What does it take to get a Virginia Medical License?

They may not fax scoresGoing to medical school was your dream. Now that you are graduating, the next step is to get a state medical license so you can practice. Each state has different requirements, though. So what do you need to do to get a Virginia medical license?

Why Consider Virginia?

If you are a history buff, the Commonwealth of Virginia seems like a natural choice for you. It sits squarely between the Atlantic Ocean and the Appalachian Mountains, too, so there is plenty of scenery to enjoy.

The Old Dominion is known for its lively culture, music festivals, and stellar medical care. Virginia is home to the University of Virginia Medical Center, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, and the VCU Medical Center, to name a few. It is also a chance to work and train at the Veterans Health Administration.

Before You Apply For Your Virginia Medical License

If you decide to call the Mother of States your home, there are some steps you’ll need to take to practice medicine as a doctor of osteopathy (D.O.) or a doctor of medicine (M.D.) in the state. Read through the sections below to ensure you are a qualified candidate for a license with the Virginia Board of Medicine.

There are two paths to a medical license in Virginia, depending on if another jurisdiction has currently licensed you or not. If this is your first medical license, you will need to obtain your license via the application method. If you have had a current license in another jurisdiction for at least the last five years you may be able to obtain your license via endorsement.

We will go over the requirements for the full application process first.


First, Get the Proper Education

It starts with graduating from an accredited medical school after getting a bachelor’s degree. To sit for an exam, you will need to get either a doctorate in medicine or one in osteopathy. Virginia accepts both for licensure.

You will need to provide official medical school transcripts to the Virginia Board of Medicine. You may not submit the transcripts yourself, the transcripts must bear the school seal and come directly from the school to the board.

MD official school transcript can be emailed directly by the school to [email protected].

DO official school transcript can be emailed directly by the school to [email protected].

You may also use the FCVS credential service to provide your transcripts.

The Federation Credentials Verification Service or FCVS allows you to collect and store all your critical documents for licensure in one central location. Then, the service verifies all the documents and sends them to the board for review as part of the application process.

International Graduates

Virginia also accepts physicians who graduate from international medical schools. Graduates from an international medical school that qualify will need to have Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certification and demonstrate their competency in one of the following ways:

  • Have a medical license in another jurisdiction and actively practice there for at least two years in the previous four-year period.
  • Pass a board-approved clinical competency examination within a year of applying for a medical license.
  • Complete a board-approved postgraduate training program within two years of applying for a Virginia medical license
  • Pass all sections of one of the U.S. national exams (USMLE, NBME, FLEX)

You may also qualify if you hold a medical license in another state or Canada and have actively practiced in their sectors for at least ten years.

As an International Graduate you can request a verification of your ECFMG Certification Status Report and the ECFMG will send your certification report to the Board.


Get One Year of Postgraduate Training

The next  item on the checklist is to get at least one year of postgraduate training. Once you graduate from medical school, you will start your residency. After one year of residency training, you can apply for your licensure.

A completion certificate or program director’s letter of completion must be obtained directly from the postgraduate training institution for internships, residencies, and fellowships within the last five years. If you completed your postgraduate program more than five years ago, you could meet this criterion by emailing a copy of your letter or certificate of completion.

Postgraduate training verification should be in the form of a PDF attachment of the letter of completion or copy of certificate.

MD postgraduate training can be emailed to [email protected], faxed to (804) 527-4426, or mailed to the Board.

DO postgraduate training verification can be emailed to [email protected].

International Candidates

Virginia will accept graduates from international medical schools, but they must have two years of postgraduate training in one specialty.


Take the Proper Exam

You must also pass the competency test to apply for a medical license. M.D.s and D.O.s take different competency tests.

M.D.

If you have a doctor of medicine degree, you would need to pass at least one of the following:

You can pass just one test or a combination to qualify. Virginia does not accept the Puerto Rico licensing exam. However, if you took the MSMLE or FLEX exams, you can get your scores submitted directly to the board by contacting the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) or by calling them at (817)-868-4000. Scores should NOT be faxed and MUST come directly from the FSMB.

For the National Board of Medical Examiners or a combination of the USMLE examination, contact the National Board of Medical Examiners at (215) 590-9500 or http://www.nbme.org to have your scores submitted to the Board.

If you took the LMCC examination, contact the Medical Council of Canada (MCC) at (613) 521-6012 to have your scores submitted to the Board.

For a state examination, contact the state agency or licensure board to have your scores submitted to the Board. The Agency maintaining your score must provide the scores directly and may NOT fax the scores.

Read our Medical Licensing Exams blog for a full breakdown of USMLE, CBSE NBME, MCCQE, and other exams.

D.O.

If you have a doctor of osteopathy degree, you would need to pass at least one of the following:

For the COMPLEX, you can request your scores sent to the board via the NBOME website or by calling (866) 479-6828 or (215) 590-9500.

If you took the LMCC examination,please contact them at (613) 520-2240 to have your scores submitted to the Board. They may not fax scores.

For a state examination, please contact that examining board to have your scores submitted to the board. Note that if you took a state examination after 1969, you must be board certified in a specialty acceptable to the Virginia Board of Medicine to be eligible for a medical license. If this is applicable, you will need to submit a copy of your specialty certificate. While scores may not be faxed, the specialty certificate may be.


Send Documentation of Testing to the Virginian Board of Medicine

The organization that provides the exam must directly provide the text score documentation and they cannot be fax it.. They can also come from the FCVS credential service.

The Virginia Board of Medicine’s mailing address is:

Virginia Board of Medicine
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, VA 23233-1463


Provide Employment Information

As part of the application, you will need to provide a list of all activities beginning with your first activity upon professional school graduation, including but not limited to:

  • Internships
  • Employment
  • Affiliations
  • Periods of non-activity or unemployment
  • Observerships
  • Voluntary service

For each activity or period of time, you will need to provide start and end dates, employer name & location and the position held.

You will also need to mention all places where you have given service or held privileges if you are employed by a group practice or locum tenens/traveler organization.


Provide Licensure Information

You will need to verify any previous licenses held in the U.S. or Canada. As with all documents, they must come from the originating source, in this case, the jurisdiction that provided the license, directly to the board to qualify for a Virginia medical license. License verification may be sent by email to [email protected] or faxed to (804) 527-4426 for M.D. licenses. D.O. licenses should be emailed to [email protected]. You will need to contact the applicable jurisdiction to inquire about processing fees.


Identity Verification

To get a Virginia medical license, you must also undergo identity verification. The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) will do the identity verification. You can fill out a self-query form to start the process. This will cost you $4.00. You will need to provide:

  • Identifying information such as name, date of birth,
  • Social Security number
  • State health care license information (if you are licensed)

They will require this information electronically or via a notarized paper form. Once you get your response for NPDB, you must forward it to the board. You can provide a digitally-certified electronic copy via email or a paper copy of the report mailed to the board. The mailed report must be unopened and sent to the board in the original sealed envelope. It is recommended to use Fed EX or UPS for tracking purposes.

You may complete this identity verification before or after submitting your online medical license application with the Virginia Medical Board. However the medical license application must be completed within 6 months of receipt of the NPDB report or the NPDB report will need to be resubmitted.


The Application Wizard

Once you have all the documentation and meet all the requirements for a Virginia medical license, the next step is to go through the state’s online application wizard. Below, we will walk you through each step of the process. The application process serves as a digital checklist to ensure you meet all the requirements and guides you in how to provide the proper documentation.

There is a separate application wizard for those with M.D.s  and D.O.s. There is limited help if you are struggling with the wizard. They provide a written set of instructions which are the same regardless of whether you are an MD or a DO. There is also a helpdesk you can call if you have technical issues. The number is: (804)-367-4444. The helpdesk will not answer questions about the application process, only help solve technical issues.

If you wish to pause your application at any point, you can click the “Save and finish later” button and return at another time to complete the process. Note that you have 12 months to complete your application. After that time, unfinished applications may be purged without notice.

Despite having separate application wizards for those with MDs and DOs, the process is identical:

Application – pages 1 & 2 – Demographics & Address

The first two pages of the application will ask for your basic information such as your name, date of birth, social security number, phone number, and current address. You will also need to provide any other names that you may have been known by, such as a maiden name. Documentation supporting any name change should be emailed to [email protected].

Application – page 3 – Education

The third page of the application is where you will identify the medical school attended. You will provide the name of the school, graduation date and whether the school was outside of the United States or Canada. You will need to provide official transcripts either before or after the application process. See the Get the Proper Education section above.

Application – page 4 – Employment History

On page four of the application you will include all of your work history as well as periods of nonprofessional activity or employment. You will provide beginning and end dates, employer name and location, and the position you held.

If you need more space to record your activities you can use their supplemental form.

Application – page 5 – Licensure History

Licensure History is asked for on page five of the application. If you have ever been issued a full license to practice medicine in any jurisdiction, you will need to provide the name of the jurisdiction, the license number and the current status of your license. See the Provide Licensure Information section above for further details.

Application – page 6 – Examination

Page six of the application is where you will indicate which Examination(s) or Certification(s) you have completed. You may indicate completion of more than one examination or certification on this page. This page, as well as the summary page, will provide further information on how to send your scores from each of the available examinations. You can also see additional details in the Take the Proper Exam section above.

Application – page 7 – Licensure Questions

The seventh page of the application contains 19 questions pertaining to ethics, disciplinary actions, malpractice claims, mental health, substance abuse and military service. If you answer yes to any of the questions except #1, #9 or #10, you will need to send any supporting documentation to the Virginia Board of Medicine via to [email protected], fax  to (804) 527-4426, or mailed to the following address:

Virginia Board of Medicine
Perimeter Center
9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, VA 23233

Application – page 8 – Malpractice Claims

Page eight of the application asks about your malpractice claim history. If you have had any claims within the last 10 years, whether pending or closed, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Date of the incident
  • Verdict / Settlement Amount (if any)
  • Narrative description of the clinical care provided

If you have had malpractice claims you will need to provide documentation separately.

Application – Summary Page

The summary page gives you the chance to review all of your answers from the preceding eight pages. If you notice any discrepancies, you can use the “Back” button at the bottom of the page to navigate to the appropriate page and make your corrections.

Once you are ready to submit the application you will need to certify at the bottom of the page that your information is complete and correct. You will enter your full legal name and check the box, then click the “Finish” button. But you aren’t actually finished at this time. This will forward you to the next page to begin the process to pay for the fee for the application. Fees are non-refundable.

Your application will not be forwarded to the Board of Medicine until you have submitted your payment.


Licensing via Endorsement

If you are and have been currently licensed in another United States jurisdiction or Canada for the past 5 years, you may be eligible to receive your licensure by Endorsement. But that’s not the only requirement. You must also meet the following criteria:

  1. Hold at least one current unrestricted license in a United States jurisdiction or Canada for the five years immediately preceding your application to the board.
  2. Have been practicing actively (average 20 hours/week or 640 hours/year) for five years after postgraduate training and immediately preceding your application to the board.
  3. Verify that at least one license held for 5 years or more issued by another United States jurisdiction or in Canada is in good standing (defined as current and unrestricted) or if lapsed, eligible for renewal or reinstatement;
  4. Hold current certification by one of the following:
    1. American Board of Medical Specialities
    2. Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists
    3. American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery
    4. Fellowship of Royal College of Physicians of Canada
    5. Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada
    6. College of Family Physicians of Canada
  5. Submit a current report from the US Department of Health and Human Services National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB)
  6. Have no grounds for denial based on provisions of section 54.1-2915 of the Code of Virginia Regulations of the board.

Endorsement Application Wizard

The application process to obtain a Virginia Medical License via endorsement is fairly the same as the full application process. You will need to provide documentation for criterion #3-5 directly above.

Documentation of your current licensure is detailed below in the Endorsement Application – page 5 -Licensure History section below.

Documentation for your Board Certification should be sent from the appropriate entity with which you are certified and is required to come directly to the board from the certifying body jurisdiction. It may be mailed to the address below (Endorsement Application page 5), emailed to [email protected] or faxed directly from the entity to (804) 527-4463.

Documentation for the NPDB Self Query is the same process as the full application section above.

Endorsement Application – pages 1 & 2 – Demographics & Address

This is the same as the full application.

Endorsement Application – page 3 – Education

You will enter your school name and graduation date, but you do not need to provide official transcripts.

Endorsement Application – page 4 – Work History

You only need to provide history for the 5 years immediately preceding the endorsement application.

Endorsement Application – page 5 – Licensure History

Indicate the jurisdiction who holds your current license to practice. You will need to verify one license by contacting the appropriate justice for your license and inquiring about having document forwarded to the Virginia Board of Medicine. Verification should come directly from the jurisdiction or through Veridoc. This document is not provided through FCVS.

Verification can be emailed to [email protected], faxed to (804) 527-4463 or mailed to:

Virginia Board of Medicine
Perimeter Center
℅ Colanthia Morton Opher – Endorsement
9960 Mayland, Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, VA 23233

Endorsement Application – page 5 – Licensure Questions

The 20 questions on this page are similar, but not exactly the same as the same section on the full application. Read them carefully.

You will email, fax or mail any supporting documents related to these questions to the same email/fax number/mail address directly above.

Endorsement Application – Summary Page

This is the same as the full application.


Cost of a Virginia Medical License

There are a variety of fees due throughout the application process. It starts with a $302 application fee. If you need a temporary license, that fee is $25. Once you get your Virginia medical license, the biennial renewal fee is $337.


How Long Does It Take to Get a Virginia Medical License?

After your application has been submitted, whether it is the full application or an endorsement, the Board must then receive all required information relative to your application. You can track the supporting documentation via the application checklist.

Your checklist can be viewed by logging into your application and clicking on the  “View Checklist” link in the Pending Licenses section. This link is only available after you have paid the application fee. You should allow approximately 10 business days from the date of submission for your application checklist to appear.

As supporting documentation is received it will be added to your application checklist. From the date received, it may take up to 10 business days for supporting documentation to be added to your checklist.

If you find that your checklist does not exist or does not indicate certain documents have been received, you can email the board. MD applicants should email [email protected] with “MD Application Question” in the subject line . DO applicants should email [email protected].

Once all information has been received, the Virginia Medical Board will review your application in 30 days or less.

The Board may ask for further information to explain extraordinary aspects, which will lengthen the process. The typical amount of processing time for a Virginia medical license is 3 months or less.

When your license has been issued it will no longer be listed in the Pending Licenses section of the Virginia Department of Health Professions portal. To  view your newly issued license you will then visit https://www.license.dhp.virginia.gov/license/ and login with the current user id and password you used for the licensing application process.

Tip: Getting your medical license is a lot of work. Once you have it, make sure to protect your income with disability insurance. Read our Disability Insurance Guide to learn more.

The Top Places to Live and Work in Virginia

The state of Virginia has a bit of something for everyone. Here are some places to consider after you get your Virginia medical license.

Arlington

Arlington, Virginia, sits on the state border with Washington. It makes Best Places to Live lists every year because of its low crime rate, lively culture, and proximity. It sits close to the Capital, which gives a doctor plenty of options. Within driving distance of Arlington is:

  • VHC Health – Arlington
  • Northern Virginia Community Hospital – Arlington
  • Dominion Hospital – Falls Church

Of course, if you get a medical license for Washington, you would also have access to the excellent health facilities in the Capitol City like Children’s National Med Center and Georgetown University Hospital.

Falls Church

Located near Arlington is the historic city of Falls Church. With only a little over13,000 residents, Falls Church will put you near all the fun but still let you enjoy small-town living. You would also have access to the many hospitals in the area, including the ones in Arlington. Falls Church is also home to one of the top-ranked hospitals in the state: Inova Fairfax. It is nationally ranked as a pediatrics hospital.

Virginia Beach

If you want to be near the ocean, then Virginia Beach is one of the most popular cities in the state. The city also has 14 hospitals, so there is plenty of work in the area. Some hospitals to consider in Virginia Beach include:

  • Sentara Leigh Hospital
  • Sentara Princess Anne Hospital
  • Chesapeake Regional Medical Center
  • Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital

Most of the hospitals in the area serve Virginia Beach and its sister cities, Newport News or Chesapeake.

Richmond

Richmond is the capital of Virginia and home to a population of over 200,000 people. It is also home to the VCU Medical Center Main Hospital, the third-ranked healthcare facility in the state and nationally ranked for its pediatric services. Richmond has a total of 20 hospitals, including:

  • Inova Fairfax
  • Carilion Medical Center
  • CJW Medical Center
  • Bon Secours St Mary’s Hospital

Life in Richmond will also include an emerging craft beer scene, affordable housing, and an easy drive into the nation’s capital.

Charlottesville, VA

If you want to work at the number two top-ranked hospital in Virginia, look to Charlottesville. Charlottesville is the county seat of Albemarle County and has a mid-sized population of just under 50,000 people.

It is also where you will find the University of Virginia Medical Center, nationally ranked for pediatric care.

There is plenty to do and see in the state of Virginia. If you are planning on getting your medical license in this state, give yourself lots of time to complete the process.

Want to work in a different state? We also have guides on getting licensed in many other states!

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