California Medical Board

The California Medical Board has a reputation for being one of the most difficult State Medical Boards in which to obtain a license. There is good cause for this but I believe that this reputation is overstated. First we will cover the process of licensing with the Medical Board of California. The Medical Board of California requires that each Physician submit a set of Fingerprint cards or travel to California to participate in the LiveScan process. highly recommends that the Physician travel to California to complete the LiveScan process instead of submitting Fingerprint Cards. Why? Fingerprint cards take 2 to 4 months to process. The license will not be issued until the report is returned to the Medical Board of California by the FBI. 10 to 25% of the Cards are rejected by the FBI because the prints are smudged, low quality, or indistinguishable. If this happens then new cards have to be submitted and the process is extended another 2 to 4 months. However with the LiveScan process, the report is returned to the Medical Board of California 3 days after the Scan takes place. We have handled 3500 California Applications since 2001 and not one has been rejected or required to be re-submitted. Once the application is submitted to the Board and the Applications have been requested, the Doctor can only wait until 45 to 60 business days have passed before contacting the State Board. The Medical Board of California has a strict policy against contacting the Board prior to this waiting period. With most of our physicians once a reviewer is assigned to the application, then the license is issued 5 to 10 days later. In the event that a certification is rejected , lost (by the USPS or Medical Board of California) while in transit, or never received by the Medical Board of California then a letter is sent to the Doctor detailing what items are still needed. The majority of our clients are complete at first review and thus receive the license 5 to 10 days later. The exception to this rule are Foreign Trained Doctors who completed Clinical Clerkships in the USA during their fourth or fifth year. Each Clinical Clerkship has to be verified by the Department of the Clerkship. Most hospitals do not have records of these clerkship and thus the process is considerably delayed by the California requirement. For Physicians with negative information, the California Medical Board can be problematic. There is a lack of recourse when it comes to the decisions of the Boards. It seems that the Board has the ability to reject/deny an application based solely on the opinion of the reviewer for any negative found in the Doctor's file. Typically no hearing is required and the rejection can be arbitrary. Once a rejection is issued there seems to be little or no recourse to remedy the problem in the courts. If a Physician has a clean history, the California will be a smooth process with licensure times that stay in line with other Medical Boards in the Nation. If there are negatives in the Physician's background then the process will be extended and could be problematic. Sign Up Today

Licensure Requirements for the California Medical Board:
- Medical School Transcripts
- Medical School Form - L2, L5 form
- Internship/Residency/Fellowship Forms - L3ab,L4 form
- Clinical Clerkships (International Grads*) - L6 form
- All State Medical Licenses (past/present)
- All National Examination Scores (USMLE/FLEX/NBME)
- ECFMG Certification
- Malpractice Carriers - if claims over $30K
- Criminal Background Check - Fingerprints or LiveScan

Licensure Services

California Medical Board Training and Exam Requirements

  • Examinations 75% +
  • 4 attempts - USMLE Step 3
  • 10 year limit-USMLE
  • 1 year PGY for USA Grads
  • 2 years PGY for Non-USA Grads
  • State Exam Accepted if Pre-1975
  • SPEX Exam Required if not Board Certified within last 10 years
  • SPEX waived if passed NBME Exam
  • Core Medical Rotations required during Medical School
  • 4 Weeks of Internal Medicine required during PGT Training

California Medical Board Information

Contact Information

Medical Board of CA

2005 Evergreen Street
Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95815
Phone (916) 263-2389
Fax (916) 263-2387

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Additional California Medical Board Licensing Information:

The California Medical Board typically takes 45 to 90 days to perform their first review of submitted medical license applications. Until the first review occurs, the role of is to insure that all of the required verifications are submitted to the Medical Board. The acceptance of the verifications is determined by the Medical Board at the first review. In the event that a verification is rejected, then the verification will have to be resent by the institution in questions. California typically has a high failure rate in the Internship, Residency, and Fellowship Verification Forms. (L3ab form). The reason for this is that the form requires the Current Program Director who is listed as such by the ACGME must read through the form very carfully and check a number of small boxes. Then the hospital must apply its seal or have the form notarized. Often times, in their rush to complete the form, boxes are missed or instructions are not followed. The Medical Board of California only accepts part of the FCVS Packet. If you have a packet in place, we are still going to have to directly verify your training and your medical school. The L2 and L5 forms will have to be sent to the Medical School to be verified. Your Medical School Diploma will have to be certified by the School. California has not accepted the Diploma and the FCVS Medical School verification form to this date.

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