cognitus

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I was a non-traditional candidate that is almost done with anesthesiology residency. Long story short, I left medicine over 10 years ago to try another career, but after completing intern year AND passing all the USMLE steps. I matched into an anesthesiology residency 4 years ago, and here I am today. I'm currently looking to work in private practice in California. However, the medical board of California said my USMLE tests expired since I passed them over 10 years ago. I would have to take the Special Purpose Examination (SPEX), which is $1300 and involves studying material I didn't anticipate.

According to their rules, the USMLE expiration date can be extended due to time spent in residency and/or "Good cause". They added 4 years to the expiration date (because of 4 years in residency), but because I started my anesthesia residency AFTER my scores expired, this doesn't help. So now I'm left with "good cause." I am currently drafting a letter to support my case. Does anyone know what I can include in the letter to support my case for "good cause?" I've done well on the ITE (at least 75th percentile for CA-0,1,2 years) and I passed my basic. Any advice will be helpful. I want to avoid taking the SPEX
 
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caligas

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Tough situation. Worth posting on non anesthesia forums too, as situation applies to other specialities. Good luck.
 

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I feel conflicted. I don't know whether to hate the nanny-state board of medicine, or to start believing that there is a god that makes sure that what goes around comes around.

I think I am sorry for you, OP. Nobody deserves this protectionist crap. One of the reasons I never moved to California, despite it being on my shortlist. Good luck to you, but my money is on you either taking SPEX or finding another state to craptice in.

They basically want proof that you are safe to practice medicine (in general, not just anesthesiology - and you CANNOT afford getting some kind of restricted license, because the ABA will not certify you), and it's reasonable to say that you don't remember much after 10+ years. It's idiotic but, hey, it's the Socialist Republic of California! Did you expect anything else?
 
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chocomorsel

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Weird thing is, my colleague who’s been practicing for 30 years and has been doing medical review cases for 2 years says he got a California license 2 years ago without problem. After I told him California was difficult to get a license in, 10 years after USMLE. Don’t know how he did it.
 

Twiggidy

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I was a non-traditional candidate that is almost done with anesthesiology residency. Long story short, I left medicine over 10 years ago to try another career, but after completing intern year AND passing all the USMLE steps. I matched into an anesthesiology residency 4 years ago, and here I am today. I'm currently looking to work in private practice in California. However, the medical board of California said my USMLE tests expired since I passed them over 10 years ago. I would have to take the Special Purpose Examination (SPEX), which is $1300 and involves studying material I didn't anticipate.

According to their rules, the USMLE expiration date can be extended due to time spent in residency and/or "Good cause". They added 4 years to the expiration date (because of 4 years in residency), but because I started my anesthesia residency AFTER my scores expired, this doesn't help. So now I'm left with "good cause." I am currently drafting a letter to support my case. Does anyone know what I can include in the letter to support my case for "good cause?" I've done well on the ITE (at least 75th percentile for CA-0,1,2 years) and I passed my basic. Any advice will be helpful. I want to avoid taking the SPEX

You probably just have to jump through a few extra hoops, but since you're actually finishing residency, you're technically a practicing physician. It's not like you've been backpacking through Europe for ten years and decided to come back and be a doctor. Just submit the application, make sure all your dates are accurate and see what happens. I'd hold of on paying the $1300 as long as possible, depending on how bad you want to live in California. If good weather, high taxes, and inflated housing prices are are your thing, consider the $1300 a price of admission. The test probably isn't that hard, but it does suck to take an additional test.
 

cognitus

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Weird thing is, my colleague who’s been practicing for 30 years and has been doing medical review cases for 2 years says he got a California license 2 years ago without problem. After I told him California was difficult to get a license in, 10 years after USMLE. Don’t know how he did it.
He probably received license because he had an active license in another state. I don't. I had one, but I let it expire as I was doing the other career at the time.
 

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Weird thing is, my colleague who’s been practicing for 30 years and has been doing medical review cases for 2 years says he got a California license 2 years ago without problem. After I told him California was difficult to get a license in, 10 years after USMLE. Don’t know how he did it.
He had already been licensed for more than 4 years in a different state.
 

cognitus

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don't know whether to hate the nanny-state board of medicine, or to start believing that there is a god that makes sure that what goes around comes around.

I think I am sorry for you, OP. Nobody deserves this protectionist crap.
Umm...thank you??
 

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He doesn’t beat around the bush. I suspect he’s Russian or from Eastern Europe they way he talks. I have him all pictured in my head with this thick Russian accent, and a no nonsense deathstare. Lol
I didn't know there was a way Eastern Europeans talk. The few Russians I met in the US did not beat much around the bush, kind of my style, that's true. But I have had two Eastern European colleagues who were both very nice. By the way, choco, I have a feeling you are much tougher to deal with in real life than me; I don't have either a Russian accent or a deathstare. :)

My post above had nothing to do with my geographical origins. OP and I have a history. For a moment there, I was glad he was in trouble, and then I felt ashamed for that and bad for him. I hope he doesn't have to pass the SPEX, because that one seems like a combo of Step 2 and Step 3.
 
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chocomorsel

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I have been told I can be tough. But only with the people close to me or people who don’t know me and give me crap for whatever their reasons are. Like these damn academic nurses.

Otherwise, I am pretty chill/easy in the getting to know you stage or “acquaintance” stage. I don’t bother people who don’t bother me.
 

chocomorsel

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I didn't know there was a way Eastern Europeans talk. The few Russians I met in the US did not beat much around the bush, kind of my style, that's true. But I have had two Eastern European colleagues who were both very nice. By the way, choco, I have a feeling you are much tougher to deal with in real life than me; I don't have either a Russian accent or a deathstare. :)

My post above had nothing to do with my geographical origins. OP and I have a history. For a moment there, I was glad he was in trouble, and then I felt ashamed for that and bad for him. I hope he doesn't have to pass the SPEX, because that one seems like a combo of Step 2 and Step 3.
Eastern Europeans have similar sounding accents to me. It’s hard for me to tell their accents apart from Russian accents. That’s what I meant.

Didn’t know you knew OP. Just thought you were being the usual @FFP we all know and love.
 

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Eastern Europeans have similar sounding accents to me. It’s hard for me to tell their accents apart from Russian accents. That’s what I meant.

Didn’t know you knew OP. Just thought you were being the usual @FFP we all know and love.
I don't know him in real life, just on the forum. We shared a few moments of mutual love and respect in the past, after which we ignored each other, which has worked well. I was the one who broke the mutual ignore here, so my apologies for that.
 
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cognitus

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we ignored each other, which has worked well.
Well, I was on here more before I matched and was too busy with residency to post as much afterwards. But no advice? I guess I’ll do locums locally so I can pay for SPEX
 

nimbus

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I didn't know there was a way Eastern Europeans talk. The few Russians I met in the US did not beat much around the bush, kind of my style, that's true. But I have had two Eastern European colleagues who were both very nice. By the way, choco, I have a feeling you are much tougher to deal with in real life than me; I don't have either a Russian accent or a deathstare. :)

My post above had nothing to do with my geographical origins. OP and I have a history. For a moment there, I was glad he was in trouble, and then I felt ashamed for that and bad for him. I hope he doesn't have to pass the SPEX, because that one seems like a combo of Step 2 and Step 3.

Eastern Europeans have similar sounding accents to me. It’s hard for me to tell their accents apart from Russian accents. That’s what I meant.

Didn’t know you knew OP. Just thought you were being the usual @FFP we all know and love.

I always imagined FFP sounds just like Andrei Codrescu. Which would make rounds more engaging.
 
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chocomorsel

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Well, I was on here more before I matched and was too busy with residency to post as much afterwards. But no advice? I guess I’ll do locums locally so I can pay for SPEX
Move to a neighboring state. All that trouble to work in a place where you can barely afford a good lifestyle on a high income.
This may be a blessing in disguise.
 
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Gastrapathy

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I was a few, but I let it expire. I expect to get it renewed within the month though

Doing that first would have been your angle to avoid the exam. Not sure that it will be now but once you’re licensed, you could try.
 

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Well, I was on here more before I matched and was too busy with residency to post as much afterwards. But no advice? I guess I’ll do locums locally so I can pay for SPEX
Sorry, I haven't had to deal with the California medical board, so I don't have anything else to offer.
 
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