Skip to main content

How to Get a Medical License

The medical boards in each state grant medical licenses within their jurisdiction. Specific requirements vary from state to state, but there are general requirements to meet.


  • Step 1: Pass a written Medical Jurisprudence exam if this is a requirement in your state. Once you complete these requirements, you'll finally be able to be licensed M.D.
  • FACT: The medical boards of some states, including California and New York, offer a license to become a midwife.
  • Step 2: Obtain a certificate from the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates if you are a graduate of a foreign medical school.
  • TIP: Most states also require that you pass the individual steps in the examination within 3 tries for each step before you can apply for a license.
  • Step 3: Complete the internship and residency requirements for your state. This requirement varies -- it's usually between 1 and 3 years of postgraduate medical training.
  • Step 4: Pass all of the steps of the United States Medical Licensing Examination. Most states require you to pass all of the steps within a 7-year period.
  • Step 5: Graduate from medical school, which prepares a future doctor for a specialized field.

Popular Categories