Let’s face it. Your medical school degrees and successful residencies don’t mean much without actually having a license to practice.
Now, it’s time to get the ball rolling on the most crucial step:
Applying for licensure.
Getting licensed with the Georgia Medical Board requires you to complete an initial application and additional forms to prove you’re a good physician candidate.
If you play your cards right, you might have that Georgia medical license in your hand in a month.
So, what does it take to make the application process as simple as possible in the State of Georgia?
Keep reading to find out step-by-step exactly what you’ll need to do and in what timeframe.
What You’ll Need Before Applying
Applying for licensure through the Georgia Composite Medical Board is a process you’ll only want to do once in your lifetime. So before you begin filling out your application, you want to ensure that you meet all the prerequisites first.
Otherwise, prepare yourself to do this all again in a few months!
Assuming you’ve been in a legitimate medical program, you likely have most of these requirements under your belt already.
Now’s the time to double-check!
Education & Training
The essential prerequisite is finishing your medical education at a certified medical school. You’ll need one year of post-graduate training to be eligible for your Georgia medical license.
For foreign applicants, you’ll have to jump through a few additional hoops.
You need to be sure that your medical school is listed on the directory of *Medical Schools Recognized by the Medical Board of California.
Attendance at a non-accredited school will require you to complete an additional three years of post-graduate training in an ACGME-approved program.
For consideration of licensure with the GCMB, foreign applicants also need an ECFMG certificate.
*On Friday, February 5, 2010, the members of the Georgia Composite Medical Board voted to use the list titled Medical Schools Recognized by the Medical Board of California as its official reference for approval of medical schools located outside the United States and Canada. Graduates of the schools contained in this list are required to complete one (1) year of post graduate training in a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
You dedicated plenty of sleepless nights cramming for the exams you needed to pass to become a physician. Hopefully, you completed and aced the right ones!
The Georgia licensing board currently accepts the following exams from applicants:
- USMLE (Steps 1 through 3 and within three attempts on step 3)
- NBME (Parts I through III)
These test scores will have to be sent directly through the testing agency or via your FCVS profile.
Signing Up for FCVS
The Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS) is a service meant to streamline the application process for future physicians. It also makes it easier to apply to several state medical boards.
In short: FCVS stores your credentials so you don’t have to gather up each document and send it to each individual licensing board.
To make your life a whole lot easier, create an account on FCVS.
You’ll then key in and upload your credentials up until this point. These credentials include your medical school diploma, exams, birth certificate, and internships.
Be sure to select “Georgia” as the recipient state and any other states you’re looking to practice in.
A 20-day period and a hefty $375 fee later, your credentials will be on their way for the GCMB to file with your application.
Once you have your FCVS profile sorted out, be sure to create an account on the georgia.gov official website. This will allow you to see which documents and credentials you still have to submit to the GCMB.
This helps to avoid the “guessing game” that comes with many applications.
Related: Medical School Loan Repayment.
Filling Out Your Initial Application
Now, for the most crucial part of the licensing process: Actually filling out the Georgia medical license application.
This is where you get to show the Board that you’re a strong candidate, capable of handling the responsibilities that come with the title.
The online form version is a great way to be sure you complete each item and that the Board received your application.
Regardless of which type of application you send, you’ll be able to check the status within seven days through your GCMB account.
Here’s a look at what your application entails.
The Basic Information
The Georgia Medical Board starts as any other application process does: By asking for your personal information.
You’ll have to provide identifying information, like:
- Full name
- Social security number
- Type of degree
- Contact information (phone, email, and physical address)
Be aware that the physical address and email address you provide will be where the GCMB sends all correspondence.
So make sure you’re using an email address you check regularly and the residence where you receive your mail.
The Questionnaire & Program Details
Next, you’ll have to fill out a lengthy questionnaire section chock full of Yes/No questions. This section is tedious, and your answer for most will likely be “No.”
Some examples of topics you’ll be pressed on include:
- Past disciplinary actions or unprofessional conduct
- Physical, emotional, or mental disorders that may impact your ability to practice to the Board’s standards (within the last seven years)
- History of controlled substances use
- Current or past registration with the DEA
- Past complains or poor peer reviews
- Restrictions placed on you by Medicare or Medicaid
- Overdue child support payments
- Crimes and convictions to your name
Make sure you tick the “Yes” or “No” box for every question. Failing to do so might stall the eventual approval of your application.
If you answer “Yes” for any question, there’s a little more work for you to do.
You’ll have to gather up any official documents (like a police report) and a written explanation saying why your answer is “Yes.”
Next up, you’ll be asked what you’ve done until this point to complete the state’s requirements. That includes providing information about your medical school, post-graduate training, whether you’re using FCVS, and your legal status.
Provide an answer to every question or criteria, even if it’s just “N/A.”
Additional Documentation & Forms Needed
Anyone can claim to be a medical student in high standing by filling out the medical licensing application online form.
So you need to prove to the State of Georgia that your application is legitimate. You’ll do that by sending in additional follow up documentation to support your claims.
Now, here’s an in-depth look at the extra forms you’ll need to send.
Forms A Through G
You have the choice to print out and complete each form individually. But you can also find them on the tail end of your initial application.
The latter will help you ensure that you haven’t accidentally skipped a form when you send in your app.
Each form has an alphabetical letter.
Be sure to fill out each and every form required of you, even if you find it doesn’t relate to you. So that means fill out the malpractice questionnaire (Form E), even if you’ve never had a malpractice claim filed against you.
These are the forms you’ll need to complete along with your application.
- FORM A (Certificate of Post-Graduate Training)
- FORM B (Reference Form)
- FORM D (Affidavit of Applicant)
- FORM D2 (Affidavit for Medical Board License)
- FORM E (Mandatory Medical Malpractice Questionnaire) — One for each case
- FORM G (Specific Power of Attorney) — Gives somebody else of your choosing the right to check on your application status
Diligence is the most crucial thing when filling out these forms.
Even neglecting to answer one question will lead the GCMB to send your application back. This can add days or even weeks to the process.
A Few Extra Housekeeping Items
Now that you have the application completed and the additional forms squared away, you’re not done yet!
There are a few more pieces of evidence you’ll need to supply the state Board.
Attach your latest resume and CV in your application.
If there are any gaps in your resume, where you took time away from medical school or post-graduate training, include a written explanation.
You also have to attach a copy of a document proving your residency in America, via:
- U.S. or foreign passport
- Military I.D.
- Driver’s license
- Permanent resident card
- Birth certificate
These requirements stand whether you’re a legal U.S. resident or foreign applicant.
Tips for Submitting Your Documents
The Georgia Medical Board prefers you to mail all documents in one envelope (not considering the documents sent over via your FCVS profile, which you don’t need to send again!).
This has two clear benefits: Making sure the countless forms don’t get lost in the mail, and not spending a ton on postage.
Also, here are a few additional guidelines to follow when completing your application and the supplemental forms:
- Don’t use white-out, but instead cross out incorrect information.
- Have your program director and references put their papers in a sealed envelope and then sign across the flap.
- Don’t open any envelopes you receive, they must remain sealed!
- Make sure that all documents that need to be notarized are.
- Don’t fax anything to the Medical Board.
- Send over your license verification if you’ve ever been licensed in Canada or another state via Veridoc.
- Explain any gaps in your resume with a written explanation.
- Return every single form regardless of whether it relates to you.
- Don’t accept a position until your application is approved.
Once you’ve crossed your T’s and dotted your I’s, send in your application along with the $500 fee.
Send the completed app and a check made out to the Georgia Medical Board to:
2 Peachtree Street., N.W., 36th Floor
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Then, wait for the next scheduled Board meeting to find out your fate.
The Cost of Getting Licensed in the State of Georgia
You won’t get approved by the Georgia Composite Medical Board unless you pay the appropriate fees along the way.
The total you’ll owe includes:
- $500 for the application
- $375 to register for FCVS
- $150 for a temporary license (until your permanent license number is approved)
Interestingly enough, the Georgia Board does not require you to undergo fingerprinting, as most other states do.
That’s good news on the financial front and saves you a few extra dollars.
If you want to deactivate your medical license in Georgia at any time, you have the choice to place it on “inactive” status.
This will cost you an extra $200 and an additional $300 for a license reinstatement later on.
The Timeline for Getting Licensed in Georgia
Getting licensed in Georgia can be quicker than it is in other states.
And you can speed the whole process up if you send everything over in one sealed envelope as the Board recommends.
It’ll take about seven days for one of the GA medical board’s applications specialists to look over your application.
Then, your application will spend five to ten days in the “quality assurance” stage.
By the time you complete your application, the licensing Board convenes with all Board members, and you receive your approval:
You’re looking at four to eight weeks.
Additionally, there is an expiration date on your application that lasts for one year.
You must deliver all documents and forms to the state Board within that time. Otherwise, they’ll label your application as “abandoned.” Meaning you’ll have to start from scratch if you pursue Georgia licensure later on.
Fortunately, the State of Georgia will review physician applications in a more timely manner than some other states.
To make sure that you’re getting your license as swiftly as possible, follow these tips:
- Submit all documents in one envelope with your application packet.
- Don’t accept an employment offer until your license has been approved.
- Begin applying three to four months prior to post-graduate training ending.
- Use FCVS to streamline the submission of your credentials to the Board.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to renew your doctor’s license in Georgia every two years. If you’re late it may cost you upward of $2,000 for renewal.
Before accepting a new contract, consider having a specialized attorney and compensation advisor look it over. Contact Physicians Thrive for a full contract review and to help you negotiate before you sign.
Subscribe to our email newsletter for expert tips about finances, insurance, employment contracts, and more!