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Appendix II: Licensure Considerations

Relationship to Licensure

The degree of Doctor of Medicine awarded by Case Western Reserve University is an academic degree and does not provide a legal basis for the practice of medicine.  Licensure to practice medicine in the United States and its territories is a privilege granted by the individual licensing authorities of the states and territories.  The licensing authority of each individual jurisdiction establishes its policies, eligibility, and requirements for the practice of medicine within its boundaries pursuant to statutory and regulatory provisions.  It is the responsibility of each graduate to meet the requirements of the specific state or territory in which they may wish to practice medicine and make certain that their individualized course of study meets the academic requirements of that jurisdiction.
Federation of State Medical Boards


Special Rule for Ohio Licensure (MSTP students take special note)

Current Ohio regulations for receiving an Ohio license to practice medicine include the passage of USMLE Steps 1, 2, and 3 exams within a seven year period.  A limited exception to this rule may be granted by the Ohio State Medical Board to applicants in MD/PhD programs.  The doctoral degree must be in a field of biological sciences tested in the Step 1 content.  These fields include, but are not necessarily limited to anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, genetics, neuroscience, and molecular biology.  Fields not excepted include, but are not necessarily limited to, business, economics, ethics, history and other fields not directly related to biological science.  A limited exception to this rule may also be granted to an applicant who suffered from a significant health condition which by its severity would necessarily case a delay to the applicant’s medical study.  Regardless, all three steps must have been passed within a ten year period.  The regulations make no provision for an exception to the ten year rule.

MSTP students taking more than 3 years to complete their PhD work and who wish to practice in Ohio may need to request an exception to the Ohio 7-year rule.  They should also note that almost all states have some regulations regarding the time period within which USMLE exams must be passed.  While the 7-year rule is the most common, it is not universal, and states also differ in the exceptions they are willing to make.  MSTP students should learn the rules applicable in the state in which they plan to practice initially and may consult with the MSTP program office for advice and assistance.


Published and maintained by the Office of Student Affairs and the Academic Societies
Revised 3/03/17