New legislation makes immediate changes to certain licensure deadlines

September 20, 2023

On September 13, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 143, which immediately extends the expiration date of postgraduate training licenses (PTL) that expire after June 1, 2023, and before December 31, 2023, to March 31, 2024. These PTL holders do not have to take any action. The board will automatically change their expiration dates and notify affected licensees via email.

SB 143 also provides residents who completed the board-approved postgraduate training required for licensure out-of-state and are enrolled in a California ACGME-accredited program more time to obtain a Physician’s and Surgeon’s (P&S) license. Under the new law, these applicants have a total of 180 days from the date they begin their training program to obtain a P&S license (under the prior law they had 90 days from their enrollment date).

The California Medical Association (CMA) worked closely with legislators to make these important changes, which allow residents to maintain licensure without threat of expiration.

Questions regarding these law changes for applicants and licensees of the Medical Board of California may be directed to licensing.questions@mbc.ca.gov

The Medical Board of California sunset review bill (SB 815) will also make additional changes to the physician licensing requirements. The bill has been sent to the governor, but has not yet been signed.

SB 815 would make all PTLs issued after January 1, 2020, valid for a period of 36 months. Residents will still be eligible to transition to a full P&S license following one year of postgraduate training, but now they have the flexibility to hold onto their PTL if they are not interested in transitioning immediately. This also ensures the Medical Board of California will have enough time to process applications for residents who apply immediately following one year of training . Currently, a PTL is valid for 15 months leaving residents with only three months to transition to a P&S and many residents PTLs were expiring while they waited for the Medical Board of California to process their applications resulting in interruptions to patient care and resident training.

CMA also secured additional changes to ensure that the PTL licensing process better aligns with the way residency programs work and allows for accommodations like a resident taking time before starting a program for parental leave.

To that end, SB 815 will also eliminate the requirement that postgraduate training includes a successful progression through 24 months in the same program. While this requirement was originally intended to limit how often residents could move from one program to another, it only acted as an impediment to highly qualified residents entering the state and choosing to practice in California. Eliminating that requirement enables more residents who have been trained in more than two programs to obtain a license in California and allows California’s residents to transfer to another program within the state without risk of not meeting this requirement and threating their ability to maintain full licensure.


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