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California Letter

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rirriri

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i wasnt previously thinking of pursuing anything in California, but lately ive gained interest in some programs there for next year's match.

im relatively new to the idea, so i thought id start here and ask any of you if there were any perspectives/ideas/advice for getting the glorified "California Letter" to apply to their programs.

anyone have any experience in this matter?
 

redleft123

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Anytime you have to go thru a goverment/bureaucratic process, it gets a bad rap. But getting the California letter is not such a big deal.

You have to fill out a complete application process, as if you were applying for licensure......except that you are doing it a bit earlier.

They simply want to make sure that you have received the medical education as set forth in law, that you have the required clerkships, exams, etc. (The clerkships are the biggest stumbling block for most IMGs....if you don't have the required weeks of clerkships, you have to remediate.) The biggest delays come from trying to get documents from your medical school (depends on what country and how much experience the school has in dealing with California Board).

Remember....they only require things of us to get the letter which they require to get licensed.

Then....once they have determined that your background is OK, they issue the letter. Then, you can begin training in Calif. The advantage is -- you have already gone thru the application process. When you have completed your second year of training, you will only have to update your application (a one page form) and provide verification of satisfactory completion of training...and you are licensed. (Of course, they want another check at that point, too.)

Cheers
 

rirriri

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redleft,

thanks for the information. its a BIG help.

have you proceeded to apply for the letter already? did you already recieve it?

i tried going to the California state board website a few nights ago, but i must have been tired or something, but it was full of information. i found myself a bit confused.

What is the timeline for applying? if i wanna match in 2004 (next year) and apply for programs in September 2003......do i need to have the California Letter before i apply?

when should i start pursuing the application for the letter?

thanks very much and CHEERS!
 

Pat Park

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Response to Rirriri: I like the way that Redleft123 described our process for issuing the "California letter." The current term for our letter is the Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter. Formerly, we called it the Applicant Status Letter. This letter informs prospective residency training program directors in California that the bearer has satisfied the minimum prerequisites in California law to begin residency training in California.

The only thing I'd like to add to Redleft123's post is that California law requires all applicants for the California letter to have completed all of their medical school education in a school or schools that the California Medical Board currently recognizes. If an individual attended a disapproved or unrecognized medical school, he or she is NOT eligible to train in California or become licensed in California. It does not matter if the individual transferred out of the unrecognized/disapproved medical school into a school that this Board recognizes.

Most people seem to know which schools California recognizes in the Caribbean. Lately, I've been receiving some panicked calls from Americans training in English-language programs in Eastern Europe. These new English-language programs have to apply for and receive the California Board's approval. Officials in these programs are not informing California-bound students that they have not been approved in California. The only Eastern European school that has applied for and received approval is Semmelweis University in Hungary. Two others applied but haven't submitted some of the required documents. To protect their privacy, I won't mention their names here.

If you have any questions about the California Medical Board's requirements, please e-mail me at [email protected].

Pat Park, Foreign Schools Liaison, Medical Board of California
 

JeepGrrl

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I suggest that if you really want to apply for residency in California, that you get your California Status Letter (now known as Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter) as soon as allowed. It can take a few months to get and without it, you won't be screened into programs. You won't be interviewed without that letter. Plus, the process can be delayed if the medical board requires more information from you.

Good luck!
-Carey
 

pimmar

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Some programs will interview you without the letter, I had 2 interviews In California without it. Just a quick question...if I match outside of California and decide after residency to work/move to California...will I have to do all of the same paperwork to get licensing? Or can I go ahead and apply for the license after I get the status letter even if I am training outside the state? That is redoing all of the paperwork maybe nearly impossible in 4 years...(as an fmg getting all of the letters from your clerkships, etc would be nearly impossible then) or would it be easier to get licensed once you are already licensed in another state? Any info would be appreciated...Thanks.
 

redleft123

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Originally posted by pimmar
Some programs will interview you without the letter, I had 2 interviews In California without it.

First, you are absolutely correct. Although many programs used to REQUIRE the letter before they would even interview you, one of the managers there (he left last year for another job at the Calif state board) was able to convince several [many?] of the program directors why they did not have to require the letter first. This was especially important for 4th-year med students -- they could not get letter before graduation, but interview were before then. (The PDs have a valid point, though. Why should they spend time interviewing someone when they can't be sure the person is even eligible for training in Calif?)

Originally posted by pimmar
Just a quick question...if I match outside of California and decide after residency to work/move to California...will I have to do all of the same paperwork to get licensing? Or can I go ahead and apply for the license after I get the status letter even if I am training outside the state?

No....it's the same paperwork and same process. When you apply for the letter, you fill out bunches of forms. Once your education, clerkships, etc have been verified, they issue the letter. Then, your file is left open while you are in training. (You do have to show some type of due diligence that you are in training or trying to get into a program. They will be in touch with you once a year to make sure you are "still alive.") Then, when you are finished with training, whether in Calif or another state, just send in the paperwork documenting your final training (and, of course, send them a check), and they will issue a license.

When you are in the midst of your paperwork, it sounds like a bureaucratic nightmare of forms. But when you sit back and think about it, it's really quite a logical system.

(One of the other posters [Pat Park] is a real good person to answer a lot of questions, even if she is real busy. The new manager they have is a real ding-bat; she's been there 2 years and still does not get it. You ask her a question and she giggles "I dunno, let me ask someone who knows." That's your typical stupid goverment worker.)

Good luck, with the letter and with your training.
 

rirriri

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Thanks to all of you,

i really appreciate the fantastic input from all of you. It is quite a big help to myself and to other people pursuing the same things. The whole "california letter" seemed very confusing to me before, but i think it makes alot more sense after reading this and i think it's always nice to hear from people who have successfully completed it.

Im gonna get on this!

cheers!
 

pimmar

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Thanks redleft123 I appreciate the info, even if I don't end up in Cali for residency I am pretty sure I would like to practice there when I am done so I will forge on with all of my paperwork...thanks again.
 

kimbible

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I am currently a family medicine resident, i am thinking about the possiblity going to california after graduate from my residency program at NJ. I was wondering if I still need california letter to be able to take the California licence exam? And do i need to have california letter to be able to practice at California???

I will be very appreciated if anyone can help me w/ my quesion. I've been reading on the internet regarding to California letter, but It seems more related to residency programe application.
 
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