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Are You an Internationally Trained Physician and Want to Practice in Florida?

May 9, 2022
Est read time: 3 minutes

The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) estimates there will be a shortfall of 37,800 to 124,000 licensed physicians by 2034. Medical doctors trained abroad are being recruited to address the approximate 33% gap in high demand, primary care practices: family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatric medicine. Now considered to be a critical professional resource for delivery of preventive and routine services, checkups, initial diagnoses, and acute-care treatment interventions, internationally trained physicians are permitted to apply for a license to practice in Florida.

Why Practice in Florida?

Physicians with medical school training in foreign jurisdictions will find the Florida practice setting an unparalleled professional opportunity for research and scientific advancement of healthcare innovation and treatments. The state is host to a world-renowned network of physicians providing advanced, comprehensive care to patients throughout the state and beyond by way of telecare services. Florida and other U.S. states require an internationally trained physician demonstrate pass national medical licensing examinations; be ECFMG certified; enroll in a residency program, and pass a third licensing exam to practice.

Florida Medical Licensing Requirements

For physicians desiring to continue their career in Florida after medical school and first residency, who have practiced medicine actively for several years, there are several channels for meeting the state’s medical licensing requirements. The process for becoming a Florida licensed physician varies depending on whether a born U.S. citizen, naturalized citizen, or temporary or permanent resident with the appropriate visas and a green card. To obtain a Florida medical license, an applicant must meet the state’s Board of Medicine professional requirements. The MD licensing process requires endorsement (i.e., reciprocity); examination; or both.

Licensure by Endorsement

The Florida Board of Medicine [Fla. Stat. §458.313] requires a doctor seeking licensure by endorsement be a graduate from a U.S. Office of Education, Allopathic U.S. Medical School; have completed at least one year of residency; and have record of a pass on the USMLE after January 1, 2000. Applicants able to demonstrate an active license to practice medicine in a foreign jurisdiction valid for 2 of the immediately preceding 4 years; or who have successfully completed a board-approved postgraduate program within the past 2 years; or board-approved clinical competency examination within the 1-year preceding the filing, are eligible for licensure.

Licensure by Examination

Board eligibility requirements for the MD licensure examination process in Florida can be met with a record of:

  • Graduation from an allopathic foreign medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools, registered with the World Health Organization, and statutorily certified as meeting U.S. accreditation standards, and completed at least one year of approved residency training; or
  • An active, valid Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certificate, having passed the Commission's examination, and completion of an approved two-year residency or fellowship in one specialization.

All applicants must have record of a passing score:

Florida Board of Medicine MD licensure applicants who are internationally trained must demonstrate English language proficiency; and submit a Florida Department of Health (DOH) background screening report.

We Help Internationally Trained Physicians:

  • Understand the process
  • Navigate the system
  • Review employment contracts with hospital and healthcare systems
  • Prepare a Board of Medicine's Credentials Committee presentation
  • Knowledge of PRN options and strategies
  • Criminal background check process
  • Letter of explanation about case representation for future employers

Legal Representation for Internationally Trained Physicians

A physician with foreign training and certification wants to obtain a license to practice medicine in Florida, our legal experts can help. We represent internationally trained physicians before the Florida Board of Medicine. We have written extensively about the licensing process in Florida. See

We assist with the board licensure process

Consult with an experienced health care practice lawyer to determine the best plan of action for obtaining a Florida medical license. Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law assist internationally trained physician clients with the medical licensure process. See also

Contact Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law for a free consultation:

Orlando (407) 717-1773 |Tallahassee (850) 877-7776 | Tampa (813) 833-6726 | Sarasota (941) 779-4348 | Cape Coral (239) 671-4243

Have Questions? Let's Talk

Contact the law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong at 850-877-7776 to set up a FREE no-obligation consultation. Our firm represents physicians, nurses, psychologists, and other licensed professionals statewide.
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