GIJane

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Hi,

I am a PGY2 in Internal Medicine and I am looking to apply for a fellowship in CA (starting 2010).

It's been a couple months since I started the application process for a california letter (PTAL) and I have already spent ~600$ on the same. One of my friends just mentioned to me that the PTAL is only necessary for a residency and is not needed for a fellowship. Is that true?

If that is true, has my money gone down the drain or is there a way to get a refund/reuse it for getting a CA license?

Thank you
 

dragonfly99

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Hi.
I applied for (and got) a medicine fellowship in California without having either a "California letter" or a California license. The issue of having a California Letter or a California medical license never ever came up in the interview. After I matched, my program sent me a letter a few months later (as in this past September) telling me to start working on getting my California medical license, as it can take several months. So I sent in the paperwork and fingerprints to get my California license (and paid the money). I'm still waiting on the license.

I think that before you spend any more money or time on this, you should contact the fellowship program(s) you are applying to and ask them if they require you to have a California letter to just interview. I strongly suspect they do not...particularly if you are a US allopathic medical school graduate. Most all the residency programs I know of in California don't even require residents to have the training letter until some time late in the first year I believe...this is because it takes the California medical license board several months to process the stuff to get you either a letter or a license. I am not sure if there is a similar grace period for fellows vs. not...but generally someone in a medicine fellowship would just get a medical license and not a training letter, since you basically have to fill out the same paperwork to get one as you do to get the "California letter", plus you could use your license to moonlight, etc. so it's better than the "letter".

I seriously wouldn't waste your money or time on this right now...unless you find out you need to. If and when you match in California, then you can worry about getting a "California letter" and/or license. Not sure if you have enough months of training to get a Cali license...but I bet you would by the end of 2nd year perhaps?

I'd be interested to hear other California residents pipe in if they have input on this.
 

GIJane

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Thank you so much for the detailed reply, Dragonfly... I really appreciate you taking the time to do so..

I forgot to mention that I am an international medical graduate - I hope that does not change your response.

I looked at all the schools offering GI fellowships in CA and did not find the PTAL listed as being necessary. I did find this as a requirement for applying to residency but I want to make sure.

Thanks again
 
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ayakkadan

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Hi GIJane,

I am an IMG who matched in California for GI. You do not need a California letter at all. If you match, you are expected to get a state license to practice.
 

eagle7

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Hi Ayakkadan,

I am an IMG applying for a surgical fellowship in California. Can you please advice me regarding the california medical board rules.The program has asked me to confirm with the california medical board if I am eligible. I called the Medical Board and they mentioned I could be eligible for it,But can you help me with some advice as you are already in a fellowship at california. Is this resitricted to only medical school affiliated centres? Please do reply. Eagle 7
 

ayakkadan

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All doctors practising in California, whether US or foreign grads have to go through a rigorous process... takes anywhere from 3-6 months, so you might want to get on it as soon as possible. The link to the application materials website is http://www.medbd.ca.gov/applicant/application_international.pdf

If you have any questions, call them, they are usually very helpful. There is more of a delay for IMGs because of all the documents that have to be sent in from your medical school [which can take time]. Also if you're going for a surgical residency you need a california letter... if its a fellowship, I would say a license is what is needed. The application materials for both are the same. The only difference is the fees.
 
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