how to get a medical license

A Comprehensive Guide on How To Get a Medical License

All ways lead to licensure. Before starting your practice in the United States, one of the significant steps to get licensed by the nation’s state medical board. Getting a medical license is complicated, but it’s an essential step in embarking on a successful medical career. Let’s read the major steps needed to how to get a medical license which includes the requirements for education as well as the licensing exam and the process to apply. Be aware that the exact steps and requirements could differ according to your state or country. So always consult the local authorities on medical licensure for the most up-to-date information.

Educational Requirements

If you’re an undergraduate pre medical student planning the next steps to obtain medical licenses, you must first meet the educational requirements. This usually involves attending a medical school approved by the appropriate authority in your residential area. 

Medical school usually spans for four years, and during that time, you’ll be studying various subjects regarding to your field. Such as anatomy and physiology, pathology the study of pharmacology and clinical rotations in various medical specialties.

Medical Licensing Exams

After graduating from medical school, you’ll be required to take one or more medical licensure exams. The objective of these exams to test your competence and knowledge in medical practice. The most popular medical licensing exams include:

  • The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) The USMLE is a three-step test for doctors aspiring to practice within the United States.
  1. Step 1 is focused on the fundamental sciences. 
  2. Step 2 focuses on clinical expertise (CK) and clinical competence (CS), and clinical management.
  • Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) for those who want to become physicians in Canada The MCCQE Part I and Part II test the clinical and medical knowledge.
  • Australian Medical Council (AMC) Exam Medical professionals who want to work in Australia must pass the AMC tests, including AMC MCQ and AMC Clinical.
  • Medical Licensing Examination in different countries: Different countries could have licensing examinations, and it is essential to research and prepare for the exam accordingly.

Residency Training

After passing the required licensing tests the next step is to finish a residency program. The residency training program gives you practical, hands-on experience within the specific area of medicine. The length of the residency program depends on the particular speciality chosen, which can range between three and seven years.

In your residency program, you’ll be guided by experienced doctors, and gain essential clinical skills and expertise in the field you choose to specialize in. The residency program is an essential component of your medical education and helps you prepare for your own independent practice.

1. Application Submission

Submit all required documents, such as the medical school transcripts as well as proof of the completion of residency training, and test scores to the licensing board.

2. Background Check and Credential Verification

The licensing board conducts a background check and confirm your credentials to confirm that you meet the required requirements.

3. Jurisprudence Test

Some areas may require you to sit for an exam in jurisprudence which tests your understanding of the laws and regulations that govern the practice of medicine in that particular region.

License Fee

 Pay the required fees for licensing to cover administrative cost in the process of processing your application.

5. Maintaining Your Medical License

Most states require a specific amount of CME credits to keep a medical license. Doctors must keep on track of their CME hours and keep up-to-date on innovations in their fields. They must remain in excellent standing with regulatory bodies and medical boards to maintain their medical professional license.

How To Get Physician Assistant License In Another State

Obtaining an Physician Assistant (PA) license in a different state of the USA requires you to follow specific rules and regulations set by the licensing board of each state. Here is a general guide on how to get a Physician Assistant license from another state.

Research State Requirements

Begin by studying the specific requirements needed to get the PA license within the state you’d like to practice in. Each state’s licensing authority and regulations are unique. Therefore, it’s important to know the specific requirements for each state.

Educational Requirements

Check that you’ve completed an Physician Assistant program recognized by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Most states require the completion of an accredited program as a prerequisite to licensure.


You can obtain national certification through the National Commission on Certification for Physician Assistants (NCCPA). The passing of the National Certifying Exam for Physician Assistants (PANCE) is usually required to obtain national certification.

State Licensing Application

Apply for licensure with the licensing board of the state you plan to practice. The application will likely need your personal information such as educational history as well as work experience and confirmation of your national certificate from NCCPA.

Background Check

You should undergo an investigation into your background during the process to apply for licensure. Many states require that applicants have a clean criminal record.

Jurisprudence Exam

Certain states may require you to take an exam in jurisprudence that tests your understanding of the laws governing medical care in your state and regulations.

Supervision and Collaboration Agreements

There are certain states that require physicians assistants to be under the supervision or with the collaboration of a certified physician. Be sure to read the regulations of your state regarding this particular aspect of practice.

Application Fee

 Pay an application fee to be part of the process of obtaining a license. The cost may differ from state to state.

Continuing Medical Education (CME) Requirements

Many states have requirements for continuing education to maintain your PA license. Learn about the requirements of your state’s CME requirements to make sure that you remain on the right track once you’re licensed.

Notification of Intent to Practice

Certain states might require you to notify the licensing board of your intention to begin practicing in the state. Take note of any requirements for notification to ensure that your transition is smooth. It is important to understand that the procedures and requirements to obtain an appointment as a Physician Assistant in a different state may differ dramatically. 

Therefore, you should always check the licensing board of the state you reside in on their website or call them directly to obtain up-to-date and accurate information. Being organized and well-informed will make it easier when you seek licensure in another state and allow you to begin a rewarding career as a physician Assistant.

Read More: Everything You Need to Know About Hospital Provider Credentialing Process.


A medical license is a lengthy process that demands years of schooling and training, as well as commitment. It is crucial to keep up-to-date with the specific requirements for your area and prepare yourself for the demands ahead. Always seek advice from mentors, advisors and the appropriate authorities for licensing to ensure you are on the right path towards your medical profession.

Be aware that being a licensed medical professional will allow you to have an influence on the lives of many people and communities, which makes your efforts truly worthwhile. Good luck on your path towards becoming a medical professional!


To get an medical license for practice, you’ll have to finish your medical education at an accredited medical school. After that, you’ll take part in the process of supervised learning known as a residency or an internship. After that, you’ll have to pass licensing examinations that test your knowledge of medicine and clinical abilities. If you’ve passed these tests, you can apply for medical licenses through the relevant licensing authority. 

This typically involves submitting your credentials for education as well as undergoing background checks and paying the required fees. It is crucial to understand that the specific steps and requirements may vary depending on where you live So, make sure you look into the regulations and procedures that are applicable to your region.

To obtain a medical license the United States typically takes around 11 to 15 years of training and education. The process involves the completion of a 4-year bachelor’s degree. Then, four years of medical school. After medical school hopeful doctors enroll in the residency program, which can last between 3 and 7 years, depending on the specialty chosen. During your residency, you get hands-on experience under the supervision of a doctor. After residency, you’ll have an opportunity to prepare to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) Step tests, which are necessary to be licensed. The entire process of training, education examinations, and applying for medical licensure requires an extensive time commitment.

Keep in mind that the exact times can differ depending on the individual’s situation and specific choices. But usual time is 6 weeks (30 business days) after application and fee submission in Virginia.

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