Changes Could Be on the Way for Pennsylvania’s Medical Licensure Process

Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered a review of state professional and occupational licensure board requirements and processes. Both the State Board of Medicine and the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine are among the many boards that will be included in this review.

The governor's Executive Order, issued on Oct. 24, 2017, notes that more than 20 percent of Pennsylvania workers now have an occupational license. According to the order, "Onerous licensing requirements, excessive fees, and strict criminal history and other policies can create unnecessary barriers for Pennsylvanians who want to enter the job market."

The Commissioner of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs has been directed to work with each Board to undertake a comprehensive review of the licensing process. The report will include details such as:

  • Training requirements
  • Licensing, registration, and renewal fees
  • Continuing education requirements
  • Average timeframe for approval of each type of license
  • Information regarding the number of other states which require a license for each professional or occupational license, as well as the national and regional averages for training requirements, fees, and continuing education requirements
  • Any Interstate Compacts or Reciprocity Agreements that exist. (For example, Pennsylvania's Interstate Medical Licensure Compact was signed into law on Oct. 26, 2016, although implementation of this law is currently delayed. Get details on the Compact here.)

The reports are due no later than 180 days from the establishment of the advisory group required by the Executive Order, or 210 days from the effective date of the Order, whichever is sooner.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) is monitoring the board review process and will share any news that may affect licensing for Pennsylvania physicians.

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