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Iowa Medical License

David Ivaniuk • 11 June 2024 (updated)

License Requirements

  • Medical School Verification & Transcripts
  • Postgraduate Training Verification
  • ECFMG Certification
  • AMA/AOA Profile
  • Criminal Background Check
  • FCVS & Uniform Application
  • Average Processing Time: 2-3 months

Training Requirements

  • 6 attempts at both USMLE Steps 1 and 2 and COMLEX Levels 1 and 2
  • 3 attempts at USMLE Step 3 and COMLEX Level 3
  • 3 years of approved postgraduate training if outside the attempt limit
  • 1 year, 2 years IMG Minimum Postgraduate Training Required
  • 10 years to complete USMLE or COMLEX
  • 10 years for MD/PhD or DO/PhD candidates.
  • Board certification by ABMS or AOA is required if the specified time period is not met.

Iowa Medical Board Contact Info

Iowa State Board of Medical Examiners

In 1886, the 21st General Assembly created the State Board of Medical Examiners to regulate physician license and regulation. Initially, this board issued licenses for a variety of medical fields, including allopathic, homeopathic, and eclectic medicine. It was not until 1902 that the board expanded its licensure to include osteopathic physicians. 

Fast forward to 1921, when the 39th General Assembly established a separate board for osteopathic physicians, only to be integrated back into the State Board of Medical Examiners in 1963 by the 60th General Assembly. This unification resulted in a consolidated board that oversees both medical and osteopathic practitioners. By 2019, the board’s authority has expanded to encompass the licensing and oversight of genetic counselors.

The board is responsible for regulating medicine, surgery, acupuncture, and genetic counseling in accordance with Iowa Code chapters 147, 148, 148E, 148H, as well as Iowa Administrative Code’s Agency No. 653. It exerts significant power, influencing rules through legislative initiatives and administrative rule-making. Enforcing these laws is an important element of the board’s mandate, since it protects the public from practitioners who do not fulfill recognized medical and acupuncture standards.

The board consists of ten members, including five current MDs, two current DOs, and three community representatives. Members are appointed by the executive branch and approved by the Iowa Senate for three-year terms that can be extended to nine years. These provisions guarantee that board membership adapts to the changing environment of medical practice.

The board’s principal goal is the preservation of the welfare, security, and health of the public, which it does through:

  • Licensing qualified physicians, acupuncturists, and genetic counselors.
  • Investigating complaints and implementing corrective measures through peer review groups.
  • Managing an initiative for professionals with disabilities.
  • Defining and revising the scope of practice for medicine, acupuncture, and genetic counseling.
  • Working with appropriate organizations such as the Board of Physician Assistants and the Board of Pharmacy.
  • Adhering rigorously to legal restrictions regarding public meetings, documents, and the use of waivers and deviations.

In the past year, the Iowa Board of Medicine actively supervised 14,884 physicians, 74 acupuncturists, and 113 genetic counselors, highlighting its extensive oversight in the medical field. The Board processed 660 complaints, conducted 719 case reviews, and took 44 public disciplinary actions to uphold professional standards. It also pursued legal compliance by filing charges against 22 physicians and assessing $39,500 in penalties.

Additionally, through the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, the Board expedited the issuance of 653 medical licenses, facilitating faster integration of qualified physicians into Iowa’s healthcare system.

Specialty areaNumber of physicians
Emergency medicine383
Oncology (cancer)164
Endocrinology, diabetes, & metabolism50
All other specialities1,672
Total specialty4,518

Iowa State Board of Medical Examiners Committees

The board utilizes four standing committees, each comprising five members, to streamline its operations during meetings. These committee roles are assigned annually by the board’s chairperson, ensuring that tasks are handled efficiently and effectively.

  • Executive Committee

This key committee includes the board’s elected officers—the chairperson, vice chairperson, and secretary—along with two members appointed by the chairperson. It plays a crucial role in overseeing the board’s executive director, reviewing and recommending budget proposals, and shaping administrative rules, legislative initiatives, and other policy matters.

  • Licensure Committee

Focused on licensure integrity, this committee evaluates completed applications and recommends the appropriate course of action to the board. Its duties may include interviewing applicants and deliberating on licensure examination issues to ensure only qualified individuals are approved.

  • Monitoring Committee

This committee is in charge of overseeing the continued monitoring of doctors and acupuncturists who have received disciplinary measures from the board. It evaluates compliance and makes recommendations for future actions, contributing to the maintenance of good professional conduct standards.

  • Screening Committee

Acting as the initial review point for complaints, this committee evaluates cases forwarded by the staff that are recommended for closure. It determines whether each complaint warrants further investigation or if case closure should be recommended to the board, ensuring thorough scrutiny of all issues raised.

Iowa Medical License Process

The Iowa Board of Medicine has simplified the physician license procedure for more efficiency and accuracy. The application has two primary parts: the Uniform Application for Physician State Licensure (UA) and the State Specific Addendum. Both parts must be filled and submitted, together with the relevant payments, before processing may begin.

  • Uniform Application for Physician State Licensure (UA)

This is the initial part of the application and is utilized not only for Iowa but can be directed to multiple states, enhancing convenience for physicians applying in different jurisdictions. The UA helps to minimize redundancy and speeds up the process when applying for licensure across various states.

  • State Specific Addendum

This second part collects additional details specific to Iowa that are not covered by the UA. It’s accessible through the Iowa Board of Medicine’s Online Services. New users will need to register to access and complete this part of the application.

Once both sections of the application have been submitted, the Iowa Board of Medicine personnel will examine them in the order they were received. Applicants will be notified via email following the first evaluation to discuss any further requirements for completing the application.

Iowa Medical License

How to Get an Iowa Medical License

Applying for a physician’s license in Iowa is a rigorous online process that needs dedication to ensure correctness and completion. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial to assist you manage this procedure successfully:

  1. Initiating the Application

Begin by visiting the Federation of State Medical Boards’ (FSMB) website and retrieving the Uniform Application (UA) for Physician State Licensure. Visit FSMB Uniform Application, and select the Uniform Application from the Licensure menu. First-time users must pay a one-time service charge of $60.

  1. Completing the Uniform Application (UA)

The UA requires comprehensive details including your full legal name, maiden and other names used, physical home and work addresses (not P.O. Boxes), and personal email addresses. It’s essential these details are current and accurate as they form the basis of your licensure records.

  1. State Specific Addendum

After finishing the UA, proceed to complete the State Specific Addendum, accessible via the Iowa Board of Medicine’s website at Iowa Board of Medicine Online Services. New users will need to register before accessing the addendum.

  1. Verification of Licensure

All professional licenses, both active and inactive, must be verified. This includes MD and DO licenses, which are pulled directly from state boards into the UA system. You should enter and request verification for any other professional licenses you have held in the U.S. or Canada.

  1. Detailed Chronology Since Medical School

List all professional activities since graduating from medical school, ensuring there are no gaps in time. Include all employment details, specifying the nature of clinical and administrative duties, and the addresses and dates for each role.

  1. Malpractice History

If applicable, detail any malpractice claims made against you, regardless of the outcome. Provide comprehensive information and attach court documents for each claim.

  1. Supporting Documents

Along with the online application, include the Iowa Specific Affidavit and Authorization for Release of Information form, which needs to be notarized and submitted to the Iowa Board of Medicine. Attach a current passport-quality photograph to the affidavit.

  1. Educational and Postgraduate Training Verification

Use the Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS) to verify your credentials from the main source. This tool streamlines the process by storing a profile which can be updated and utilized for applications to various state boards.

  1. Application Review and Additional Information

Following submission, your application will be considered in the order in which it was received. If the Board requires any further information to complete your application, it will notify you by email.

If there are no administrative paths to issue a license directly, your application may be reviewed by the Licensure Committee, which meets every six to eight weeks, to determine eligibility for licensure.

Iowa Medical License Eligibility Requirements

To practice medicine and surgery as an MD or DO in Iowa, one must obtain a permanent license. Here’s a breakdown of the requirements

  1. Age and Educational Background
  • You must be at least 21 years old.
  • You should hold a medical degree from an institution accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
  1. Qualifications
  • Valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).
  • Fifth Pathway program consistent with American Medical Association (AMA) requirements.
  • Basic science examination or SPEX, holding board certification from a specialty board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and demonstrating five years of unrestricted active practice in the United States or Canada.
  • 3 years of board-approved postgraduate coursework and evidence of five years of unrestricted active practice in the United States or Canada.
  1. Training Requirements

1 year of postgraduate training in a hospital-affiliated program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), AOA, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or the College of Family Physicians of Canada. IMGs must complete 24 months of such training.

  1. Licensure Examinations

You must have passed one of the following multi-part licensure examinations:

  1. Special Considerations

Applicants who have taken more than ten years to complete all three steps of the USMLE or COMLEX without specialty board certification need to contact the Director of Licensure. These individuals do not automatically meet the licensure requirements and may need to request a waiver to administrative rule 653 IAC-9.4(2)e(1). A preliminary discussion with board staff can help determine the feasibility of submitting an application.

Iowa Medical License Cost

The Iowa State Board of Medical Examiners collects the following fees associated with various licensing applications and services:

Iowa Medical License

Iowa Telemedicine Requirements

To diagnose and treat patients via telemedicine in Iowa, physicians and physician assistants must hold a current license. Registered nurses or licensed practical nurses who provide telehealth services for patients in Iowa must either hold a current Iowa license or have an active privilege to operate under the Nurse Licensure Compact. To provide telehealth services to Iowa patients, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners must hold an Iowa board licensure.

For telepsychology, the provider must be licensed in the state that the patient is situated at the time of the telemedicine session. Performing telehealth with a patient in Iowa needs Iowa licensing, irrespective of the practitioner’s whereabouts. To provide telehealth services to an Iowa customer, a hearing aid professional must be licensed in Iowa.

Processing Time for Iowa Medical License

The average processing period for a medical license in Iowa is 90 to 120 days. However, applications received between the months of March and July may take longer to process due to the increased amount of applications submitted throughout the Board’s peak season.

After the initial examination of your application, you’ll get an email from the person who was assigned to your case. This email will include precise instructions on how to submit any more materials or make any necessary changes to complete the application procedure successfully. This step-by-step communication guarantees that applicants may quickly resolve any difficulties, which helps to speed up the approval process.

Iowa Medical Board License Renewal

MD or DO licenses in Iowa must be renewed every two years, and the renewal date coincides with your birthday. The renewal procedure needs a $450 fee and 40 hours of continuing medical education (CME).

For people possessing resident, special, or temporary licenses, those must be renewed annually by June 30.

Physician Assistants are obliged to renew their licenses biennially, having a due date of December 31 in years with odd numbers.

RNs, LPNs, and ARNPs must renew their licenses every three years. The first letter of your surname determines the precise renewal date, which is subject to a $99 renewal cost. Nurses must also complete 36 hours of ongoing education.

In addition, nurses with a temporary permission must renew it within six months of its issue.

Iowa Medical License Lookup

You can verify the status of a healthcare provider’s license in Iowa through the following resources:

Iowa Medical License

These websites are updated in real-time and are free of charge. They allow you to verify a licensee’s name, license number, city, county, or specialty. Disciplinary actions and orders against a licensee can also be viewed.

How to Expedite Iowa Medical License

Iowa has multiple choices for accelerating the licensure process for healthcare providers, thanks to its membership of multiple interstate compacts. These compacts allow practitioners to offer their services beyond state boundaries with greater ease, boosting the flexibility of the medical workforce:

  1. Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC)
  2. Physical Therapy Compact
  3. Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact
  4. Nurse Licensure Compact
  5. EMS Compact
  6. Audiology and Speech Language Pathology Interstate Compact
  7. Counseling Compact

To expedite your medical license application in Iowa via the IMLC, you’ll need to submit thorough personal and professional data along with a non-refundable fee of $700. This technique considerably minimizes the time and difficulty generally required in getting licensing for cross-state practice.

Iowa Medical Licensing Service

MedicalLicensing.com is your primary source for understanding the complexity of state medical licensing. Whether you’re looking for a new license or renewing an existing one, we offer complete services such as initial applications, renewals, verifications, and accelerated licensing processes suited to your individual requirements.

Our professionals have a thorough awareness of each state’s specific licensure requirements. We make sure your application follows all regulatory requirements and fulfills all deadlines. Choose MedicalLicensing.com to manage the bureaucratic hurdles, allowing you to focus on what is most important—providing excellent patient care.

FAQs About Iowa Medical Licenure

  • How do I apply for a medical license in Iowa?
    To apply for a medical license in Iowa, you must complete two online application systems: the Uniform Application (UA) and the State-Specific Addendum. The UA is a common application used by multiple states to collect personal and professional information, while the State Specific Addendum is a supplementary application that requires additional information specific to the Board of Medicine. You must also pay a non-refundable fee and provide proof of your education, training, examination results, English proficiency, mental and physical health condition, and any criminal background. Detailed information and instructions are available on the Board of Medicine’s website.
  • How long does it take to get a medical license in Iowa?
    The processing time depends on the applicant and the completeness of the application. On average, it takes between 60 to 90 days. However, delays can occur due to incomplete or incorrect information, missing documents, verification delays, or issues with the background check. The busiest time of the year for the board is March through July, so processing times may be longer than usual during that period.
  • How much is a medical license in Iowa?
    The application fee is a nonrefundable $495, which must be paid to process the application. The license fees are due after the application is approved. Fees may change periodically, so it is advisable to check the Board of Medicine’s website for the most current information.
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State Requirements

Check out individual state requirements by clicking the links down below.