Becoming a physician requires licensing in all states prior to being able to practice medicine. Graduation from an accredited medical school is required before qualifying for licensure. Candidates must also complete a residency training program and pass exams. The U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a three-step examination that is required for M.D.s. The Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) must be taken by D.O.s. For specific state information about licensing, individuals should contact their state's medical board.
Licenses must be renewed periodically. Doctors applying for license renewal must typically complete a minimum number of hours in continuing education before taking the renewal exam. Each state has different licensing requirements, so it may be beneficial to learn what those are as soon as possible.