Physicians and Surgeons

A Physician or Surgeon (M.D.) is an individual issued a license allowing them to practice medicine. A physician may diagnose, prescribe, and administer treatment to individuals suffering from injury or disease.

Transition from a Postgraduate Training License to a Physician’s and Surgeon’s License

The transition process is for an applicant who currently holds a Postgraduate Training License (PTL) and is transitioning to a Physician’s and Surgeon’s (P&S) license. To apply for the P&S license through the transition process, you must have successfully:

  1. Completed 36 months of Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited postgraduate training, with at least 24 continuous months in the same program; and
  2. Taken and passed Step 3 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination

If your PTL was issued up to completion of 36 months of training and you will be continuing enrollment in an ACGME-accredited program in California beyond 36 months, contact the Board to request a 90-day extension, which may be granted upon receipt of the required documents. If you are transferring to a new program after completion of 36 months of training, your new program must submit a Postgraduate Training License Enrollment Form (Form EF) to the Board. If you are extending training in your current program, the program must submit a Program Status Update/Change form (Form PSU).

Expedited and Priority Review

Your application to transition from PTL to P&S license may be given priority or expedited review if you:

  • Have served as an active duty members 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 a spouse or domestic partner of those on active duty in the United States Armed Forces; or
  • Were admitted to the United States as a Refugee, Granted Asylum, or have a Special Immigrant Visa Status.

Please review additional requirements on the Priority Review and Expedited Application/Registration Process.

How to Apply for Transition

Documentation relating to your application can be submitted at any time; you do not need to wait until your application has been submitted, as that may delay the review. The Board will retain documents for one year; if you do not submit your application and fees in that timeframe, the documents will be destroyed through confidential destruction.


Use the checklist as a guide through the license application process.

Application Information & Checklist