License Requirements

Physician

General Requirements | Fees | Partial Refunds | Education Requirements | Experience Requirements | Examination Requirements | Limited Permits | Applicants Licensed in Another State

General Requirements

Any use of the title "Physician" or practice of medicine within New York State requires licensure. (However, under specified limitations defined in Section 6526 of New York State Education Law, you may be exempt from licensure.)

To be licensed as a physician in New York State you must:

  • be of good moral character;
  • be at least 21 years of age; and
  • meet education, examination and experience requirements.

You must file an application for licensure and the other forms indicated, along with the appropriate fee, to the Office of the Professions at the address specified on each form. It is your responsibility to follow up with anyone you have asked to send us material.

The specific requirements for licensure are contained in Title 8, Article 131, Section 6524 of New York's Education Law and Part 60 of the Commissioner's Regulations.

You should also read the general licensing information applicable for all professions.


Fees

The fee for licensure is $735.

The fee for a limited permit is $105.

Fees are subject to change. The fee due is the one in law when your application is received (unless fees are increased retroactively). You will be billed for the difference if fees have been increased.

  • Do not send cash.
  • Make your personal check or money order payable to the New York State Education Department. NOTE: Your cancelled check is your receipt.
  • Mail your application and fee to:

    New York State Education Dept
    Office of the Professions
    P.O. Box 22063
    Albany, NY 12201.

Please Note: Payment submitted from outside the United States should be made by check or draft on a United States bank and in United States currency; payments submitted in any other form will not be accepted and will be returned.


Partial Refunds

Individuals who withdraw their licensure application may be entitled to a partial refund.

  • For the procedure to withdraw your application, contact the Medicine Unit at opunit2@mail.nysed.gov or by calling (518) 474-3817 ext. 260 or by fax at: (518) 402-2323.
  • The State Education Department is not responsible for any fees paid to an outside testing or credentials verification agency.

If you withdraw your application, obtain a refund, and then decide to seek New York State licensure at a later date, you will be considered a new applicant, and you will be required to pay the licensure and registration fees and meet the licensure requirements in place at the time you reapply.


Education Requirements

To satisfy the education requirements for licensure as a physician, you must present evidence of both A and B below.

  1. Preprofessional Education:

    Satisfactory completion of 60 semester hours of college study from a New York State registered program or the equivalent as determined by the New York State Education Department.

  2. Professional Education:
    1. Graduates of Registered or Accredited Medical Programs

      Satisfactory completion of a medical program registered by the New York State Education Department as licensure-qualifying* or accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and have received the degree of Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, or the equivalent.

      *Does not include schools outside the U.S. that have received Department approval solely to contract for medical clinical experiences (clerkships) in New York State.

    2. Graduates of Non-accredited Medical Programs

      Satisfactory completion of the following:

      • A curriculum of not less than 32 months (4 academic years) in a medical program recognized as an acceptable educational program for physicians by the appropriate civil authorities of the country in which the school is located and receipt of the degree of Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, or the equivalent as determined by the Department. You must complete the final year of medical education at the school that awarded you the degree.
      • A satisfactory proficiency examination. Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certification will satisfy this requirement.

"Fifth Pathway" Applicants

Applicants wishing to qualify under the provisions of section 6528 of the Education Law must complete an LCME-accredited "Fifth Pathway" program. The Education Law is accessible here.

Clinical Clerkships

Your professional education must include supervised clinical clerkships (clinical rotations) as an integral part of the clinical component of your medical education program, that take place in a general hospital or another acceptable health care facility. Clinical clerkships must be performed in accordance with the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction in which they take place.

If you graduated from a non-LCME-accredited medical school located in one country but completed one or more clinical clerkships in a different country, those clerkships must be certified (Form 2CC). This information is not collected by the Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS). For each hospital in which you have completed such a clerkship, the Director of Medical Education or Department Chair must certify your completion of the clerkships.

Child Abuse Identification Reporting:

In addition to the professional education requirement, every applicant for licensure as a physician or limited permit to practice medicine must complete coursework or training in the identification and reporting of child abuse in accordance with Section 6507(3)(a) of the Education Law. See additional information and a list of approved providers for this training.

Infection Control and Barrier Precautions:

Every applicant for licensure as a physician or limited permit to practice medicine must complete approved coursework or training appropriate to the professional's practice in infection control and barrier precautions, including engineering and work practice controls, to prevent the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the hepatitis B virus (HBV) in the course of professional practice. See additional information and a list of approved providers for this training.

Proof of Education

IMPORTANT NOTE: Effective December 1, 2002, all graduates of medical education programs that are not LCME or AOA accredited or registered by New York State will be required to use the Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS).

To ensure authenticity of credentials, the New York State Education Department's Office of the Professions requires that your qualifications for licensure be verified independently.

In the profession of Medicine, the New York State Education Department recognizes the Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS) as an approved credentials verification organization.

The Federation Credentials Verification Services (FCVS) is operated by the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States, Inc. External Link Icon , a national nonprofit organization that provides services for state medical and osteopathic licensing authorities in the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Its primary purpose is to provide a centralized, uniform process for state licensing authorities - as well as private, governmental and commercial entities - to obtain a verified, primary source record of a physician's "core" credentials.

By using FCVS to verify your credentials, you will establish a permanent repository of primary source-verified documents. Once your file is established, these documents will be available for your use at any time. The documents that FCVS verifies and stores for you fall into the following categories:

  • Identity
  • Medical Education
  • Postgraduate Training
  • Examination History (state licensing authorities only)
  • Board Action/Disciplinary History
  • ECFMG Certification (if applicable)

Based on the verification of the above, a concise, non-interpretive "Physician Information Profile" (Profile) is compiled and forwarded to the entity of your choice. Based upon your request, FCVS will forward your Profile to state licensing authorities, hospitals, employers and professional memberships. Once New York State receives your Profile, we will evaluate your education for compliance with New York licensure requirements.

You pay FCVS a fee for gathering and forwarding your initial Profile, and only a processing fee for forwarding additional Profiles (called "Subsequent Requests"). Average processing time to collect and forward your initial Profile is approximately 8 weeks (graduates from medical schools outside the U.S. generally take 2-3 weeks longer). Once your permanent file is established, Subsequent Requests are typically forwarded within 2-3 weeks.

The FCVS is designed to benefit physicians in documenting their qualifications for a career in medicine. The New York State Education Department encourages physicians to use the services of FCVS. Effective December 1, 2002 FCVS is required for certain medical school graduates (explained above).

Most physicians will benefit greatly throughout their career by having their credentials permanently stored and easily accessible. The direct verification procedures meet New York's standards and provide for transmission of credentials to other states for licensure purposes in future years. However, FCVS services may not serve the needs of all applicants. If you are not required to use FCVS and you are applying for a limited permit, we suggest you contact FCVS before deciding to use its services. With these two groups, establishing a Profile with FCVS may not meet short-term needs but may still be a long-term option for your impending career in medicine. Therefore, applicants who are not required to use FCVS should discuss with FCVS the appropriateness of using its services based upon their individual situation.

In addition, in certain circumstances where direct verification of credentials cannot be accomplished, despite diligent efforts by FCVS, it will be necessary for the applicant to work with the New York State Education Department's Office of the Professions to obtain satisfactory independent verification of education.

The Office of the Professions accepts Physician Information Profiles compiled by FCVS. Contact FCVS at 888-ASK-FCVS (or outside the U.S. at 1-817- 868-5000) for additional information regarding the service and its fees. If you choose to use FCVS, you must still apply for licensure in New York State by submitting the licensure application (Form 1), licensure fee of $735, and certain other documentation.

If your credentials are already on file with FCVS, contact FCVS directly at the above number to have them forwarded to the New York State Education Department.

  1. Graduates of New York State programs registered as licensure qualifying or accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA):

    You have two options (whichever you choose, the New York State Education Department will determine the acceptability of your credentials):

    1. You may have the Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS) collect and forward your credentials to the New York State Education Department. OR
    2. You may have your Registrar's office forward a completed Certification of Professional Education (Form 2) which documents that you have satisfactorily completed all requirements for your degree*. The Registrar's office must send the completed Certification of Professional and Preprofessional Education (Form 2) directly to:

      The New York State Education Department
      Office of the Professions
      Division of Professional Licensing Services
      Medicine Unit
      89 Washington Avenue
      Albany, NY 12234-1000.

      *NOTE for individuals using Option B: Forms and transcripts sent from the originating institution to the Department must be enclosed in a sealed official school envelope bearing the institution's name and address. Verifying organizations may take eight weeks or more from the date of your request to send the required independent verifications. The Office of the Professions cannot officially evaluate your credentials until we receive the required documentation. Please consider this time factor in deciding when to submit your application for licensure.

  2. Graduates of programs not registered as licensure qualifying by New York State or accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).

    You must have your educational credentials verified by an independent credentials verification organization acceptable to the Department. In the profession of medicine that is the Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS).

    To obtain an application and instructions to complete the FCVS process, contact FCVS. The FCVS credentials verification process is a process for verifying the authenticity of your educational credentials. It is not an evaluation process. The FCVS process does not indicate approval by the New York State Education Department of the content of your education. After your educational credentials are independently obtained by FCVS they will be evaluated by the New York State Education Department and you will be advised in writing of the results.


Experience

Postgraduate Training Requirements

  1. Graduates of Registered or Accredited Medical Programs

    If you graduated from a NYS- registered or LCME- or AOA-accredited medical program or are pursuing the 5th Pathway route to licensure, you must complete at least one year of postgraduate hospital training in an accredited residency program approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the American Osteopathic Association, or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

  2. Graduates of Non-accredited Medical Programs

    If you did not graduate from a NYS-registered or LCME- or AOA-accredited medical program, you must complete at least three years of postgraduate hospital training in an accredited residency program approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the American Osteopathic Association, or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. For more information, contact the Medicine Unit at opunit2@mail.nysed.gov or (518) 474-3817 ext. 260, or by fax at (518) 402-2323.


Examination Requirements

The current examinations required for licensure as a physician in New York State are either:

  • Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) OR
  • Part I, Part II, and Part III of the examinations of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME)

Other Acceptable Examination Combinations (NBME, FLEX, USMLE)

If you have already completed one of the combinations of examinations shown below prior to January 1, 2000, with scores acceptable to New York State, you can satisfy the examination requirement for licensure in this State by having the appropriate testing body send your scores directly to the Office of the Professions.

Acceptable Examination Combinations FLEX NBME USMLE
Option A Parts I, II, and III    
Option B Components I and II    
Option C   Parts I, II, and III  
Additional
Exam
Combination
Options
  Parts I, II, and Step 3
  Parts I and III and Step 2
  Part I and Steps 2 and 3
  Parts II and III and Step 1
  Part II and Steps 1 and 3
  Part III and Steps 1 and 2
Component II and Part II and Step 1
Component II and Part I and Step 2
Component II and   Steps 1 and 2
Component II and Parts I and II  
Component I and   Step 3

Please Note: Some state-constructed medical licensing examinations taken before January 1, 1972 may be accepted for licensure by endorsement in New York State. For further information, contact the Medicine Unit at (518) 474-3817 ext. 260 or by e-mail at opunit2@mail.nysed.gov.

Admission Requirements for USMLE Step 3

To sit for USMLE Step 3, you must have satisfactorily completed USMLE Step 1 and Step 2. Passing scores on portions of FLEX or NBME no longer fulfill the eligibility requirement for USMLE Step 3.

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) administers USMLE Step 3. You should contact FSMB at www.fsmb.org External Link Icon or by telephone at (817) 868-4041 or by fax at (817) 868-4098 to request information on registering for the examination. Their mailing address is:

Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)
400 Fuller Wiser Rd., Ste 300
Euless, TX 76039-0856

Admission Requirements for NBOME

The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) administers the examination. You should contact NBOME by phone at (773) 714-0622 or on the web at www.nbome.org External Link Icon to request information on registering for the examination. Their mailing address is:

National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME)
8765 W. Higgins Road, Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60631-4101

Reasonable Testing Accommodations

If you have a disability and may require reasonable testing accommodations, contact the Federation of State Medical Boards for information and procedures to follow regarding USMLE Step 3 and the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners for Part 3 of NBOME.

Verification of Test Scores and/or Certification

  • USMLE AND/OR FLEX SCORES

    The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) must certify directly to the Office of the Professions your USMLE and/or FLEX scores. To have your scores forwarded to us you should complete the Examination and Board Action History Report form. The form is available on the web at www.fsmb.org External Link Icon .

  • NBME SCORES

    The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) must certify directly to the Office of the Professions your NBME certification and scores. To have your scores forwarded to us you should complete the NBME Endorsement of Certification Request form. The form is available on the web at www.nbme.org/pdf/endorse.pdf ( External Link Icon PDF 67 KB) or by calling (215) 590 - 9500.

  • NBOME SCORES

    To obtain scores and transcripts, contact the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) at www.nbome.org External Link Icon or by calling (773) 714-0662.

  • ECFMG CERTIFICATION

    The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) must verify your certification based on passing scores sent directly to the Office of the Professions. To have your ECFMG certification forwarded to us, complete the Request for Status Report of ECFMG Certification form which is available at www.ecfmg.org/cvs/forms.html External Link Icon or by calling ECFMG at (215) 386-5900.


Limited Permits

Eligibility

You may be eligible to apply for a limited permit to practice medicine only under the supervision of a New York State licensed and currently registered physician and only in a general hospital, nursing home, State-operated psychiatric, developmental or alcohol treatment center, or incorporated, nonprofit institution for the treatment of the chronically ill. To be eligible for a limited permit, you must:

  • have satisfied all requirements for a license as a physician except those relating to examination and citizenship or permanent residence status in the U.S. OR
  • be an International Medical Graduate (IMG) who has met the education requirement and holds a standard certificate from ECFMG.

Limited permits are granted for an initial period of two years and may be renewed for up to two additional years only if you provide written evidence to the New York State Education Department's Office of the Professions demonstrating progress toward licensure and justifying sufficient cause for such renewal. In no case will a limited permit be extended beyond four years of practice. Applicants for a limited permit must meet the same educational requirements as those applying for licensure.

Note: According to the State Hospital Code (Title 10, New York Codes, Rules and Regulations, Section 405.4, Medical Staff), the following conditions apply if you wish to work under a limited permit in a general hospital:

  1. Graduates of LCME-accredited medicine programs must have completed 1 year of Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-approved postgraduate training.
  2. Graduates of non-LCME-accredited medicine programs must have completed 3 years of ACGME-approved postgraduate training.

Please Note: Persons employed in ACGME-approved postgraduate training programs are not required by the New York State Education Department to have a physician license or limited permit to work in that program.

Policies

Questions about the supervision and scope of practice of a physician working under a limited permit should be directed to the New York State Health Department, Bureau of Hospital and Primary Care Services at (518) 402-1003.

Procedures

An application for a limited permit can be reviewed only after a completed application (Form 5A or 5B), the $105 fee, and the required documentation are received.

If you are also applying for licensure in this State, you may apply for a limited permit (Form 5A) at the same time or any time after you submit your application and a fee for licensure (Form 1), the required documentation, and demonstration of your compliance with the required coursework or training in the identification and reporting of child abuse.

If you are not applying for licensure in this State, you may apply for your limited permit at any time by submitting the limited permit application (Form 5B) and fee, the required documentation, and demonstration of your compliance with the required coursework or training in the identification and reporting of child abuse.

Permitees must notify the State Education Department promptly in writing of any changes in employment or practice status so that the necessary adjustments can be made in the limited permit authorization. An additional fee is not required. A permit authorizing practice in one facility may not be used in another facility without prior approval by the Department.


Applicants Licensed in Another State (Endorsement)

In New York State "endorsement" refers to satisfaction of the New York State licensure exam requirement by acceptance of licensure by examination in another jurisdiction. In addition, full documentation of all other New York State licensure requirements including medical education, preprofessional education, proficiency examination (if appropriate), postgraduate hospital training, valid licensure to practice independently in another jurisdiction, and satisfactory practice following licensure, among other requirements, must be submitted as part of an application for licensure by endorsement.

  • If you are licensed in another jurisdiction and have completed an examination combination acceptable to New York State (see Examination Requirements section), you may not apply for licensure by endorsement.
  • If you have a medical license issued by another state or political subdivision of the United States, have two years of satisfactory professional experience, and are eligible to sit for the New York State licensing examination, you may be eligible for licensure by endorsement if you have passed another comparable licensing examination acceptable to the New York State Education Department. If you passed a state medical licensing examination prior to January 1, 1972, contact the Medicine Unit at opunit2@mail.nysed.gov or (518) 474-3817 ext. 260 to determine if your examination is eligible for endorsement.
  • If you have an independent medical license issued by a Canadian province, have two years of satisfactory professional experience, and meet educational requirements, you may be eligible for licensure by endorsement if you passed the licensing examination of The Medical Council of Canada. Contact the Medicine Unit at opunit2@mail.nysed.gov or (518) 474-3817 ext. 260 for further information.
  • If you have an acceptable medical license issued by a foreign country, have five years of satisfactory professional experience, have acceptable grades on an acceptable clinical competency examination or a diplomate certificate based on experience and examination requirements, and have completed three years of acceptable postgraduate training experience, you may be eligible for licensure by endorsement.
  • You are not eligible for endorsement if you have attempted and failed any part of the New York State licensing examination sequence and not subsequently passed that same part. Contact the Medicine Unit at opunit2@mail.nysed.gov or (518) 474-3817 ext. 260 if you need further information.
Last Updated: August 14, 2014