The Ophthalmologist’s Complete Guide to Getting Your Medical License

May 14, 2020
2 min read

Every state has different licensing procedures for ophthalmologists. Read on for a complete guide on how to get your medical license in all 50 states (and congratulations on making it to this step!).


Ready to get your medical license? Congratulations! Each state regulatory board has different fees and processes for completing the licensing application and getting approved to legally practice medicine in the United States. This handy guide walks you through the unique requirements in each state.

Completing a medical degree doesn't automatically qualify you to practice medicine in the USA, and neither does a single year of postgraduate or residency training. Rather, to legally practice medicine, you must be licensed. Licensing requirements differ from state to state, even though many US states are now (thankfully) using the Uniform Application and the Federation Credentials Verification Service run by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). However, even states that accept both the UA and the FCVS will require you to submit additional materials and in some cases complete extra training courses or jurisprudence exams.

This guide was last updated on May 13, 2020. Any changes to state licensure requirements occurring after this date may not be accounted for. Fees are approximations—there may be additional fees or different fees for obtaining fingerprinting if not residing in the state in which you are applying . There may also be other fees associated with obtaining documents, having scores and/or transcripts sent, or notarizing documents.

Always make sure to confirm with each state board what documents are needed for the application! An error on your license application, or misrepresenting or failing to disclose information, will result in a denial of licensure.

While we make every effort to provide accurate information that is helpful to your practice of medicine, this information may contain errors and is not to be used in place of your own judgment. Under no circumstances shall CovalentCareers be responsible for damages arising from use of this information.

Got any tips for new MDs or DOs licensing in your state? Leave them in the comments!

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About Eleanor Gold, PhD

Eleanor Gold is the Managing Editor at Eyes On Eyecare. She is passionate about science communication and education (particularly in the field of eyecare!), holds a PhD in English from the University at Buffalo, and in her spare time enjoys …

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