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State Medical License Requirements

State Board USMLE Attempt Limit Time Limit US/Canadian Postgraduate Training Reqs Foreign Postgraduate Training Reqs SPEX exam required?
Alabama No attempt limit on step I or II, Three (3) attempts on step III Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step; 10 years for MD/PhD One Year Three Years YES; unless board certified or re-certified by a specialty or sub-specialty in the last 10 years
Alaska Two (2) attempts per step Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step Two years, one year if completed before 01/01/95 Three years NO
Arizona No attempt limit Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step, unless 1st licensed by a state that doesn’t have a 7 year limit One year Three years NO
Arizona DO N/A No limits on NBOME One year N/A YES; unless lifetime certified, board certified or re-certified by a specialty or sub-specialty in the last 7 years
Arkansas Six (6) attempts per step Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step One year Three years, One year if enrolled at U of Arkansas NO
California No attempt limit on steps I and II, Four (4) attempts on step III Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within ten (10) years of passing the first step One year, including 4 mos. General Med. Two years, including 4 mos. General Med. NO
California DO N/A No limits on NBOME One year N/A NO
Colorado No attempt limit Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step; Ten (10) years if MD/PhD One year Three years NO
Connecticut No attempt limit Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step Two years Two years NO
Delaware No attempt limit No time limit One year Three years NO
District of Columbia No attempt limit per steps I and II. Additional year of PGT required if four (4)failed attempts on step III. Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step One year Three years NO
Florida No attempt limit No time limit One year Two years NO
Florida DO N/A No limits on NBOME One year N/A NO
Georgia No attempt limit on steps I and II, Three (3) attempts on step III Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step; Nine (9) if MD/PhD One year One year if graduated before July 1985, Three years if after NO
Hawaii No attempt limit Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step; Ten (10) if MD/PhD One year Two years NO
Hawaii DO N/A No limits on NBOME One year N/A NO
Idaho Two (2) attempts per step Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step; Ten (10) years if MD/PhD One year Three years NO
Illinois No more than five (5) failed attempts Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step Two years, One year if completed before 1988 Two years, One year if completed before 1988 NO
Indiana Three (3) attempts per step Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (10) years of passing the first step One year Two years NO
Iowa Six (6) attempts per steps I and II. Three (3) attempts on step III. Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step; 10 years for MD/PhD One year Two years NO
Kansas No attempt limit on steps I and II, Three (3) attempts on step III Must complete USMLE Steps 1, 2, and 3 within ten (10) years of passing the first step One year Two years NO
Kentucky Four (4) attempts per step No time limit Two years Two years NO
Louisiana No attempt limit on step I. Four (4) attempts per steps II and III. Must complete USMLE Steps 1, 2, and 3 within ten (10) years of passing the first step One year Three years YES; unless board certified or re-certified by a specialty or sub-specialty in the last 10 years
Maine No attempt limit per steps I and II. Three (3) attempts on step III Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step Two years; Three years if graduated after 7/2004 Three years NO
Maine DO N/A No limits on NBOME One year N/A NO
Maryland Three (3) attempts per step. Must complete USMLE Steps 1, 2, and 3 within ten (10) years of passing the first step One year; Two if any USMLE step failed 3 times Two years YES; unless lifetime certified, board certified, or re-certified by a specialty or sub-specialty in the last 10 years, or passed a licensing exam in the last 15 years
Massachusetts No attempt limit per steps I and II. Six (6) attempts on step III Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step One year Two years NO
Michigan No attempt limit No time limit per steps I and II; Must complete step III within five (5) years of first attempt on step III Two years Two years, three if completed before 1984 NO
Minnesota Three (3) attempts per step; four (4) attempts step III if Board Certified No time limit per steps I and II; Must complete step III within five (5) years of passing step II One year Two years YES; unless board certified or re-certified by a specialty or sub-specialty in the last 10 years
Mississippi No attempt limit per steps I and II. Three (3) attempts on step III Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step One year Three years; One year if Board Certified YES; unless board certified or re-certified by a specialty or sub-specialty in the last 10 years
Missouri Three (3) attempts per step Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step One year Three years NO
Montana No attempt limit per steps I and II. Three (3) attempts on step III Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step Two years Three years NO
Nebraska Four (4) attempts per step Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within ten (10) years of passing the first step One year Three years NO
Nevada No attempt limit per steps I and II. Three (3) attempts on step III Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step; Ten (10) years if MD/PhD Three years Three years YES; unless lifetime certified, board certified, or re-certified by a specialty or sub-specialty in the last 10 years
Nevada DO N/A No limit on NBOME Three years, one year graduated before 01/01/95 N/A YES; unless board certified or re-certified by a specialty or sub-specialty in the last 10 years
New Hampshire Three (3) attempts per step No time limit Two years Two years NO
New Jersey No attempt limit per steps I and II. Five (5) attempts on step III. Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step (Waiver can be requested) Three years, one if graduated before 07/01/03 Three years, one year if graduated before 07/01/85 NO
New Mexico Six (6) attempts per step Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step; Ten (10) years if MD/PhD Two years Two years NO
New Mexico DO N/A No limits on NBOME Two years N/A NO
New York No attempt limit No time Limit One year Three years Yes, if State Board Exam was taken before 1968
North Carolina Three (3) attempts per step No Time Limit One year Three years YES; unless • Completed USMLE, COMLEX or MCCQE within the past 10 years.
• Board Certification or recertification within the past 10 years by an ABMS, AOA, CCFP, FRCP, FRCS speciality board.
• Completed ACGME, CFPC, RCPSC or AOA approved training within the past 10 years.
• Does not have 60 hours of Category 1 (practice relevant) Continuing Medical Education within the past 3 years.
, PR award accepted
North Dakota Three (3) attempts per step Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step One year Three years NO
Ohio Four (4) attempts per step Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within ten (10) years of passing the first step One year Two years NO
Oklahoma Three (3) attempts per step Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within ten (10) years of passing the first step One year Two years NO
Oklahoma DO N/A No limits on NBOME One year N/A NO
Oregon No attempt limit per steps I and II. Four (4) attempts on step III Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step; Ten (10) years if MD/PhD One year One year, three years if med school is non-approved YES; unless board certified or re-certified by a specialty or sub-specialty in the last 10 years, or if state board exam was taken before 1968
Pennsylvania No attempt limit No Limit Two years, One year if completed before 7/87 Three years, One year if completed before 7/87 NO
Pennsylvania DO N/A No limits on NBOME One year N/A NO
Puerto Rico No attempt limit Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step One year One year NO
Rhode Island Three (3) attempts per step Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step Two years Three years NO
South Carolina Three (3) attempts per step Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within ten (10) years of passing the first step One year Three years YES; unless board certified or re-certified by a specialty or sub-specialty in the last 10 years, will waive exam if 150 CME hours in last 3 years
South Dakota Three (3) attempts per step. Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step; Ten (10) years if MD/PhD Completion of Residency Program Completion of Residency Program, one year if done before 7/1987 NO
Tennessee No attempt limit Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step One year Three years NO
Tennessee DO N/A No limits on NBOME One year N/A NO
Texas Three (3) attempts per step. Or if you have been licensed in good standing in another state for at least 5 years, or held a Texas PIT permit on 9/1/05, then a 4th attempt allowed on one part only. Up to 6 attempts allowed on one part only, if you also: are specialty board certified by an ABMS or BOS board, and you complete, in Texas, an additional 2 years of residency training Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step; 10 years if you are specialty board certified by an ABMS or BOS board, or have practiced under a Texas FTL for 1 year, and have been recommended for licensure by the institution at which the FTL was used. Dual degree applicants must pass all steps within 2 years after completion of required postgraduate training. The timeframe is expanded to 10 years after completion of the required postgraduate training if you graduated from a combined MD/PhD or DO/PhD program and are specialty board certified by an ABMS or BOS board, or have practiced under a Texas FTL for 1 year, and have been recommended for licensure by the institution at which the FTL was used. No time frame requirement if you have been licensed in good standing in another state for 5 years, and you accept a limited license to practice solely and indefinitely in an MUA or HPSA One year Two years YES; unless board certified or re-certified by a specialty or sub-specialty in the last 10 years
Utah Three (3) attempts per step Must complete USMLE Steps 1, 2, and 3 within seven (7) years of passing the first step; 10 years for MD/PhD Two years Two years Only for DO’s unless board certified or re-certified by a specialty or sub-specialty in the last 10 years
Vermont No attempt limit per steps I and II. Three (3) attempts on step III Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step; Ten (10) years if MD/PhD One year Three years NO
Vermont DO N/A No limits on NBOME One year N/A NO
Virginia No attempt limit Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within ten (10) years of passing the first step (exception) One year Two years NO
Virginia DO N/A No limits on NBOME One year N/A NO
Washington No attempt limit per steps I and II. Three (3) attempts on step III Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within seven (7) years of passing the first step; ten (10) years for MD/PhD Two years, One if graduated before 07/28/85 Two years, One if graduated before 07/28/85 NO
Washington DO N/A No limits on NBOME One year N/A NO
West Virginia Three (3) attempts per step Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within ten (10) years of passing the first step One year Three years; one year if board certified NO
West Virginia DO N/A No limits on NBOME One year N/A NO
Wisconsin Three (3) attempts per step Must complete USMLE Steps I, II, and III within ten (10) years of passing the first step; twelve (12) years if MD/PhD One year Two years NO
Wyoming No attempt limit No Time Limit One year One year NO

Note: State Medical License Requirements are subject to change without notice. Last updated 11/2013.

Overview of State Medical Boards

Purpose

The practice of medicine is not an inherent right of an individual, but a privilege granted by the people of a state acting through their elected representatives. The primary mission of state medical boards is to protect health care consumers through proper licensing and regulation of physicians in their state. Every state and U.S. territory has a medical board. It is important to remember that the medical board has no reason to make their application process convenient for physicians. This is what makes our service so valuable, we can complete the whole process for you.

 

Structure

The structure – and even names – of boards vary from state to state. Some boards are independent and maintain all licensing and disciplinary powers, while others are part of a larger umbrella agency, such as a department of health.

All state medical boards belong to the FSMB, a national non-profit organization whose primary mission is to improve the quality, safety and integrity of health care by supporting state medical boards in the protection of the public.

 

Staffing

State medical boards are typically made up of physicians and members of the public, who are, in most cases, appointed by the governor. Board members in almost all states are paid a nominal stipend. The majority of state boards employ an administrative staff that may include an executive officer, attorneys and investigators. Legal services are often provided by the state’s office of the attorney general.

 

Funding

Funding for most medical boards is determined by each state’s legislature. Some boards are funded directly from physician licensing and registration fees.

In response to the 10th Amendment, each state legislature created a Medical Practice Act that defines the proper practice of medicine and the responsibility of the medical board to regulate that practice.

Each medical board uses a range of activities to carry out its responsibility, the scope of which is determined by the board’s legal authority as defined by the state’s Medical Practice Act, and by its financial resources determined by the state’s legislature. The primary means by which a medical board promotes sound medical practice and keeps consumers safe is through licensing and regulating physicians.