Physicians and Surgeons
The Board issues Physician’s and Surgeon’s (P&S) Licenses to allow the practice of medicine in California, in which you may diagnose, prescribe, and administer treatment to individuals suffering from injury or disease.
Paper-Based Applications No Longer Provided After May 19, 2023
Beginning June 1, 2023, the Medical Board of California (Board) will no longer accept or process paper-based applications for a Physician’s and Surgeon’s (P&S) License. The Board will remove the paper application from the Board’s website on May 19, 2023. The switch to a paperless application process helps both applicants and the Board by increasing the efficiency of the review process, enhancing security, and reducing costs and impact to the environment.
For more information on how to submit your application through BreEZe, see “How to Apply for a Physician’s and Surgeon’s License”.
Physician's and Surgeon's License
To be eligible for a P&S License, you must have:
- Attended and graduated from a U.S., Canadian, or an international medical school approved by the Board pursuant to Business and Professions Code (BPC) section 2084;
- Received credit for either 12 (United States and Canadian medical school graduates) or 24 (international medical school graduates) months of board-approved postgraduate training (BPC section 2096); and
- Passed all required examinations (BPC section 2170).
Board-approved postgraduate training is training accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) if completed in the United States and its territories, or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and/or The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) if completed in Canada. The accredited training must include at least four months of postgraduate training in general medicine. (BPC section 2096)
If you have received credit for 12/24 months of Board-approved postgraduate training in another state or in Canada and are accepted into a California ACGME-accredited postgraduate training program, you shall obtain your P&S License within 90 days after beginning your postgraduate training program. If you do not obtain your P&S License, you must cease all clinical service at the end of the 90 days. All clinical service thereafter shall constitute unlicensed practice and you will be subject to disciplinary action. (BPC section 2065(g))
P&S Initial License Renewal Requirement
As a requirement of the initial license renewal, you must provide verification of receiving credit for 36 months of Board-approved postgraduate training, including 24-continuous months of training within the same program.
If your training was part of the MD-integrated Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) postgraduate training program, then you must provide evidence of receiving credit for at least 24 months of postgraduate training accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) to meet the initial renewal requirement. CODA-accredited postgraduate training must be part of an oral and maxillofacial surgery postgraduate training program after receiving a medical degree from a combined dental and medical degree program.
You are NOT required to provide this documentation of postgraduate training after the issuance of your P&S License if you:
- Provided verification of receiving credit for 36 months of board-approved postgraduate training, including 24-continuous months in the same program during the application process, or
- Are licensed pursuant to BPC sections 2135, 2135.5, 2151, 2428, or if you used experience under a BPC 2113 Special Permit to qualify for a P&S license.
Proof of the required postgraduate training must be mailed to the Board and postmarked no later than 60 days after the initial license expiration date to be considered by the Board. Please note that your license will be automatically placed in delinquent status pending review if you do not submit proof of the required postgraduate training within sufficient time for the Board to process it before the end of the 60 days.
Expedited and Priority Review
The Board may give your application for a P&S License priority or expedited review if you:
- Have served as an active-duty member of the United States Armed Forces and were honorably discharged;
- Have received and accepted an offer of employment to work in an area of California formally designated as an underserved area or underserved population;
- Are going to provide abortions within the scope of practice of your medical license;
- Are a spouse of, or in a domestic partnership or other legal union with, an active-duty member of the United States Armed Forces who is assigned to a duty station in California under official active-duty military orders; or
- You were admitted to the United States as a Refugee, granted Asylum, or have a Special Immigrant Visa Status.
You must submit the required documentation with your application to receive priority review. Please review additional requirements and required supporting documents on the Priority Review and Expedited Application Process.
P&S Temporary License
If you are a spouse of, or in a domestic partnership or other legal union with, an active-duty member of the United States Armed Forces who is assigned to a duty station in California under official active-duty military orders, you may qualify for a P&S Temporary License. For detailed information, visit the Physician’s and Surgeon’s Temporary License webpage.
P&S Limited Practice License
If you are eligible for a P&S License but are unable to practice some aspects of medicine safely due to disability, visit the Limited Practice License webpage for detailed information.
How to Apply for a Physician's and Surgeon's License
If you have or have ever held a Postgraduate Training License (PTL), refer to the Transition from a PTL to a Physician’s and Surgeon’s License application page.
Third Party Services
You may use electronic commercial services to assist in completing your application for licensure. The Board does not mandate any of the electronic services. For additional information, visit the Third Party Services webpage. The Board is providing this information as a convenience to you.
To allow sufficient time for processing and remediating deficiencies, the Board strongly encourages you to submit your Application for a Physician’s and Surgeon’s License six months in advance.
Wallet Card and Wall Certificate: Once your P&S License is issued, you may generate and immediately print your own wallet license using the Board's Wallet License Generator. A wallet license will not be mailed to you. The Board will mail your wall certificate to your address of record within two to four weeks.
Note: Do not complete this application packet if you are applying for licensure as an osteopathic physician and surgeon. Please contact the Osteopathic Medical Board of California at (916) 928-8390 for an application and further information.