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Physician and Surgeon

License Requirements

Chapter 18.71 RCW

Chapter 246-919 WAC

Credentialing Requirements Verification Documents
Graduation from an accredited or approved medical school Please do not request your official transcripts unless directed to do so by the Licensing Unit. Official transcript with degree and date posted, received directly from applicant’s program. Transcripts not in English must have an official translation. International medical school graduates may request certified copies of transcripts be sent directly to the department from another state or applicant sends original to the department for copying.

Any applicant graduating from medical school after October 11, 1993 must take and pass all steps of the United States Medical License Examination (USMLE) or the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC). Any applicant graduating from medical school before October 11, 1993 would need to have passed the national or state examination required at the time of graduation.

USMLE or FLEX scores must be received directly from the Federation of State Medical Boards. You can obtain the request form through their website.
National board scores must be received directly from the National Board of Medical Examiners. You can obtain the request form through their website.
LMCC must be received directly from the Medical Council of Canada, Le Conseil Medical du Canada. A valid certificate must have been obtained after 1969.
State examinations scores sent directly from the state medical board.

Completion of a residency or other postgraduate training program. Applicant must have successfully completed at least two years of post-graduate training if graduated after July 1985 and one year if before July 1985. Please do not request Post-Graduate Training verifications unless directed by the Licensing Unit. Post-graduate Training Program Director form must be completed by the program director and returned directly to the department. Program staff verifies that program has been accredited by The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. All programs listed must be verified.
Work history (professional training and experience) Must have complete chronology from receipt of medical degree to the date of application or the last seven years, whichever is less. All time breaks of 90 days or more must be accounted for.

Statement about:

  • physical and mental health status
  • lack of impairment due to chemical dependency/substance abuse
  • history of loss of license, certification or registration
  • felony convictions
  • loss or limitations of privileges
  • disciplinary actions
  • professional liability claims history.
Applicant must answer personal data questions. An appropriate explanation and required documentation must be sent with positive answers. If there is a positive answer to the professional liability claims history question, the applicant must send an explanation of the nature of the case, data and summary of care given, copies of the original complaint and the settlement or final disposition. If pending, applicant must indicate status.

Additional Information/Documents Required

  • ECFMG Certificate, if international graduate
  • Successfully passed examination (FLEX, USMLE, National Board Examination or state exam if licensed prior to 1985) – scores verified from appropriate organization/agency
  • American Medical Association (AMA) physician profile – department staff will obtain. If your AMA profile is classified as 'Do Not Release (DNR)' you will need to provide your AMA profile at your own cost.

Renewal Requirements

Physicians must renew their license every two years on or before their birthday. Licensees are required to complete 200 hours of continuing education every four years. Physicians must also complete the Demographic Census for Workforce Planning

  • Suicide Prevention Training - six hours - retain CME certificate (WAC 246-919-435)
  • Opioid Prescribing Training - one hour -  retain CME certificate. Since the rules do not specify what the training must contain, other than it be regarding opioid prescribing best practices, we are not maintaining a list of resources. Any training that is at least one hour, provides CME, and is regarding best practices in opioid prescribing would count as having met the one-time, one-hour requirement. (WAC 246-919-875

Process for Approving/Denying Applications

These applications are considered non-routine and do not fall within our normal processing timeline, as these take longer to review. 

The licensing manager reviews and approves applications as authorized by the WMC except for applications that have the following:

a. positive answers on state, hospital or post-graduate training verifications;
b. applicants without an active license who have not worked for more than three years; and/or
c. positive answers to personal data questions, except for questions regarding malpractice history.

Applications with malpractice history are reviewed by a medical consultant. If the medical consultant determines there is no basis for denying the application, the licensing manager reviews the application and if there are no other positive answers or “red flags”, approves application for licensure. If the medical consultant determines additional information is needed or that a member of the commission should review the file, the application is forward to a reviewing member for a decision.

Applications with positive answers or that are considered “red flag” applications are reviewed by the legal unit and then forwarded to a reviewing board member who presents it to a panel of the commission for a decision. An applicant is formally notified of a denial and has the opportunity for a hearing.