oral and maxillofacial surgery postgraduate training program after receiving a medical degree from a combined dental and medical degree program.

Proof of the required postgraduate training must be mailed to the Board and postmarked no later than 60 days after the initial license expiration date to be considered by the Board. Please note that your license will be automatically placed in delinquent status pending review if you do not submit proof of the required postgraduate training within sufficient time for the Board to process it before the end of the 60 days.

For licenses issued January 1, 2024, or later, proof of the postgraduate training required for renewal must be submitted to the Board before the license expiration date, as the initial license will be issued for a period of two years and 60 days to allow additional time to provide the Board the required documents. After the first renewal, the license is only valid for a two-year period until the next renewal.

Wallet Card and Wall Certificate: Once your P&S License is issued, you may generate and immediately print your own wallet license using the Board's Wallet License Generator. A wallet license will not be mailed to you. The Board will mail your wall certificate to your address of record within two to four weeks.

Expedited and Priority Review

The Board may give your application for a P&S License priority or expedited review if you:

  • Have served as an active-duty member of the United States Armed Forces and were honorably discharged;
  • Have received and accepted an offer of employment to work in an area of California formally designated as an underserved area or underserved population;
  • Are going to provide abortions within the scope of practice of your medical license;
  • Are a spouse of, domestic partner of, or in 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; or
  • Were admitted to the United States as a Refugee, Granted Asylum, or have a Special Immigrant Visa Status.

You must submit the required documentation with your application to receive priority review. Please review additional requirements and required supporting documents on the Priority Review and Expedited Application Process.

P&S Temporary License

If you are a spouse of, domestic partner of, or in 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, you may qualify for a P&S Temporary License. For detailed information, visit the Physician’s and Surgeon’s Temporary License webpage.

P&S Limited Practice License

If you are eligible for a P&S License but are unable to practice some aspects of medicine safely due to disability, visit the Limited Practice License webpage for detailed information.

Professional License Portability and State Registration for Servicemembers and their Spouses

The federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) authorizes service members or their spouses who currently hold a valid license in good standing in another state, district, or territory to practice in California within the same profession or vocation, if they relocate to California because of military orders. For individuals who desire to practice in California under the terms of the SCRA, please visit: https://www.dca.ca.gov/military/federal.shtml.

How to Apply for Transition

Third Party Services

You may use electronic commercial services to assist in completing your application for licensure. The Board does not mandate any of the electronic services. For additional information, visit the Third Party Services webpage. The Board is providing this information as a convenience to you.

To allow sufficient time for processing and remediating deficiencies, the Board strongly encourages you to submit your online Application to Transition from a Postgraduate Training License (PTL) to a Physician’s and Surgeon’s License, utilizing BreEZe Online Services, six months prior to receiving 12/24 months of credit from a Board-approved postgraduate training program.

Please note, a resident in training is not permitted to continue practicing medicine in their training program with an expired PTL and must cease all clinical service at that time until a P&S License has been issued by the Board.

Apply Online

All applicants must apply online. Applicants without an SSN or ITIN should email the Board at licensing.questions@mbc.ca.gov for information on how to apply for a license.

BEFORE APPLYING, read the Application to Transition from a Postgraduate Training License to a Physician's and Surgeon's License Information & Checklist as a guide through the license application process.

To apply online, you must complete the following using the BreEZe online services::

  1. Answer the application questions.
  2. Pay all required fees.
  3. Attach a completed Notification of Name Change if you recently changed your legal name (i.e., first, middle, and/or last name) or if some of the supporting documents may have a variation of your alias or previous legal name, if applicable.
  4. Attach Explanation to Application Question (Form EXP), if applicable.
  5. Attach Timeline of Activities (Form TOA), if applicable for the period of time from issuance of the PTL to the current date. (FCVS TOA without gaps is acceptable)
  6. Attach supporting documents verifying request to expedite the licensing process, if applicable.

To complete the application process, the Board must receive the items below. Contact the appropriate program or organization to request they provide the Board the documents you are not responsible for submitting directly to the Board.

The certification/examination organization must submit:

The training program(s) must submit all form(s) through the Board’s DOCS portal, approved third party services, or by mail

Note: Do not complete this application packet if you are applying for licensure as an osteopathic physician and surgeon. Please contact the Osteopathic Medical Board of California at (916) 928-8390 for an application and further information.