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State Education Department Seeks Changes in Physician Licensure Requirements

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The State Education Department (SED) Board of Medicine is seeking regulatory changes to physician licensure requirements for New York State and new requirements for maintenance of licensure.

Currently, a physician who has completed one year of post-graduate training and passed two of the three levels of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is eligible for a license in New York State. The proposed regulation would require that a physician complete three years of categorical residency training and pass the third level of the USMLE to be eligible for a license.

For maintenance of licensure:

  • board-certified physicians would have to demonstrate continued competence by an authorizing entity approved by the Board of Medicine;
  • non board-certified physicians would have to demonstrate continued competence by possessing credentialing verification and practice privileges at The Joint Commission-accredited hospitals;
  • non-certified licensed physicians who do not have hospital privileges would have to demonstrate current competence by completing 50 annual hours of continuing medical education; and
  • physicians licensed before these requirements would retain certification through a special “grandfather clause.”

Additionally, the Board is considering creating a “resident license,” to be renewed annually through SED at the resident’s expense. This license would enable a resident who meets all the specified criteria to write a prescription for medications or durable medical equipment without the explicit approval of a supervising physician. Currently, residents can write prescriptions that must be approved by their supervising physician.

The New York State Board of Medicine plans to develop language for these proposed regulations in January, for final passage in June. HANYS will meet with SED to further discuss the impact of these proposals. Contact: Sherry Chorost

Published December 9, 2009