Tricky question. It’s tough to pin down processing time for a new state medical license because, although the requirements are the same for each applicant, a physician’s unique history and situation impact processing time.
For example, an American medical graduate with no malpractice claims or disciplinary issues, who has practiced in one location for the 10 years since completing training, will take much less time than an American medical graduate with the same length of time in practice, but who worked in five locations and had a significant malpractice settlement.
In VISTA’s experience the wait for a locums license has varied from three weeks in New Hampshire to two months in North Dakota. Temporary licenses, requested in conjunction with an application for a permanent license, can be issued in a month in Hawaii. It may take up to three months to get the same license in South Carolina. Full, permanent licensure can be processed in two months in Hawaii, but may take as long as one year in Texas.
There are also a host of variables that are essentially out of our hands—and yours. VISTA’s licensing specialists are very knowledgeable about most of these processes and calculate an expected delay into the overall time frame when discussing licenses with you. California, for example, has a 45-day waiting period once an application is at the board before any action is taken on an application. North Carolina has specific deadlines for application completion so an application can be reviewed at a scheduled board meeting. The deadline is usually six to eight weeks in advance of the meeting.
All medical boards experience heavy application volume from March through August because physicians are completing their post-graduate training programs and preparing for practice. We plan for an additional one-to- two week delay during this time.