Senate Bill (SB) 798 has made changes to postgraduate training and licensing requirements for all residents applying for a Physician’s and Surgeon’s Certificate with the Medical Board of California, effective January 1, 2020.  Previously, the Medical Board of California (MBC) only required international medical graduates (IMGs) to obtain a Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter (PTAL) to apply for residency and to train in California. SB 798 revisions no longer require international applicants to obtain a PTAL. Effective 2020, all domestic and international medical graduates must acquire a Postgraduate Training License (PTL) to train in California.

New California Physician Training Requirements

For a license applicant to qualify for a full physician’s license in California, the Medical Board of California previously required US medical graduates to complete 12 months of postgraduate training and for international medical graduates to complete 24 months of postgraduate training. All California physician license applicants must now complete 36 months of accredited postgraduate training at a residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (AGME), Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), or College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC).  Trainees must complete at least 24 consecutive months of physician training within the same program – within the first 36 months – to be eligible for a California Medical Board Physician’s and Surgeon’s license.

Critical Requirements and Timeline for Obtaining the Postgraduate Training License

  • PTL license applicants must obtain the Postgraduate Training License within 180 days of enrollment in the accredited program in California. License applicants are encouraged to submit the Postgraduate Training License application immediately upon acceptance into the program.
  • The Postgraduate Training License remains valid for 90 days after completing a 36-month training program. Within the 90 days, trainees must apply for a full and unrestricted California physician’s license to continue practicing medicine in California. Physician trainees must cease all clinical activities upon completing training until they obtain the unrestricted license.
  • To be eligible for a Postgraduate Training License, applicants must have graduated from a Medical Board of California approved medical school and have successfully completed at least Steps 1 and 2CK of the USMLE Exams.
  • For current residents in training, the deadline to obtain a Postgraduate Training License in 2020 has been extended to August 31, 2020 from the previous June 30, 2020 deadline.

To be eligible for a Postgraduate Training License in California, a license applicant’s medical school education must meet specific requirements set forth by the Medical Board of California. License applicants need to provide transcripts and certifications, and complete various application forms to provide extensive personal and educational information. The Postgraduate Training License Application and the Physician’s License Application forms request detailed explanations for an applicant’s personal and professional activities following medical school graduation, any leaves of absence during training, disciplinary history, practice impairments, and other “unusual circumstances.”

If you are a current or potential resident facing a possible denial of the Postgraduate Training License application or the full Physician’s License application, or you are concerned about a license denial due to an adverse event disclosure, contact Ray & Bishop for a consultation with one of our experienced physician license defense attorneys.

Related Post: Understanding the “Unusual Circumstances” Background Questions on the Medical Board of California License Application

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