Graduating from medical school represents a significant milestone for a person wishing to practice medicine. However, a new graduate must then apply for and receive a license to practice medicine.
Upon being granted a professional license, subsequent renewals become an ongoing part of maintaining one’s profession.
Application and renewal requirements
One element of a medical license application involves a criminal background check. The Pennsylvania Department of State explains that this background check may include records from other states that the applicant may have lived in. A background check from the Federal Bureau of Investigation may be substituted for individual state background check.
According to the American Medical Association, a medical license applicant with negative records should not attempt to hide such information on the license application or renewal, but instead should disclose it openly at the outset of the process.
Renewals of a medical license also require proof of mandated continuing education. Other training required may relate to prescription medications. Specialty areas of practice like acupuncture, prosthetics or respiratory medicine may stipulate special requirements needed to provide a new license or to renew an existing one.
Professional license applications by state
When a doctor moves from one state to another, a new professional license may be needed for the new state of residence. Physicians who live near state lines and may therefore naturally treat patients in both states may also need to be licensed separately in each state.
Given that each state’s laws governing the medical profession may vary, most state governments or professional licensing bodies do not accept or recognize licenses granted by another state.