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Apply for a License with the Board of Medicine

Create an account, apply, renew, and pay for your license online using our self-service portal.

A fully completed application for licensure shall be given priority and shall be expedited. Applicants can indicate their military service or veteran status in the online application.

Permanent License Application Cycle

If the applicant does not submit all materials, including a completed fingerprint packet, within 90 days of the board office's initial documented request for further information, the application shall be considered inactive. The board office shall notify the applicant of this change in status.

To reactivate the application, an applicant shall submit a non-refundable reactivation fee, and update credentials. If the reactivation fee is not received within 30 days from the date the applicant was notified of the inactivation, the application will be withdrawn.

An applicant whose application was withdrawn must reapply and submit a new non-refundable application fee, a new application, documents and credentials.

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A permanent license allows an M.D. or D.O. to practice medicine and surgery in Iowa. Eligibility requirements are found in Chapter 9.3.

  • Be at least 21 years of age;
  • Hold a medical degree from an educational institution accredited by the LCME or the AOA;
  • If the applicant does not hold a medical degree from an institution approved by the board, the applicant shall meet one of the following requirements:
    • Hold a valid certificate issued by the ECFMG;
    • Have successfully completed a fifth pathway program established in accordance with AMA criteria;
    • Have successfully passed either a basic science examination administered by a U.S. or Canadian medical licensing authority or SPEX, and have successfully completed three years of postgraduate training in a program approved by the board, and submitted evidence of five years of active practice without restriction as a licensee of any U.S. or Canadian jurisdiction; or
    • Have successfully passed either a basic science examination administered by a U.S. or Canadian medical licensing authority or SPEX and hold board certification by a specialty board approved by ABMS or the AOA, and submit evidence of five years of active practice without restriction as a licensee of any U.S. or Canadian jurisdiction.
  • Have successfully completed one year of postgraduate training in a hospital-affiliated program accredited by the ACGME, AOA, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the College of Family Physicians of Canada. A graduate of an international medical school shall have successfully completed 24 months of such training.
  • Have passed one of the multi-part licensure examinations:
    • USMLE
    • NBME
    • FLEX
    • NBOME
    • COMLEX
    • LMCC 

Applicants who have taken more than ten years to complete all three steps of the USMLE or COMLEX and are not specialty board certified by a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties or American Osteopathic Specialty Boards, should contact the Director of Licensure, at 515-281-6492. Applicants in this situation do not meet the licensure requirements and will need to request a waiver to administrative rule 653 IAC-9.4(2)e(1). Discussion with a staff person prior to applying may assist in determining whether to submit an application to the Board.

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Military Service & Veteran Reciprocity

Physicians with military service who do not meet the requirements for licensure in Iowa can apply for credit for verified military education, training, or service toward any experience or educational requirement for licensure. Credit may not be given for the examination requirement.

The applicant shall provide documents, military transcripts, a certified affidavit, or forms that verify completion of the relevant military education, training, or service, which may include Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214) or Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET-DD Form 2586)

Veteran Reciprocity

A veteran with an unrestricted professional license in another jurisdiction may apply for licensure in Iowa through reciprocity. A veteran must pass any examinations required for licensure to be eligible for licensure through reciprocity.

An application for licensure by reciprocity shall contain all of the information required of all applicants for licensure who hold unrestricted licenses in other jurisdictions and who are applying for licensure by reciprocity, including but not limited to completion of all required forms, payment of applicable fees, disclosure of criminal or disciplinary history, and, if applicable, a criminal history background check. In addition, the applicant shall provide a current military ID or Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET-DD Form 2586) or any such documentation as is reasonably needed to verify the applicant’s status as a veteran under Iowa Code section 35.1(2).

The board will consider the following factors in determining substantial equivalence: scope of practice, education and coursework, degree requirements, and postgraduate experiences. If the board determines that the licensing requirements in the jurisdiction in which the veteran is licensed are not substantially equivalent to those required in Iowa, the board shall promptly inform the veteran of the additional experience, education, or examinations required for licensure in Iowa. A provisional license may be issued for a specified period of time to allow the veteran an opportunity to obtain the additional experience or education required.

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"Military service" means honorably serving on federal active duty, state active duty, or national guard duty as defined in Iowa Code section 29A.1; in the military services of other states as provided in 10 U.S.C. section 101(c); or the organized reserves of the United States as provided in 10 U.S.C.

"Veteran" means an individual who meets the definition of "Veteran" in Iowa Code section 35.1(2)

About the Board of Medicine

The Iowa Board of Medicine licenses and regulates physicians, acupuncturists, and other health care providers.


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