How to Obtain your Michigan Medical License

If you are considering pursuing a Michigan medical license, there are a few reasons this could be the ideal state for you. Michigan is known for many things, such as good quality higher education, natural beauty, and a moderate cost of living (MCOL). Its economy ranges, and its people are known for their true Midwestern values. Michigan is a state noted for its good quality of life, which also translates into a medical practice that is more hands-on and invested in each patient.

Applying for a medical license in Michigan requires meeting the specifics of the state’s medical board. Here’s what to consider.

Complete Medical School

To become a physician, individuals must have completed medical school. This typically means earning 90 credit hours within an approved medical program through an accredited medical school.

Medical Examination in Michigan

The state requires all applicants for licensing to complete the USMLE Step 3 Medical Examination. This is conducted over a two day period. To take this test, the applicant must first apply to the Federation of State Medical Boards as well as to the Michigan Board of Medicine. The Federation of State Medical Boards will determine the applicant’s eligibility for the exam and, when they do, accepts applications for the test.

Related: USMLE, CBSE NBME, MCCQE, + More: Medical Licensing Exams Explained

Licensing Requirements in Michigan

The state has a number of specific licensing requirements that must be met, no matter if the applicant is applying for their first license or they are moving into the state to practice medicine. Some of those requirements include the following:

Controlled substance license

Any medical provider that plans to prescribe, dispense, make, or distribute any type of controlled substance must have both a medical doctor’s license as well as a state-issued controlled substance license. You must do this on the same application.

Opioid training

Any medical provider that wants to have a controlled substance license must complete an opioids and controlled substances awareness program. This program has to meet the Board of Pharmacy Controlled Substances Administrative Rules set by the state. This is a one-time step.

Background check

The state requires all medical applicants to complete a criminal background check. This is done after the medical license application is sent in. The Medical Board will then send an Application Confirmation letter that provides specific steps to take to complete the background check.

Answering moral character questions

The application for a medical doctor contains a number of questions that relate to the doctor’s character and morals. These questions aim to ensure that the applicant will:

  • Serve the public in a fair way
  • Provide honest information
  • Provide open support for patients
  • That the doctor is rehabilitated or a former offense is not related to your occupation (if this applies)

Implicit bias training

The state now requires applicants to complete two hours of implicit bias training prior to completing their application. This is done one time every five years. It requires two hours of training that meets the state’s requirements.

Human trafficking training

The state requires that all applicants must complete a human trafficking informational program. This program is designed to provide doctors with information on how to identify a victim of human trafficking. It is a requirement to take this course one time prior to seeking licensing.

Prior license verification

For anyone that has held a medical license in another state or in Canada, Michigan requires a formal verification of licensure to be completed. This allows the state to verify that the license is in good standing and to examine any disciplinary action that has been taken against the individual.

Data about your education and more

The state’s application for medical licensing also requires an individual to provide the following:

  • A list of hospital affiliations, including the hospital the doctor worked with, who they were employed under, and a contact name for verification
  • Professional education information, including the educational program completed and the school attended
  • English language proficiency demonstration

Test scores and verification

A Certificate of Medical Education Form must be submitted by the medical school directly to the Medical Board in Michigan. This cannot be submitted by the applicant. Rather, the school must send this form to the following:

Bureau of Professional Licensing

PO Box 30670

Lansing, MI 48909

Or email it to

For USMLE Examination Scores, the student will need to request that the Federation of State Medical Boards submits their official test score to the Medical Board directly. It must show that the student passed the exam.

Postgraduate training

After receiving their education, the student must also have completed at least two years of postgraduate clinical training. A Certificate of Completion of this training must be completed and submitted to the Medical Board by the Director of Medical Education at the location where the applicant completed their training. This can be sent to:

Bureau of Professional Licensing

PO Box 30670

Lansing, MI 48909

Or email it to

Related: Guide to Practicing Medicine in Michigan

Completing the Medical Board Application for Licensing

The state of Michigan provides an online application for medical doctor licenses. The state no longer processes paper applications. To complete the application, applicants can visit and choose the most appropriate document to complete.

You must complete all fields, and you must fill in all questions. There may be supporting documentation that needs to be submitted along with the information from the application.

Then, students need to complete the Controlled Substance License if they plan to prescribe or otherwise manage medications related to controlled substances.

Read this: What it Takes to be a Traveling Physician

Application Fee

To submit this application, students need to pay an application fee plus a three year license fee. This is $367.70 for the license and $254.10 for Controlled Substance licensing.

Differences Between Osteopathic Physician (DO) Licensing and Medical Doctor Licensing (MD)

The state of Michigan has the same requirements for licensing for DOs as they do MDs. That includes all recognized educational requirements and screenings.

In addition, applicants must also submit their COMLEX Scores that show that the student has passed this exam. This must come directly from the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME). To do that, applicants must visit the NBOME website at and complete the steps required by the organization.

NBOME must send the verification to:

Bureau of Professional Licensing

PO Box 30670

Lansing, MI 48909

Or email it to


In addition to other requirements, DOs must also provide official transcripts that confirm that they completed all requirements for their education and were awarded a degree in osteopathic medicine. The date conferred must be provided as well. This information must come directly from the school of osteopathic medicine that the Medical Board of Michigan has approved. That school then mails this information to:

Bureau of Professional Licensing

PO Box 30670

Lansing, MI 48909

Or email it to

Postgraduate clinical licensing

DOs also must submit a certification of satisfactory completion of at least one year of postgraduate clinical training. This training must come from a Board-approved provider. The applicant must have the Medical Director or Superintendent of the program submit the necessary documentation, a Certification of Completion of Postgraduate Training to the following address:

Bureau of Professional Licensing

PO Box 30670

Lansing, MI 48909

Or email it to

Licensure by Endorsement for MDs and DOs

The above methods are related to those applying for their medical license in Michigan through an examination. However, the second method to doing this is called obtaining a license through endorsement. This method is available to those who have held an active, full MD license in another state outside of Michigan. Both DOs and MDs must apply for a medical license in Michigan to practice here.

For MDs

For those who wish to apply for licensure by endorsement for those licensed to practice for at least 10 years prior to the application date, all data from above must be supplied. In addition to this, MDs must also provide verification of their licensure in another state. To do this, they must have the office of that licensing agency in the other state provide verification of it. This may include showing proof that the applicant’s license is in good standing. If the MD has had any type of disciplinary action against them or has pending information about that is also necessary. This information is then sent to:

Bureau of Professional Licensing

PO Box 30670

Lansing, MI 48909

Or email it to

For ODs

For OD applicants who wish to apply for licensure by endorsement, they must submit all information listed above for DOs as well as additional information. This must include one of the following.

The applicant must be licensed and in good standing in another state and has been actively practicing osteopathic medicine or surgery for at least the previous five years. OR

The applicant must be licensed in good standing and engaged in practice for under five years but also passed all components of the COMLEX and completed one year of board-approved clinical training postgraduate.

The OD applicant must send this information to the following:

Bureau of Professional Licensing

PO Box 30670

Lansing, MI 48909

Or email it to

Provider Review: Northpointe Bank in Grand Forks, Michigan

Graduates of Foreign Medical Schools

Michigan requires those seeking a medical license in the state to provide information about where they went to medical school. For those who went to a foreign medical school, there are some additional steps necessary for the applicant to follow. This includes the following:

Verification of the applicant’s Educational Commission for the Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) must be provided. This must come from the ECFMG office directly. To request this, visit for more information.

Applicants also must submit their USMLE examination scores. This comes from the Federation of State Medical Boards directly.

Additionally, applicants must also provide a Certification of Completion that shows they have completed a full two years of postgraduate training. This must come from the Director of Medical Education at the location where the physician completed the training. The Director of Medical Education must send it directly to the Medical Board in Michigan at:

Bureau of Professional Licensing

PO Box 30670

Lansing, MI 48909

Or email it to

For those in Canada, the same applies. You must include verification of the educational requirements for a medical doctor’s license and the Canadian province or other licensing organization must submit it. Verification of existing license must also be provided, as does all USMLE examination scores.

Related: 3+ Ways for Foreign-Born Physicians to File for a J-1 Waiver

How Long Does It Take to Get Your Medical License in Michigan?

Most of the time, the process takes about 6 to 8 weeks. There are various factors that can slow this down. For example, it is best to email all documentation and fill out the application online, as that speeds up the process. This is faster than mailing that information.

Other Licensing Paths That May Be Available

There are several other types of medical licenses available in Michigan to consider.

Educational limited MD

The Michigan Medical Board gives this license to those that have been placed (accepted into) a postgraduate training program. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)That program must accredit the program. A formal application following the above methods (applying online) is necessary to complete this licensing request.

Special volunteer MD

The state may award a special volunteer MD license for those who retired from active practice as an MD. However, this person may want to donate their time and experience in some way to the healthcare or treatment of people who are indigent or otherwise needy. They may also give this special license if the person provides care to people who are considered medically underserved in areas of Michigan as long as they are not accepting payment or any compensation for doing so.

Clinical academic MD

Some people may be able to obtain a clinical academic MD license if they wish to practice within the health profession but only to do so as a part of an academic institution. This is only allowable when there is a need in connection with the applicant’s employment of contract with the academic institution.

How Long Are MD Licenses in Michigan Good For?

Medical doctor licenses are valid for three years from the date the Board issued them. Educational limited licenses and clinical academic licenses are valid for one year and may only be renewed five times.

Learn how to get licensed by other state boards in our Medical Licensing Library.


In conclusion, obtaining a medical license in Michigan requires completing a number of steps, including completing medical school, passing licensing exams, and fulfilling any additional requirements set forth by the Michigan Board of Medicine. While the process may seem daunting, it is an essential part of becoming a licensed physician in the state.

If you’re not sure that Michigan is where you want to be, check out our ebook, the Top 10 Places to Live and Work for Physicians. This ebook is a comprehensive guide to finding the perfect location for your medical practice, complete with information on cost of living, job opportunities, and quality of life. We hope this resource will help you find the perfect place to begin your medical career in Michigan.

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