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Physician Licensing Fees and Eligibility Requirements

Here you will find the Physician licensing fee structure, and information on the requirements for Full, Limited, and Temporary licensing in Massachusetts.

There are several physician license categories in Massachusetts based on the stage of your education and career, as well as the role to be fulfilled while working in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Full License: A full license allows a physician to practice medicine independently.

Limited License: A limited license is issued to physicians enrolled in postgraduate training programs in health care facilities in Massachusetts.  All such training must be done in ACGME or AOA accredited programs, or in a fellowship program in a training facility that conducts on its premises ACGME or AOA approved programs. A physician who holds or who has ever held a full Massachusetts license is not eligible for a limited license. A physician with a limited license is prohibited from "moonlighting" under any circumstances.

To request an application for a limited license, please contact the health care facility where the postgraduate training will occur. A limited license application must be signed by a designated official from the postgraduate training program prior to submission to the Board.

Temporary License: There are also several temporary license categories which may be granted by the Board, including: Temporary License for Faculty Appointment; Temporary License for Physician Coverage; Temporary License for Enrollment in Medical Education Course; and Temporary License for Short-Term Faculty Appointment.

License Fees

  • Initial Full License:  $600.00
  • Full License Renewal:  $600.00
  • Lapsed License Renewal:  $700.00
  • Reactivation from Retirement:  $700.00
  • Limited License:  $100.00
  • Temporary License:  $250.00

Full License Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Possess Good Moral Character.
  • Pre-Medical Education: Completion of two or more academic years at a legally chartered college or university, which must include courses in biology, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and physics, or their equivalent as determined by the Board.
  • Medical Education: Completion of four academic years of instruction, of not less than thirty-two weeks in each academic year, in a legally chartered medical school, and receipt of the degree of doctor of medicine or its equivalents from a school accredited by the LCME or AOA.
    • International medical graduates only: Receipt of a degree of doctor of medicine, or its equivalent from a program determined by the Board to be substantially equivalent to the medical school programs accredited by the LCME/AOA.
    • IMG – Off-Site Clinical Rotations/Substantial Equivalency Waiver: IMG’s who completed more than 3 months of any medical school clinical study off-site of their medical school and without supervision by the medical school faculty must submit a request for a waiver of substantial equivalency of medical education.
      • The Board has determined the medical education received at the following schools is substantial equivalent to that of an LCME/AOA accredited medical school. Graduates of these schools do not need to request a waiver of substantial equivalency: 
        • St. George’s University School of Medicine;
        • SABA University;
        • Ross University School of Medicine; and
        • The American University of the Caribbean. 
      • To be eligible for a waiver of substantial equivalency, an applicant must meet, at a minimum, the following requirements: 1) have held a full license in another state for at least two years. Any time spent in postgraduate training cannot be used towards calculation of this two year requirement; 2) be board certified by ABMS or AOA; and 3) must have passed all Steps of the USMLE or all Levels of the COMLEX within 7 years.
  • Postgraduate Medical Education:
    • U.S. or Canadian medical school graduates: Completion of two (2) years of ACGME, AOA or Canadian accredited postgraduate medical training.
    • International medical school graduates: Completion of three (3) years of ACGME, AOA or Canadian accredited postgraduate medical training.
  • ECFMG Certificate: International medical graduates only. Possession of an ECFMG certificate which is valid on its face and valid as of the date of licensure.
  • Examination requirements:
    • USMLE Steps 1, 2 and 3 or COMLEX Levels 1, 2 and 3;
      • 7 Year Time Limit: All Steps of the USMLE and all Levels of the COMLEX must be completed within 7 years. The Board may, in certain circumstances, grant a waiver of the 7 year time limit.
      • Step/Level Attempt Limit: Each Step/Level must be passed by the 4th attempt. No waiver is available for applicants that did not pass a Step/Level by the 4th attempt.
      • Step 3/Level 3 Attempt Limit:  If an applicant failed Step 3/Level 3 on the 3rd attempt, he/she must complete a year of ACGME/AOA postgraduate training prior to his/her 4th attempt.  The Board may, in certain circumstances, grant a waiver of this requirement.
    • FLEX Components 1 and 2;
    • NBME Parts I, II and III;
    • All parts of the MCCQE; or
    • A state examination given prior to June 19, 1970.
  • Completion of opioid and pain management training.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in electronic health records.
  • Completion of training in child abuse or neglect recognition and reporting.
  • Completion of domestic and sexual violence education and training.
  • MassHealth enrollment.
  • Certify compliance with applicable laws of the Commonwealth.
  • Submit a complete full license application and sign and swear to the contents of his/her full license application.
  • Pay full license application fee in full.

Limited License Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Possess Good Moral Character.
  • Pre-Medical Education: Completion of two or more academic years at a legally chartered college or university, which must include courses in biology, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and physics, or their equivalent as determined by the Board.
  • Medical Education: Completion of four academic years of instruction, of not less than thirty-two weeks in each academic year, in a legally chartered medical school, and receipt of the degree of doctor of medicine or its equivalents from a school accredited by the LCME or AOA.
    • International medical graduates only: Receipt of a degree of doctor of medicine, or its equivalent from a program determined by the Board to be substantially equivalent to the medical school programs accredited by the LCME/AOA.
    • IMG – Off-Site Clinical Rotations/Substantial Equivalency Waiver: IMG’s who completed more than 3 months of any medical school clinical study off-site of their medical school and without supervision by the medical school faculty must submit a request for a waiver of substantial equivalency of medical education.
      • The Board has determined the medical education received at the following schools is substantial equivalent to that of an LCME/AOA accredited medical school. Graduates of these schools do not need to request a waiver of substantial equivalency: 
        • St. George’s University School of Medicine;
        • SABA University;
        • Ross University School of Medicine; and
        • The American University of the Caribbean. 
      • To be eligible for a waiver of substantial equivalency, an applicant must meet, at a minimum, the following requirements: 1) have held a full license in another state for at least two years. Any time spent in postgraduate training cannot be used towards calculation of this two year requirement; and 2) be board certified by ABMS or AOA.
  • ECFMG Certificate: International medical graduates only. Possession of an ECFMG certificate which is valid on its face and valid as of the date of licensure.
  • Examination requirements:
    • USMLE Steps 1 and 2; or
    • COMLEX Levels 1 and 2; or
    • All parts of MCCQE (LMCC).
  • ACGME/AOA Approved Position: Proof of an appointment to an ACGME or AOA approved postgraduate training program in Massachusetts or a fellowship in Massachusetts health care facility, which conducts on its premises ACGME or AOA approved programs.
  • MassHealth enrollment.
  • Certify compliance with applicable laws of the Commonwealth.
  • Sign and swear to the contents of his/her limited license application.
  • Pay limited license application fee in full.

 

Temporary Licenses

There are several temporary license categories which may be granted by the Board to a physician, pursuant to M.G.L. c. 112, § 9B (1):

Category 1: Temporary Faculty Appointment
A visiting physician holding a license in another state or territory who has a temporary faculty appointment (instructor, associate professor, assistant professor or higher) certified by the dean of a medical school in the Commonwealth for purposes of medical education in an accredited hospital associated with a medical school.  A temporary faculty appointment license may be renewed for a maximum of three years.

Category 2: Temporary License for Physician Coverage
A temporary license may be granted to a physician who is licensed to practice medicine in another state, or a physician who is eligible for a Massachusetts medical license and is a diplomate of a specialty board approved by the AMA or AOA. Such temporary license enables him/her to act as a substitute physician for a fully licensed Massachusetts physician who is sick, on vacation or maternity leave. Category 2 is limited to three months.

Category 3: Enrollment in Medical Education Course
Category 3 enables a physician with a current full medical license in another state, territory, the District of Columbia or another country to attend a course of continuing medical education in Massachusetts. Category 3 temporary licensure will terminate automatically at the completion of the CME course and, in any event, at the end of three months.

Category 4: Visiting Short-Term Faculty
A short-term temporary license may be granted to a physician who wishes to serve for not more than thirty days as visiting faculty in an accredited hospital associated with a medical school in Massachusetts.Top of Form.

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