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FAQ: Renewing Your Medical License


By Pennsylvania Medical Society; Updated Aug. 17, 2017


How often must I renew my license?

Physicians must renew their licenses in every even-numbered year. Medical doctors (MDs) must renew by Dec. 31, while doctors of osteopathy (DOs) must renew by Oct. 31. 

How do I renew?

The state Board of Medicine or state Board of Osteopathic Medicine will send a license renewal notice to the last mailing address that it has on file. License renewal forms are not forwarded, so be sure to notify the relevant board of an address change within 10 days.

You may either complete and mail back this renewal form or go to http://www.mylicense.state.pa.us/ to renew. You may only renew online if you are within the current renewal period and more than 30 days away from the renewal deadline. 

You will need the ID renewal number from your renewal notice. If you're renewing for the first time, you also will need:

  1. Pennsylvania license number
  2. Current mailing address
  3. Credit card information
  4. Social Security number
  5. Email address
  6. Continuing medical education (CME) information

How much does it cost?

The renewal fee for MDs is $360. The renewal fee for DOs is $220.

What happens if I don't renew in time?

Both MDs and DOs will have their license placed in "unregistered" status. If you practice medicine with a non-renewed license, you will be assessed a $5 fee for each month or part of a month that you practiced with an unregistered license. There may be additional fees after the prosecutors review the case. You also could be subject to disciplinary proceedings and criminal prosecution. 

To bring the license out of the unregistered status, MDs and DOs are required to: 

  1. Submit a reactivation application
  2. Pay the current and back registration (and penalty fees, if applicable)
  3. Submit the verification of non-practice form regarding your practice/non-practice of medicine in Pennsylvania during the time of the unregistered status
  4. Submit proof of completion of the required continuing medical education
  5. Submit a current curriculum vitae listing all activities from date of expiration to present
  6. Comply with § 16.16 of state regulations. 

Are there educational requirements for license renewal?

Yes, both MDs and DOs are required to meet CME requirements. MDs must complete 100 hours during each two-year license renewal period. Twenty hours must be AMA PRA Category 1™. At least 12 hours must be in patient safety and risk management.

DOs also need 100 hours during each license renewal period. At least 20 credit must be American Osteopathic Association (AOA) category 1-A. At least 12 credit hours need to be completed in the area of patient safety and risk management.

Additionally, both MDs and DOs are required to:

  • Complete two credit hours from a Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) approved course on the topic of mandated child abuse recognition and reporting. Access PAMED's course that meets these requirements.
  • Complete at least two hours of continuing education in pain management, identification of addiction, or the practices of prescribing of opioids. These two hours count as part of the 100-hours required for continuing education, not in addition to the 100-hour requirement. Get Details and Access PAMED's Opioids Education

What if I want to retire and maintain my license?

Retired physicians should consider renewing their license as "active retired." This allows you to continue to treat and write prescriptions for immediate family members without the burden of maintaining professional liability insurance coverage or meeting the CME requirement. Physicians with an active-retired license must complete the two-hour child abuse recognition and reporting continuing education requirement each licensure period.

If you are keeping your DEA number, you will also be required to complete the opioids education requirement of at least two hours of continuing education in pain management, identification of addiction, or the practices of prescribing of opioids.

Like a regular license, the cost to renew an active retired license is $360 for MDs and $220 for DOs. They must be renewed every even-numbered year on the same schedule as a regular license. 

How do I contact the boards?

Contact the state Board of Medicine at:

PO Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649
Phone—(717) 783-1400
Fax—(717) 787-7769
ST-MEDICINE@state.pa.us 

Contact the state Board of Osteopathic Medicine at:

PO Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649
Phone—(717) 783-4858
Fax—(717) 787-7769
ST-OSTEOPATHIC@state.pa.us

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