Understanding licensing requirements is really important to physicians interested in the flexibility and freedom of locum tenens assignments or extended placements. More and more hospitals are requiring physicians to be ABEM only. Some physicians erroneously think they will be fine because they're Board Eligible. The following information should help set the record straight:
- Board Eligible is no longer recognized – a physician must now fully complete residency (either 36 or 48 months, depending on the program). The new term is Board Prepared. There is NO grandfathering of the old policy.
- There is no deadline for a physician to sit for the boards – a physician can wait 20 years after completing residency, for example. However, that physician must complete a minimum of 50 CME hours each year after completing residency and before taking the exam.
- After registering for the qualifying exam, a physician has three years to sit for the boards. Once three years is up without the exam being taken, a physician's status becomes Inactive. (The 50 CME hour requirement explained above applies during these three years. If three years elapse and the CME requirement has been met each year, a physician may re-register to take the boards.)