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MEB considering major change for medical license qualification

Release Date: January 18, 2013
Contact: Mark Grapentine mark.grapentine@wismed.org

Applicants for a full Wisconsin medical license would need to have three years of post-graduate training rather than the current one year under a policy approved at the State of Wisconsin’s Medical Examining Board (MEB) monthly meeting on Wednesday. The proposal – which MEB members said requires further review – would also require availability of a Temporary Educational Permit (TEP) at the beginning of training that can last the length of a residency.

Current statues (Wis. Stat. § 448.05(2)) allow for a license to be granted following graduation from an approved medical school and 12 months of postgraduate training. This also applies to international medical school graduates, making Wisconsin the only state in the nation requiring only one year of successful postgraduate training for this set of potential applicants. MEB chairman Sheldon Wasserman, MD, said that this shorter requirement has made Wisconsin a default destination for international graduate applicants, who often choose Wisconsin as a place to apply for a medical license solely because of the one-year requirement.

While some states bifurcate domestic/international postgraduate training requirements (usually requiring more training for international graduates vs. domestic applicants), the MEB decided it would rather increase the requirement for all applicants. The policy statement, which the MEB approved unanimously, reads:

[The Board moved] to seek legislation that would:

A) Require a temporary educational permit at beginning of training that may last for the length of the residency and B) Set a minimum threshold for obtaining an unrestricted license of 3 successful years of ACGME/AOA-accredited post-graduate medical education.

Statutory changes require legislation, thus the MEB’s effort would require State Assembly and State Senate approval, with the Governor signing the bill into law. MEB member Gene Musser, MD, suggested that prudence requires soliciting feedback from the state’s residency programs and other stakeholders before finalizing the specific language of proposed legislation. The Society’s Council on Legislation will review the proposal at its February 15 meeting.

In other action Wednesday, the MEB elected leadership for the 2013 calendar year. Doctor Wasserman was unanimously elected to a second term as MEB chair. Ken Simons, MD, was elected vice-chair.

Contact Mark Grapentine, JD, in the Society’s Government Relations department for more information.