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12 Mar 2014

Why Medical Licensing In Puerto Rico Is So Difficult, Part II

Healthcare Licensing, Physician Licensing, State Medical Board No Comments
In this installment of Why Medical Licensing in Puerto Rico Is So Difficult, we will cover some eligibility requirements, time-frames & expectations.

What you need to know:

  1. Expiration:  Applications usually expire after 1 year from the date it is received by the Board
  2. This Board does not accept FCVS profiles.
  3. Interview:  Not required
  4. The Board loses an average of 1 in 5 pieces of mail every week; expect to re-request documentation at some point during the process.
  5. The Board will not answer phones or e-mail as a general rule of thumb.
  6. The Board will consider hand-delivered applications first and foremost.  If you have a friend or family member who can walk documents directly into the Medical Board in Rio Piedras, your chances of success are much higher.
  7. The Board strongly prefers two references from physicians licensed in Puerto Rico. (see Q&A section below)
  8. The website is NOT active and nobody is currently monitoring the web correspondence.  That website has not been updated in the last 24 months and none of the current board employees are allowed to login to the site at the present time.  Information on the site cannot be trusted as accurate nor current.
  9. The Board strongly prefers that all communication be in Spanish.  If you are fluent in Spanish and you conduct all verbal and written communication in Spanish, you will be more likely to receive a response from the Board.  Alternatives include using a translation application to convert all your correspondence to Spanish before sending to the analyst in Puerto Rico.


Eligibility Requirements:

  1. USMLE Attempt Limit: None
  2. USMLE Time Limit: Must complete USMLE steps I, II, & III within 7 years of passing the first step
  3. PGY (AMG): 1 Year
  4. PGY (IMG): 1 Year
  5. SPEX/COMVEX: Not required
  6. ECFMG not required
  7. Background check required – very quick and affordable compared to other states (BCI is recommended)


Question Regarding References from Puerto Rico Licensed Physicians:

Q.  If I’ve never worked or been licensed in Puerto Rico, how on Earth am I supposed to get a PR licensed physician to give me a reference?

A.  If you work with a physician in your home state who holds a license in PR, that will satisfy the requirements. Please note that there are not a lot of actively licensed physicians who are licensed in Puerto Rico and meeting this requirement is not always an option. Just be advised that this can significantly delay your medical license.



In all, licensing in Puerto Rico presents different challenges that applicants will not find in other states, but with the expertise and knowledge of Physician Licensing Service, we can make the process as painless as possible.


About Physician Licensing Service

Now in our 16th year of business, Physician Licensing Service has been changing the face of healthcare licensure.  We have developed a proven system to remove the barriers common to state medical licenses and get doctors practicing in record time.  Our business model focuses on simplifying the process for all involved parties. This includes the state medical boards themselves, because PLS takes great care to keep abreast of their updates in this ever changing field, and work within those guidelines. For a doctor seeking a medical license, PLS will take on the entire process, including eligibility research, paperwork, verifications, and follow up.

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