fiatslug

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Hiya--I'm a PGY3 in psychiatry with CA med license (will need renewal--and $790 in October of next year). I'm leaning toward starting a fellowship next July in another state, with plan to likely return to CA after 2-3 yrs there. Should I maintain my CA license while I'm gone? CA, of course, has one of the slowest licensing boards imaginable, so gotta throw that into the mix--could potentially wait 6-9 months for a new license. But I hate the idea of tossing away $1600 like that, on top of license fees in the new state! Any suggestions?
 

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I've been told that particularly for CA, if you're planning on returning to the state, it's much better to maintain your license. CA gives you an option to maintain it as an inactive license, which only means that it's less paperwork to fill out, but it still costs the same as an active license, but it's not difficult if you want to activate the license.

I let my CA license expire a couple of years ago because I don't know if I'll ever move back to CA again. But I've heard that by letting it expire, if I want to get re-licensed it will be much more difficult to do so than if I never even had a license in the first place, because they will have to investigate why my license expired. The application process is therefore longer than even the initial application (which is already incredibly drawn out), and it's much more paperwork, and a lot more questions that have to be answered. Granted, this is only hearsay, since I have not tried to get another CA license, but if you are definitely planning on going back to CA, you should keep that in mind.

You may want to talk with someone at the CA medical board to discuss your situation to see what the pros and cons are for your options.
 
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Jocomama

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I agree with the other posters
Alway keep your license - especially CA, TX, FL and IL
The $ is worth it - Re-application even in other states is painful; I just did it - I will keep ALL licenses in the future
The $ is also tax deductible for any license fees, along with CME, etc.
fiatslug said:
Hiya--I'm a PGY3 in psychiatry with CA med license (will need renewal--and $790 in October of next year). I'm leaning toward starting a fellowship next July in another state, with plan to likely return to CA after 2-3 yrs there. Should I maintain my CA license while I'm gone? CA, of course, has one of the slowest licensing boards imaginable, so gotta throw that into the mix--could potentially wait 6-9 months for a new license. But I hate the idea of tossing away $1600 like that, on top of license fees in the new state! Any suggestions?
 

f_w

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In Maryland, you can put your license 'dormant' for $50. If you want to reactivate is all you have to do is provide a NPDR printout and a loss-run.
 

f_w

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In Cali that might be the better idea. Imagine going through your cali licensing once you are an attending. These are hours of your life you can't get back, 1.6k is bad, but not as bad as dealing with some medical boards.
 
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fiatslug

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Kimberli Cox said:
Good idea! BTW, are you saying that the California license is $1600?

Eek...better start saving if I get a job back home! :scared:
It's $790/2 yrs (and I was thinking I might have to renew it twice... and also might stay a bit longer at fellowship site than the length of the fellowship...). Is that the most expensive fee out there? Wouldn't surprise me!
 

f_w

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Is that the most expensive fee out there? Wouldn't surprise me!
I think Connecticut takes the cake for that. It is $450 annually, and if you make the mistake of getting your license a month before your birthday, it can happen that you pay twice for the first year.

Cali is certainly the biggest pain in the #^^ of a license to get out there.
 

Winged Scapula

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fiatslug said:
It's $790/2 yrs (and I was thinking I might have to renew it twice... and also might stay a bit longer at fellowship site than the length of the fellowship...). Is that the most expensive fee out there? Wouldn't surprise me!
It probably is, although I believe like most states, there is an application fee as well?

New Jersey was pretty expensive - I think it was $500 or so to process my application for acceptance, money for transcripts from my school, USMLE, etc., then another fee like $300 once the application was accepted and then another $330 or so for the 1 year license (or $500+ for a 2 year license). All in all, it was about $1200 for the year.

I believe Cali and New Jersey are supposed to be the most expensive.
 

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One thing to consider is if you're ever planning on moving back to your training state. I put my full license from residency training on inactive status rather than pay the renewal fee as I have no plans on returning to that state to practice medicine at present. And the money to keep a license active does add up..
 

Winged Scapula

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Another consideration (for those in the future)...

for many specialties in which you take your Board exams after completion of residency, you have to have an active license to register for and take the exam.

Therefore, if you plan on taking some time off between residency and fellowship or starting a job, make sure your license doesn't expire or that you have an active license in your residency state or any state, so you will be eligible to sit the exam.

I bring this up because I will be in that category - taking time off after fellowship, and in that period my license here expires with only the option to renew for an entire year (in a state in which I have no intention of practicing). However, I can renew my PA license in December of this year, still moonlight there and it will be good until after my exam next year. For those that care... ;)
 
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