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SUMMARY OF 2024 CHANGES IN FLORIDA LAW FOR FOREIGN TRAINED PHYSICIANS

The Florida legislature made some changes to the licensure of foreign-educated physicians.  

Under Florida law, there are two ways for a graduate of a foreign medical school to achieve licensure as a physician in Florida. The new law allows for more flexibility within those two pathways.

The state of Florida has opened pathways for a) foreign-trained physicians with a faculty appointment in Florida for at least three consecutive years and b) foreign-trained physicians whose residency or fellowship is substantially similar to programs within the United States.

The state of Florida has given the Florida Board of Medicine authority to exclude foreign medical schools from consideration as institutions that provide medical education reasonably comparable to similarly accredited institutions in the United States if the foreign medical school does not seek certification under section 458.314, F.S. 

 

The state of Florida has also made some changes to how a physician can get a medical faculty certificate under section 458.3145, F.S.  Graduates of a foreign medical school listed with the World Health Organization must not be excluded from consideration under section 458.314 (8), F.S.

 

Lastly, for a physician to participate in the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact under 456.4501, F.S., the physician must not be under investigation in any foreign jurisdiction or have his or her medical license disciplined by any foreign jurisdiction.


Foreign Doctors:  Changes in Florida Law

Under Florida law, a foreign medical school graduate can achieve licensure as a physician in Florida in two ways. The new law allows for more flexibility within those two pathways. The new law is underlined and paraphrased below for simplicity.

Section 458.11, F.S. Licensure by examination; requirements; fees.

  • Any person desiring to be licensed as a Florida physician who does not hold a valid license in any state shall apply to the Florida Department of Health by application.

  • GRADUATES OF FOREIGN MEDICAL SCHOOLS CAN ACHIEVE LICENSURE IN TWO WAYS

 

1) You must graduate from an allopathic foreign medical school registered with the World Health Organization and certified under section 458.314, F.S., as having met the standards required to accredit medical schools in the United States or reasonably comparable standards.  Suppose the language of instruction of the foreign medical school is other than English. In that case, you must demonstrate competency in English through the presentation of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) English proficiency certificate or by a satisfactory grade on the Test of Spoken English of the Educational Testing Service or a similar test approved by rule of the Florida Board of Medicine.  You must also complete an approved residence of at least one year.

 

2)  You must be a graduate of an allopathic foreign medical school certified under section 458.314, F.S. and have not been excluded from consideration under section 458.314 (8), F.S. You have to have had your medical credentials evaluated by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), hold an active and valid certificate issued by ECFMG, and pass the exam used by ECFMG.  You must also have completed an approved residency of at least one year (or at least two years of residency or fellowship in one specialty after October 1, 1992).  Suppose you are a graduate of a foreign medical school that has not been excluded from consideration under section 458.314 (8), F.S. In that case, you need not present a certificate used by ECFMG or pass the exam utilized by ECFMG if you:

a.  Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. college or university.

b.  Have studied at a medical school that the World Health Organization recognizes.

c.  Have completed all of the formal requirements of the foreign medical school, except the internship or social service requirements, and have passed part I of the National Board of Medical Examiners exam or the ECFMG exam equivalent.  

d.  Has completed an academic year of supervised clinical training in a hospital affiliated with a medical school approved by the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association and has passed part II of the National Board of Medical Examiners examination or the ECFMG exam equivalent upon completion.

  • When the Florida Board of Medicine determines that any application for licensure has failed to meet the requirements to its satisfaction, it may enter an order requiring the following:

  1.  Refusal to certify an application for licensure, certification, or registration to the Florida Department of Health.

  2. Certification to the Florida Department of Health of an application for licensure, certification, or registration with restrictions on the scope of practice.

  3. Certification to the Florida Department of Health of an application for licensure, certification, or registration with placement of the physician on probation for some time and subject to such conditions as the board may specify, including, but not limited to, requiring the physician to submit to treatment, attend continuing education courses, submit to reexamination, or work under the supervision of another physician.

  4. Certification to the Florida Department of Health of a person desiring to be licensed as a physician under this section who has held an active medical faculty certificate under section 458.3145, F.S. for at least three years and has held a full-time faculty appointment for at least three consecutive years to teach in a program of medicine listed under section 458.3145 (1)(i) or

  5. Certification to the Florida Department of Health of an application for licensure submitted by a graduate of a foreign medical school that has not been excluded from consideration under section 458.314 (8), F.S. if the graduate has not completed an approved residency under sub-subparagraphs (1)(f)2.c. or 3. c. but meets all of the following criteria:

  6. Has an active, unencumbered license to practice medicine in a foreign country; 

  7. Has actively practiced medicine during the entire 4-year period preceding the date of the submission of a licensure application; 

  8. Has completed a residency or substantially similar postgraduate medical training in a country recognized by their licensing jurisdiction, which is substantially identical to a residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), as determined by the Florida Board of Medicine;

  9. Has had their medical credentials evaluated by the ECFMG, holds an active and valid certificate issued by ECFMG, and has passed the examination used by ECFMG; and

  10. Has an offer for full-time employment as a physician from a health care provider in Florida.  “Health care provider” means a health care professional, health care facility, or entity licensed or certified to provide health services in Florida as recognized by the Florida Board of Medicine.  You must maintain your employment with the original employer or with another health care provider operating in Florida at a location with the state of Florida, per the rules adopted by the Florida Board of Medicine.  You must notify the Board of Medicine within five business days after any change in employment. The Board of Medicine may approve an applicant not certified for unrestricted licensure under this paragraph under section (b), which allows for licensure with restrictions on scope of practice, or section (c), which provides licensure with a probationary period.



 

458.314 Certification of foreign educational institutions

  • Suppose a foreign medical school does not seek certification under this section. In that case, the Florida Board of Medicine may, at its discretion, exclude the foreign medical school from consideration as an institution that provides medical education that is reasonably comparable to that of similarly accredited institutions in the United States and that adequately prepares its students for the practice of medicine in this state. However, this subsection does not affect a license or medical faculty certificate issued to a physician under this chapter before July 1, 2024.

  • The legislature deleted the portion of this statute that dealt with institutions being surveyed before October 1, 1986, by the Commission to Evaluate Foreign Medical Schools or the Commission on Foreign Medication Education of the Federation of State Medical Boards, etc.  

 

458.3145 Medical faculty certificate

  • A medical faculty certificate may be issued without exam to an individual who meets all of the following criteria:

  1.  Is a graduate of an accredited medical school or its equivalent, or is a graduate of a foreign medical school listed with the World Health Organization, which has not been excluded from consideration under section 458.314 (8), F.S.

  2. Holds a valid and current license to practice medicine in another jurisdiction.

  3. Has completed an approved residency or fellowship of at least one year or has received training that the Florida Board of Medicine has determined to be equivalent to the 1-year residency requirement.

  4. Is at least 21 years of age.

  5. It is of good moral character.

  6. Has not committed any act in this or any other jurisdiction which would constitute the basis for disciplining a physician under section 458.331, F.S.

  7. Has completed the equivalent of 2 academic years of preprofessional, post-secondary education, as determined by the rule of the Board of Medicine, which must include courses in anatomy, biology, and chemistry at a minimum for applicants who graduated from medical school after October 1, 1992.

  8. Has been offered and has accepted a full-time faculty appointment to teach in a program of medicine at any of the following institutions:

  1.  University of Florida;

  2.  University of Miami;

  3. University of South Florida;

  4. Florida State University; 

  5. Florida International University; 

  6. University of Central Florida; 

  7. Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Jacksonville, FL; 

  8. Florida Atlantic University; 

  9. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL; 

  10. Nova Southeastern University; 

  11. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine; 

  12. Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine in Melbourne, Florida.

 

456.4501 Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

  • The compact is designed to strengthen access to health care, enhance the portability of a medical license, and ensure patient safety.

  • To participate in this compact, a physician must never hold a license authorizing the practice of medicine subjected to discipline by a licensed agency in any state, federal, or foreign jurisdiction, excluding any action related to nonpayment of fees related to a license, and must not be under active investigation by a licensing agency or law enforcement authority in any state, federal, or foreign jurisdiction.

Foreign Medical Graduates Advising Program

The organizations Solidaridad Sin Fronteras (SSF) and Green Cross Team (CCT) and the Tallahassee-based legislative consulting firm Anfield Consulting, Inc. (AC), taking into account new regulations on the revalidation policy for medical graduates in other countries in the state of Florida, which were signed by Governor Ron DeSantis last March, have established a new assistance and advice program for these professionals in order to facilitate the application process and obtaining these benefits by our doctors.

This program will have two (2) categories of counseling

Basic General Counseling (BGC)

The BGC will be applied generally to all those enrolled in this category, by holding online meetings through the Zoom application which will be previously planned in coordination with all applicants; They will be taught by AC's specialized technical staff and CVI and SSF staff; in which they will be shown in a general way the characteristics of the new regulations and the best ways to successfully complete an application process and have access to their benefits.

Complete Individual Counseling

(CCI)

The CIC will be applied individually and personalized to each of the applicants to this category separately, providing private and personal advice that will allow them to be guided “by the hand” throughout the entire process of applying to the new regulations that are concluded in a timely manner. successful with obtaining all the benefits and becoming a Doctor of Medicine with an unrestricted license to practice in the state of Florida. The applicant for this program will have the individual guidance of an advisor from our organizations.

This program will have a variable cost depending on the different scenarios, characteristics and needs of the applicant.

Steps to access the program

01

Obtain registration of Foreign Medical Doctors

You can obtain this record as follows

access www.hprus.org

  1. Click on Apply Now – Start Application

  2. Pay the Fee of $120.00

  3. Complete the Form

  4. Submit the required documents (Identification, Resume, Degree in the health area, Optional Notes)

  5. Download the digital record

02

Contact Green Cross Team by sending your Registration of Foreign Medical Doctors to

fmgap@greencrossteam.org

By placing Full Name and Contact Information in the Body of your email

 

An advisor will contact you to proceed with registering you as a member of Green Cross which has a fee of $75.00

03

Register for the program

 

  • General Basic Advice.

  • Complete Individual Advice.

 

Depending on the need of the applicant

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