Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q. How long does the application process take? A. The initial application process could take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to complete. Once the file is complete, it must be presented to the board for final consideration. Once a decision is made, the applicant is notified by mail within a week to ten days.
  2. Q. How is the application processed? A. Applications are processed in the order in which they are received. One application is not given priority over another.
  3. Q. What is the deadline for the application to be presented to the Board for consideration? A. The deadline is two weeks prior to a scheduled meeting. The application must be complete in every respect in order to be presented. If not, the application will have to wait until the next meeting. Board meetings are not held in the months of April and November.
  4. Q. I need a license immediately. How can you help me? A. Applications are processed on a first come first serve basis. Consideration will be given in cases where there has been a delay due to a request for resubmission of fingerprints and in other extraordinary circumstances. Requests should be submitted in writing to lsbme@lsbme.la.gov
  5. Q. Can I be issued a temporary license to practice medicine? A. No. The state of Louisiana does not issue a temporary license to practice medicine. We do not issue a locum tenens license. The only temporary license issued for the practice of medicine is an interim. The interim license is only issued after the application is complete and has been presented to the Board and approved pending receipt of the results of the criminal background check.
  6. Q. Can I be issued a temporary permit to do residency/fellowship training? A. Yes. The state of Louisiana does issue a permit for training purposes only.
  7. Q. I am completing my internship/residency in June. How soon can I apply for a permanent license? A. A U.S./Canadian graduate may apply for licensure four months prior to completion of the internship/residency. An international graduate can apply four months prior to completion of the third year of training. The required three years of postgraduate approved training must be in the same specialty.
  8. Q. I have decided not to relocate to Louisiana. Can I withdraw my application? Is the fee refundable? A. To withdraw an application, you must notify the Board in writing. No fees are refundable.
  9. Q. What does “primary source verification” mean? A. The term means that all information is received directly from the issuing agency.
  10. Q. Does Louisiana accept the LMCC of Canada for license? Even if I have a license in another state? A. No.
  11. Q. Is there a difference between being a Medical Doctor and being a Doctor of Osteopathy when issuing a medical license? A. No. All are classified as physicians and are issued the same type of medical license.
  12. Q. Can I practice in Louisiana with a license from another state? A. Not unless you are practicing in a federal institution or military base.
  13. Q. What does “Board Certified” mean? A. Board certified means that you have taken and passed an oral and written examination in a Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).
  14. Q. How many attempts are allowed on FLEX/USMLE/NBOME/COMLEX-USA/SPEX/NBME? A. Four-No limit on USMLE Step 1
  15. Q. Will I have to take an additional examination for licensure? A. Only if it has been over ten years since a medical competency examination was taken and passed from the date of filing an application. The required examination is SPEX/COMVEX-USA or a specialty board certification or recertification examination.
  16. Q. If I have had my fingerprints cleared by another state or agency, will Louisiana accept them? A. No.
  17. Q. I have a license in another state. Do I have to go through the application process again? A. Yes
  18. Q. If it is impossible to get all of my documents, can I still get my license? A. An applicant is not granted licensure until all required documents are furnished to the Board and are verified. The Board may, in rare and unusual circumstances, accept alternative documents. Substitutions are considered only when the applicant submits proof of painstaking efforts undertaken to secure required documents. These exceptions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Board.
  19. Q. Why does it take so long for my fingerprints to clear after they have been mailed to the proper agency? A. The Board has no control over this matter. We understand these delays are attributable to the inability of state and national criminal authorities to expeditiously process the ever increasing number of requests being received, particularly since the tragic events of September 11, 2001. This process can take months to complete, therefore we ask that you request the packet as soon as you know you are coming to Louisiana.
  20. Q. What if my prints are rejected? A. The Board will notify you within days of being notified by the State/FBI.
  21. Q. How will I know if I have to re-do my fingerprints? A. The Board will notify you by mail. When you are notified of this rejection your response is expected within ten working days from the date that you received the notice. If you do not respond back to the Board, any license/permit you hold will become null and void. To ensure delivery please return your documents by way of certified mail.
  22. Q. Who licenses Certified Medical Assistants?  What law governs them?  What is the scope of their clinical duties? A. Some states license Medical Assistants (MAs) and Certified Medical Assistants (CMAs); however, as with the majority of states Louisiana does not. As such, this category of health care personnel is not licensed by the LSBME or any other agency in this state. MAs/CMAs may be trained by a physician, complete a formal or military training program and some may earn certification (CMA) from a national organization. In Louisiana, as in many other states, an unlicensed individual such as a MA/CMA may perform services for which he or she has been adequately trained as long as the services are provided under physician supervision e.g., where the physician is physically present on the premises and immediately available at all times that they are performing duties as delegated by the physician.