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Puerto Rico Medical License

Medicallicensing Team • 2 July 2024
Puerto Rico

License Requirements

  • Medical School Transcripts
  • Internship/Residency/Fellowships
  • All State Medical Licenses
  • Examination Scores
  • Undergraduate University Transcripts
  • Medical School Verification Form
  • Medical School Dean’s Letter
  • 2 Puerto Rico Licensed Physician References
  • Puerto Rico Criminal Background Check

Training Requirements

  • No USMLE Step attempt limit
  • 7 year USMLE limit
  • 1 Year Postgraduate Training
  • No 10 year Rule
  • No SPEX Requirement

Medical Board of Puerto Rico

Medical Board of Puerto Rico: License Requirements, Steps, Renewals

Puerto Rico is dealing with a significant dilemma as physicians continue to depart the island, raising widespread concerns about the effect on local healthcare. This departure has been connected to a number of issues for patients here, including a scarcity of specialists, long wait times for appointments, congested medical facilities, and concerns about the health system’s ability to address increasingly complicated medical requirements.

Based on Health Department data, the amount of physicians who practice in the state has dropped dramatically from 14,500 in 2009 to barely 9,000 in 2020, with over 8,000 physicians leaving the profession in the following thirteen years. In 2022, roughly a quarter of active physicians were IMGs, with PR having the highest percentage (47%). Additionally, it stands out for having one of the highest percentages of older physicians—35.5% are aged 65 and above.

aging population of puerto rico

Interestingly, Puerto Rico’s Medical Board has relatively lenient training requirements for international medical school graduates, needing only one year of approved ACGME training in internship, residency, or fellowship programs. The Board itself consists of nine members, all of whom need to be U.S. citizens and permanent residents of PR, holding a Doctor in Medicine degree and a valid medical license from the Board. They must have been practicing in the state for at least seven years before their appointment, and at least one of them is required to have a minimum of five years’ full-time teaching experience in a medical field at an accredited medical school.

Board members cannot live in a metropolitan region for over fifty percent of their tenure and are not permitted to serve a maximum of two consecutive terms. They are also barred from having important positions such as shareholders, board members, directors, or top executives in any health-care-related company, including insurance, medicines, integrated care, or educational institutions. This ensures independence while focusing completely on improving healthcare norms and procedures on the island.

Puerto Rico Medical License Exam

The Puerto Rico medical licensing board exam, the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination), is conducted semi-annually, with precise regulations in place. Candidates have a seven-year window to pass all sections—Basic Sciences, Clinical Sciences, and the Practical Examination—without limit on attempts, though after four failures in any part, additional continuing education is required. If a candidate fails to pass within seven years, no further attempts are permitted.

Examinations include written and practical components and can be taken in either Spanish or English. The Board sets the passing scores beforehand and may delegate practical exam proctoring to accredited local physicians.

puerto rico img rate

Puerto Rico Medical License Requirements

To operate as a licensed physician in Puerto Rico, you must be of legal age and have a medical or osteopathy degree, or a valid certificate from a Board-recognized school. For Puerto Rican institutions, these programs must also be authorized by the Council on Higher Education of Puerto Rico.

Candidates for a Puerto Rico medical license must provide a wealth of information including:

  • Full legal names and any aliases used.
  • Current address, date, and place of birth.
  • Recent signed photograph and/or identification documents.
  • Detailed educational history starting from high school through all post-graduate education.
  • Professional history including all places of residence, employment, and military service if applicable.
  • All jurisdictions where the licensee has been licensed, applied for licensure, relinquished licensure, or been denied licensure.
  • Any disciplinary actions or legal sanctions relevant to the practice of medicine.
  • References from two Puerto Rico licensed physicians.

Examination and Educational Proof:

  • Successful completion of the USMLE or an equally stringent exam approved by the Board.
  • Medical school transcripts and a Dean’s letter from the attended medical school.
  • Internship/Residency/Fellowship completion in a Board-approved hospital, with documentation.
  • Examination scores from the USMLE or equivalent examinations.
  • Undergraduate university transcripts.

Legal and Compliance Documents:

  • Knowledge of Puerto Rican medical practice laws and controlled substance regulations.
  • Criminal background checks from Puerto Rico and any local residences.
  • Notarized attestations to verify the accuracy and authenticity of provided documents.
  • A no-default certificate from the Child Support Administration indicating compliance with child support obligations.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate good moral character, evidenced by a certificate of good conduct issued by the Puerto Rico Police. Also, a personal appearance before the Board may be necessary for an interview or review of credentials.

Puerto Rico Medical License Application

Applying for a medical license in Puerto Rico involves different categories, each tailored to specific qualifications and situations. Here’s a breakdown of the license types available:

Regular License: This is granted to applicants who fulfill all the standard requirements and pass the necessary exams as outlined in the local regulations.

Special Licenses:

  • Reciprocity-Based Licenses: For physicians licensed through examinations in any U.S. state that has a reciprocity agreement with Puerto Rico’s Medical Discipline and Licensure Board.
  • National Board Diplomates: For those holding a diploma from the National Board of Medical Examiners of the U.S., or who have passed the Federation of State Medical Boards’ licensure exam (FLEX).

Provisional Licenses:

  • Non-Profit Medical Facility Staff: Provisional licenses can be issued to doctors from other U.S. states practicing at non-profit hospital facilities in Puerto Rico, valid until they meet the regular licensing requirements.
  • Renowned Physicians and Osteopaths: Those with an outstanding scientific reputation who wish to practice in Puerto Rico temporarily may receive a one-year provisional license, extendable by another year, provided they practice exclusively at the request of Puerto Rico’s Secretary of Health.
  • Emergency Services Providers: Physicians from other jurisdictions who come to assist in emergency services during disasters can receive a provisional license, following approval by the Department of Health.
  • Volunteer Services: Physicians practicing legally elsewhere who offer free volunteer medical services in Puerto Rico may get a provisional license valid for up to 90 days annually, with no fee required.
  • Medical Tourism: Under the Medical Tourism Act, physicians can accompany their patients for treatments in Puerto Rico for up to 180 days, provided the facilities are certified under local regulations.

Each type of license serves a specific purpose, ensuring that all physicians practicing in Puerto Rico meet the stringent standards set by the local Medical Board, whether they are residents, visitors, or emergency responders.

puerto rico medical license application

How to Get a Puerto Rico Medical License

Obtaining a medical license in Puerto Rico involves steps that ensure candidates meet the necessary qualifications:

  1. Complete the Application Form.

Download and fill out the application form for a medical license in Puerto Rico. Ensure the form is notarized before submission.

  1. Provide Identification.

Include a valid identification document, such as an ID or driver’s license, with your application.

  1. Submit Educational Qualifications.

Obtain transcripts from the medical school you attended. Provide proof of completion of your medical degree (MD or DO).

  1. Pass Required Examinations.

Arrange for your USMLE grades to be officially certified and delivered straight from the relevant university.

  1. Undergo a Criminal Background Check.

Provide a criminal background certificate from the Puerto Rico Police Department. Complete criminal background checks for all countries and states where you have lived in the five years prior to this one.

  1. Demonstrate Professional Conduct and Fitness.

Submit a certification of excellent moral behavior from two qualified physicians in Puerto Rico. Include a statement outlining any past suspensions, revocations, or disciplinary proceedings involving any medical licenses you have held.

  1. Pay Application Fees.

Pay the application charge using a bank order, check, or a credit card (MasterCard and Visa).

  1. Language Proficiency.

Spanish is the major language used for interactions and paperwork in Puerto Rico, therefore demonstrating your competence in it.

  1. Submission and Review.

Send the filled-out application and all accompanying documentation to the Medical Licensing & Discipline Board of Puerto Rico.

By completing these processes and ensuring that all documentation is exact and complete, applicants can get a medical license to practice in Puerto Rico.

Processing Time for Puerto Rico Medical License

The Board updates its records every two weeks. Therefore, any information provided or received may have a two-week lag in accuracy. The licensing process with the Puerto Rico Medical Board is notably slow.

When applying for your medical license in Puerto Rico, it’s important to factor in the delays. Anticipating longer processing times will help you plan better and reduce any potential stress associated with awaiting your license.

Puerto Rico Medical License Cost

The initial application fee for obtaining a medical license in Puerto Rico for both MDs and DOs is $500. This fee doesn’t include all administrative costs.

Puerto Rico Medical Board License Renewal

Navigating the medical license renewal procedure at the Puerto Rico Medical Board is critical for keeping your professional standing and providing continued healthcare services. Healthcare practitioners must keep up with the newest medical practices by obtaining the requisite continuing education hours every three years. It is crucial to remember that specialist certificates may need additional credits or certain types of training. The board provides an automated email notice 90 days prior to the license expiring.

Core Requirements:

  • AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™: At least 40 of the 60 hours must fall under AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.
  • Specialty Focus: Half of these credits should relate directly to your medical specialty or subspecialty.

Additional CME Components:

  • Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: Dedicate 10 hours to learning about disease prevention and health promotion.
  • Bioethics and Professionalism: Secure 6 credits here, with at least 2 focusing on gender non-discrimination.
  • Emergency Skills: Physicians in emergency departments must engage in life support and other emergency-related courses.

For renewing your medical license in Puerto Rico, you’ll need to clear several administrative hurdles. Start by securing a negative certification from the Child Support Administration (ASUME) to prove you’re in good standing. Next, ensure your criminal background is spotless with a clean certificate. The renewal charge is $630, that you must pay throughout the procedure. Along with this, you must send a notarized renewal form, proof of legal medical malpractice insurance, and valid identification.

Puerto Rico Medical License Verification

Medical license verification in Puerto Rico is straightforward thanks to the robust online resources provided by the Government of Puerto Rico’s Department of Health, Medical Licensing and Discipline Board Division. Their website serves as a reliable, primary source for license verification. Managed by the Division’s dedicated staff, this medical license lookup Puerto Rico platform is meticulously updated in real time to reflect any changes in the licensing and compliance status of medical professionals.

puerto rico medical license lookup

To check the validity of a Registration Certification, visit the verification page where you’ll need to input specific details such as the profession, license number, and a unique code found at the bottom of the certification.

Additionally, you can print out an application for a certificate of good standing. This certificate is crucial for professionals needing to verify Puerto Rico medical license for employment, legal, or regulatory reasons.

Expedite Puerto Rico Medical License

Accelerating the process of acquiring a medical license in Puerto Rico might be critical for healthcare professionals looking to start practicing. To speed up the process, tackle the application with extensive preparation and strategic strategy. Here’s how you may expedite the island’s Medical Board’s license process:

  1. Pre-Application Preparation: Prior submitting the application, gather all necessary documents, including evidence of schooling, training certifications, and legal paperwork. To minimize delays, be sure that all paperwork is full and precise, especially those that require verification or notarization.
  2. Online Application: Use the internet site for the application procedure. Digital submissions are usually handled more quickly than paper-based applications. Make sure all information is input accurately to avoid the need for adjustments, which might slow down the procedure.
  3. Direct Communication: Maintain direct and consistent contact with the Island of Puerto Rico Medical Licensing Board. Respond quickly to any inquiries for more information or explanation.
  4. Follow-up Regularly: Regular follow-ups might help keep the process rolling. Set reminders to periodically check on the board to find out the current state of the application and if any more information is required.
  5. Utilize Expedited Services: If available, select license by endorsement or similar accelerated alternatives.
  6. Seek Professional Help: Consider employing a professional licensing firm that knows the complexities of Puerto Rico’s medical license procedure.

Following these procedures will shorten the time it takes to receive your medical license in Puerto Rico, enabling you to begin delivering medical treatment to the community much sooner.

Puerto Rico Medical Licensing Service

Medicallicensing.com provides comprehensive medical license services to streamline the difficult process of medical license, from the initial application to ongoing renewal and compliance.

Initial Evaluation and Consultation: Our assistance begins with a thorough review of your present licensure status. We determine any immediate measures needed to retain or renew your physician’s license and provide a clear and organized plan customized to your individual requirements.

License Renewals: We handle the full license renewal procedure. This involves keeping track of critical renewal dates, creating and sending in any required renewal forms, and making sure any associated costs are paid in time. Our objective is to keep your medical license active without any gaps.

Continuing Medical Education Assistance: To meet CME requirements, we constantly track and monitor your CME credits. Our team sends out frequent notifications and aids you in picking authorized courses that are relevant to your profession. This proactive strategy keeps you on track with educational obligations and promotes your professional growth.

Credentialing and Verification: We provide full credentialing help. We manage the rigorous process of getting ready and submitting applications, as well as ensuring that your employment records are always up to date and appropriately reflect your qualifications. We keep you updated on any legislative developments that could impact your practice, ensuring that you comply with both the federal and state laws.

Secure Document Management: Our web portal allows you to securely store and conveniently access all of your licensure-related papers. This technology enables the easy administration and retrieving of your key professional papers whenever they are required.

Individual Assistance: Every provider is allocated an assigned account manager who offers unlimited phone and email assistance. This personalized service guarantees that you will always have immediate access to experienced support.

Our Puerto Rico Medical Licensing Service aims to reduce the administrative load of licensing maintenance, allowing you to focus on what is most important: providing great treatment to your patients. With our trained staff handling the details, you may practice with confidence, knowing that every aspect of the licensing process is in capable hands.

Useful Resources for Puerto Rico Medical License

FAQs about Puerto Rico Medical Licensing

  • Do medical doctors need a license in Puerto Rico?
    Yes, medical physicians must receive a license to operate in Puerto Rico. This criterion guarantees that all physicians who practice have the credentials and requirements to offer reliable and efficient medical treatment.
  • How to get a medical license in Puerto Rico?
    To earn a medical license in Puerto Rico, you must first complete medical school, then pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or a comparable test, and then complete at least one year of postgraduate study. In addition, you must apply to the Puerto Rico Medical Licensing and Discipline Board, which will verify your qualifications and conduct a criminal background check.
  • How to apply for a medical license in Puerto Rico?
    When applying for a physician’s license in Puerto Rico, gather all relevant papers, such as proof of schooling, completion of medical tests, and proof of postgraduate study. The Puerto Rico Medical Licensing and Discipline Board will then accept this, together with a completed application form. The application procedure also includes a criminal record check and payment of any fees.
  • Does Florida accept the Puerto Rico medical doctor license?
    Yes, Florida recognizes medical licenses from Puerto Rico within the context of the licensure by endorsement procedure. However, candidates must fulfill Florida licensure criteria, which may include extra exams, proof of ongoing practice, and confirmation of a spotless disciplinary record.
  • What states accept Puerto Rico medical licenses?
    Many states may recognize Puerto Rican medical licenses via endorsement processes. States typically require extra documents, may mandate the completion of certain tests, and demand proof of ongoing practice along with excellent standing. It is critical to verify with the medical licensing board of the state where you intend to practice for comprehensive requirements.
  • How to verify a medical license in Puerto Rico?
    The Puerto Rico Department of Health’s Medical Licensing and Discipline Board Division offers an online verification method for medical licenses. This system enables you to verify the current state of a medical license by providing the professional’s complete name, license number, or any additional identifying details. Verification can check the license’s authenticity, status, and the disciplinary proceedings taken upon the medical practitioner.
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State Requirements

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