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IMG Residency Match Forum International Medical Graduates (IMGs) discussing the residency matching process.


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Old 04-06-2010
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Fire Thread California Letter (PTAL); How to Apply?

Unlike all other states, California requires a special authorization in order for medical school graduates whether US or IMGs to practice medicine or to be enrolled in residency programs.
The authorization to practice medicine is called California License.
The authorization to be enrolled in a residency program is called Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter (PTAL) or commonly referred to as California Letter.

Before talking about the steps on how to get the California letter it's important to note down the contact information of the Medical Board of California (MBC). This is going to be needed throughout the process.

California Medical Board Contact information
Email:
webmaster@mbc.ca.gov which is unlike the info@ecfmg.org they usually respond promptly and give you courtesy.

Mailing Address:
MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA
LICENSING PROGRAM
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA 95815

Telephones:
800 6332322 or 916 263 2382

Fax:

916 2632487

Now let's walk through the application process step by step:

First Step is the online application:

Go to http://www.mbc.ca.gov/
Click on applicants tab and in the resulting new page scroll down and click on "continue"
You'll be taken to this page
http://www.mbc.ca.gov/applicant/additional_info.html

Click on "Online Licensing Application Payment" on the right upper corner

Then click on "Professional Licensing Log-in"
Which should take you to this page
https://elicense.dca.ca.gov/iLicense/iLicense
and here's a screenshot of that page
California Letter (PTAL); How to Apply?-licensehome.jpg
click to enlarge

Of course you click on the first time users link
thereafter you choose a username and password, email, mailing address, SSN (optional), and a credit card to be charged later on.

See this image to know what exactly should be checked while paying:
California Letter (PTAL); How to Apply?-ptal001.jpg
click to enlarge

The total amount that you have to pay is $493 broken down into $442 (Application Fee) and $51 (Finger Print Processing Fee).

The page that you'll see when you finish the online application looks like this:
California Letter (PTAL); How to Apply?-ptalreceipt.jpg
click to enlarge

You'll later receive an email confirmation from ilicense@dcs.ca.gov and they'll say in it the following:

***************************
You have successfully registered with the State of California Online Professional Licensing system.

You are registered as: FirstName LastName
Your User ID is: xxx

Please keep it for your records. You will need this User ID to login into the system or to reset your password.
***************************
Thereafter you can go to
https://elicense.dca.ca.gov/iLicense/iLicense
Log in with your username and password
print out the online receipt because you'll need this for the next steps.

Alternatively, if you don't like to pay online you can send money order or certified check or personal check and make it payable to "Medical Board of California" and enclose it with your application papers.

Next Step is to do the Finger Printing:

You can go to http://www.mbc.ca.gov/applicant/live_scan.pdf
and print out live scan forms (three copies)

then you can locate a live scan center here
http://ag.ca.gov/fingerprints/publications/contact.htm

or you can choose to send them a finger printing card instead if you don't reside in California or you won't be visiting California. But in this case you have to contact them in order they mail you the finger printing cards.

Note that usually you will be charged $25 when you go to the fingerprinting center, this is another charge to be added to the $51 that you paid already. So your total so far is 493+25= $518

Although you completed three copies but you will send only one copy to MBC to be attached to L1A-L1E forms. The other two copies one will go to the FBI and DOJ and the other can be kept with you.

The Next Step is to fill out and notarize forms L1A, L1B, L1C, L1D, and L1E:

These forms can be downloaded from this page
http://www.medbd.ca.gov/applicant/ap...ernational.pdf

L1A: just answer the questions; Mention any of the exam scores that you have taken so far. It's better you mention at least one exam though it is not mandatory.
L1B: not needed for IMGs; definitely we did not do any ACGME accredited postgraduate training so far and we don't have a state license yet. So leave questions 14 and 15 blank, just sign at the bottom and put your date of birth.
L1C and L1D: Leave ABMS certifications if you are applying for the PTAL and answer all questions 17-38. (this is only required for the California license not the PTAL.
L1E: This form you have to sign in front of the Notary Public who should put his seal and signature in addition to yours.

Now Your are considered an applicant:
Once you send the notarized L1A-L1E along with the application fees (Online Receipt if you paid online, money order or check if you are not) and the finger printing request document then you are considered an applicant and you should receive a notice from the MBC within 90 days.

The letter looks like this
https://www2.mbc.ca.gov/WAAS/images/...ivedLetter.jpg

In which you can see that you now have application tracking system (ATS) number.

This number is very important because you will later on be able to follow your case by entering it in this page
https://www2.mbc.ca.gov/WAAS/

Once you get a number you will be assigned an application analyst. They have people assigned to the first letter of your last name. For example if your last name is James then the person in charge with the "J" letter will be in charge of your case.

Most of these clerks are friendly, supportive, and helpful. They will respond to your emails and telephone contacts promptly and professionally.

Once you know who's your assigned clerk, keep his/her contact info handy as you will frequently need to be in contact with him/her for various issues and most importantly to expedite your letter should the match season starts and you don't have it yet.

Although the complete list of required documents is more than what's mentioned so far but the above steps are enough to get you into the process.

It's recommended that you complete the above steps early in April so that you enter their system so that later on updating your case with exam scores and med school papers get considerably shorter time to finish and you will be able to apply to California programs in September.

Here's a screenshot of the latest required documents:
California Letter (PTAL); How to Apply?-ptalrequirements.jpg
click to enlarge

The Next Step is to fill out and send L2, L3A, L3B, L4 and L5:

L3A and L3B and L4: these forms have to be filled when you finish your residency and you want to apply for a California license (to practice). It's not needed when you apply for PTAL.
L6: is needed if you have attended clinical training and clerkships outside your core primary medical school training (a big example here is Caribbean medical schools where they usually send their students for clerkships in US)

L2 Form should be completed and signed by your medical school
L5 Form should be completed and singed by you medical school

A very important point about L5 Form:
The most common reason of IMG rejection is the number of psychiatry hours during your core medical curriculum, make sure to send them a total of at least 80 hours of psychiatry rotations. If your medical school curriculum did not meet this requirement then you have to top up your application with a certified psychiatry clerkship here in the US in order to get it through.
Another big advice regarding from L5 is to try to find a colleague from your school who has done it before and got accepted. This way you can adjust the number of hours in lieu with what he/she has done, of course changing the dates as appropriate if does not match yours.

The Next Step is to send them your exam scores:

for exam scores go here
http://www.mbc.ca.gov/applicant/exam_scores.html

You need to have passed both Step 1 and Step 2 CK before your are granted a California letter. However, my advice is that you can start the application above (L1A-L1E + Finger Printing + Fees) before you have passed these exams. This will buy you sometime, so that then you can just update them with your exam scores which should not take a long time. So for example start the application in February then when your exam scores are ready in July or August you can update them with the scores and your letter would be ready in September or October otherwise if you start the application in July-August you may not get the letter until February or March next year jeopardizing your potential match in a California program

The Next Step is to send them your Medical School Transcript and Degree (Diploma):

In their instructions they mention that your medical school should send to MBC directly (not through you) certified copies of your transcript and degree. Certified copies means that the photocopy should be stamped (true copy of original) and sealed with the college stamp and signed by the authorized school official.

The previous paragraph is the ideal situation. However, if you are having difficulty with your medical school sending the transcript and the degree (diploma) then the alternative is that you yourself send them the original documents along with translated copies (if they were not in English). In their official instructions they don't mention that but in reality they do accept this method as I have experienced (and several friends of mine) such a scenario with them.

What you can do if the letter is not yet out and you started applying for the match in ERAS?

You can scan the receipt notice that you received and send to ECFMG for scanning. This is considered equivalent to the original letter by most California programs. However, they'll ask you to bring the final letter when you appear for the interview. At the time of the interview you should have completed all the requirements.
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2010
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This is the most comprehensive detailed guideline for California letter application.
Thanks a ton Sabio
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Old 04-19-2010
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thank u a whole bunch!

and here i thought it was very confusing. but this is very easy to understand. so if we have california in mind, all we need is this PTAL and to get Matched. what about electives? is it recommended that we do our electives in california. and for electives, do we need this PTAL too?
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Old 04-19-2010
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Default Re: what about electives

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seetal View Post
what about electives? is it recommended that we do our electives in california. and for electives, do we need this PTAL too?
Electives anywhere in the US (including California) and in a recognized University or University-affiliated programs are going to be extremely helpful.

No. You don't need California letter in order to attain electives in California.
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Old 05-17-2010
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is there anyway possible to get PTAL on a B1/B2 visa ?? because of SSN requirement on the PTAL
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Old 05-17-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insomnia View Post
is there anyway possible to get PTAL on a B1/B2 visa ?? because of SSN requirement on the PTAL
The SSN is optional in PTAL is not mandatory. So yes you can still apply to it even when you are on B1/B2 Visa.
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Old 05-17-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabio View Post
The SSN is optional in PTAL is not mandatory. So yes you can still apply to it even when you are on B1/B2 Visa.
are you sure about this, from what i have read from other people experiences the PTAL will not be processed until i provide an SSN.
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Old 05-17-2010
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Unhappy Am surprised!

Quote:
Originally Posted by insomnia View Post
are you sure about this, from what i have read from other people experiences the PTAL will not be processed until i provide an SSN.
Yes, you are right. I was wrong about this. You have to have SSN in order for your PTAL to be processed.

I checked their forms and they insist on disclosing the SSN during finger printing. But they don't mention about applicants without SSN. So I emailed my friend who works in MBC and she immediately replied that they don't process applications without SSN!

This is really strange. I think that's why IMGs without Visas are not getting into California residencies.

However, please remember that if you are on J1 or H1B visa then you will definitely be issued a social security number.
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Old 05-19-2010
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Listening hey

hi guys this is a really nice thread....do u hav any ideas about internal medicine programs??? i've heard tht they r very competitive...
my step 1 score is 247/99
step 2 ck 258/99
awaiting my cs results...i m absolutely clueless...
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Old 05-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prachu85_v View Post
hi guys this is a really nice thread....do u hav any ideas about internal medicine programs??? i've heard tht they r very competitive...
my step 1 score is 247/99
step 2 ck 258/99
awaiting my cs results...i m absolutely clueless...
Woow, you have great scores!
Are you asking about IM programs in California or in general
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Old 05-20-2010
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Listening hey takumi

i m sorry my post was incomplete......yaa i m talking about california programs...i hav applied for ptal shud get it by august...but nowhere i fond blogs written about california....can u give me some advice???? thanks
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Old 05-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prachu85_v View Post
i m sorry my post was incomplete......yaa i m talking about california programs...i hav applied for ptal shud get it by august...but nowhere i fond blogs written about california....can u give me some advice???? thanks
Here some links for you to play with

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

UCLA Internal Medicine Residency Program

UC Davis Internal Medicine Residency Program
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Old 06-03-2010
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Default hello Sabio and Takumi

Hi! Thank you for the detailed, step-by-step guide Sabio!

I am an IMG, a greencard holder, have taken steps 1 and 2CK, and will be taking the step 2CS this month. I currently reside in California.

Until recently, I had crossed off California from my list of states to apply to because I was overwhelmed with all the requirements needed to get the PTAL.

Just today I decided that I want to apply in CA after all--or at least give it a shot--since this state is my top choice.

I'm having a bit of trouble with the time table.
My questions are:
Is it too late for me to apply for the PTAL?
If I am able to submit my L1A-L1E documents and do the fingerprinting within the next month, will I still be able to receive the letter on time?
What if my L2 and L5 won't be completed until about late July (as I would have to return to the Philippines for that), would that be too late?

I would really appreciate any advice on this.

Thank you so much!
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Old 06-03-2010
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I agree Yes.. still there's time

Quote:
Originally Posted by talkshowsonmute View Post
Hi! Thank you for the detailed, step-by-step guide Sabio! .........advice on this.

Thank you so much!
Yes, I think you still have time. Do the L1A-L1E as soon as possible.

In ERAS you can send the online receipt as an enough evidence that you applied and you won't need the actual letter until the interviews which can be as late as January.

You don't need to go back to your country for L2 and L5. You can send them the forms via mail and they can return them by mail to the Medical board of California.
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Default thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabio View Post
Yes, I think you still have time. Do the L1A-L1E as soon as possible.

In ERAS you can send the online receipt as an enough evidence that you applied and you won't need the actual letter until the interviews which can be as late as January.

You don't need to go back to your country for L2 and L5. You can send them the forms via mail and they can return them by mail to the Medical board of California.

Thank you Sabio for the advice! I shall complete the L1A-L1E as soon as possible. Thanks a lot.
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Old 12-08-2010
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Hi Sabio, thank you for the post. I have a question; should I wait the 90 days to receive a confirmation and assigned analysts, or I can send the L5, L2 and the credentials directly and they will attach it to my file?
thanks,
Hadeel
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Old 12-17-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadeel View Post
Hi Sabio, thank you for the post. I have a question; should I wait the 90 days to receive a confirmation and assigned analysts, or I can send the L5, L2 and the credentials directly and they will attach it to my file?
thanks,
Hadeel
Send them. You don't need to wait. Your assigned analyst is the always the same because he/she takes care of all applicants who's last name start with H for example so it won't change.
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Old 01-03-2011
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Hi,
is it necessary for the picture to be 2*3 or I can use the regular passport pic 2*2
thanks!
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Default Yes you can

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadeel View Post
Hi,
is it necessary for the picture to be 2*3 or I can use the regular passport pic 2*2
thanks!
You can use the regular 2X2 Passport photo
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Old 01-07-2011
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Default Help for PTAL

Hi,

Regarding form L5, does it have to be exactly as the clinical courses stated in the transcription of records ? or it could be more specified breakdown of the clinical courses(clerkships), Any help, please.
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Old 01-08-2011
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Do you have to be a medical graduate to apply for PTAL or can you still be a student?
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Old 01-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabio View Post
Yes, you are right. I was wrong about this. You have to have SSN in order for your PTAL to be processed.

I checked their forms and they insist on disclosing the SSN during finger printing. But they don't mention about applicants without SSN. So I emailed my friend who works in MBC and she immediately replied that they don't process applications without SSN!

This is really strange. I think that's why IMGs without Visas are not getting into California residencies.

However, please remember that if you are on J1 or H1B visa then you will definitely be issued a social security number.
Interesting. So how do IMGs with no visa, looking for a program to sponsor them for J1/H1B, apply for PTAL? Or is that the whole point...?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shibtag View Post
Interesting. So how do IMGs with no visa, looking for a program to sponsor them for J1/H1B, apply for PTAL? Or is that the whole point...?
I heard from some applicants recently that the Medical Boards of California can wait for you one year until you get SSN. If you don't get it by then, they'll cancel your PTAL. But am not sure of this information.
H1B Visa applicants will get SSN once they get the visa.
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Old 01-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzles View Post
Do you have to be a medical graduate to apply for PTAL or can you still be a student?
They can accept you if you have finished Step 2 CK, Step 1, and CS, and your clinical rotations in medical school. I think the Diploma is not a must, but am not sure though, I'll check and get back to you.
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HI sabio
thanks for your post.
L1E: This form you have to sign in front of the Notary Public who should put his seal and signature in addition to yours. (this can be done by a Notary public in my own country or one in the states?)

.Do you have a model of certificate of completion of clinical courses, in my academic trasncript it appears per credits, im from Peru. Also i just have a certified copy of my medical transcript c, can i send it?

.they said in one link you add that they need the score report send by the reporter office . can i print it and give it by myself?

thank you ,those are my concerns so far.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhona54 View Post
HI sabio
thanks for your post.
L1E: This form you have to sign in front of the Notary Public who should put his seal and signature in addition to yours. (this can be done by a Notary public in my own country or one in the states?)

.Do you have a model of certificate of completion of clinical courses, in my academic trasncript it appears per credits, im from Peru. Also i just have a certified copy of my medical transcript c, can i send it?

.they said in one link you add that they need the score report send by the reporter office . can i print it and give it by myself?

thank you ,those are my concerns so far.
Here are answers to your questions:
-Yes you can sign the L1E form in Peru and send it by mail.
-I don't have an example of the clinical courses and how to be filled, just fill them up exactly as you did them in med school and you will be fine.
-Certified copy of the transcript won't work, they want the original.
-You cannot send them the USMLE score, they have to take it directly either from the ECFMG of the FCVS.
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Old 01-12-2011
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Default

Dear Sabio

I found your review extremely useful and that was my motivation for do more research and i found this link

http://fm.mednet.ucla.edu/IMG/residency/PTAL.asp#forml5

is a step by step process explanation , including how to do the l5 and the other letters , and include picturesss!!!!! wich make it very didactic and i think more doable.

thank you again dear sabio and i hope this link help the people looking for do this ptal.
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  #28  
Old 02-15-2011
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Default finger printing

can i do finger printing in my country and then translate the result of that?
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Old 02-15-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hedihav_x View Post
can i do finger printing in my country and then translate the result of that?
No you cannot do that.
It has to be a US based background check
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Old 02-15-2011
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Quote:
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No you cannot do that.
It has to be a US based background check
Can I do my fingerprinting in us but before filling out online application for PTAL?

I took step 1 and step 2 CS, but I am waiting for the result of step 2 CS (I don't know if I pass or fail) so I can't apply for PTAL right now.

I want to come back to my country for 4-5 months but before I go can I do my finger printing?
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Can I do my fingerprinting in US .....
Yes you can do that, but you should be having a social security number.
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  #32  
Old 03-23-2011
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Default residency in Carlifornia

Thank you for this information. If your medical school is not recognized by the carlifornia medical board is there a way of going around it?
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Old 03-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natashar View Post
Thank you for this information. If your medical school is not recognized by the carlifornia medical board is there a way of going around it?
I don't think there is a way to get around that
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I am in the same boat guys.. Do we have to fill the 14,15 Q in for L1B? though this post say no need to in the 1st page. but I read in other forum somebody got rejected for this reason.

@sabio : Do I need to ask them, If I want to send my original diploma and transcript to california med/board?
If yes, what is the safest method to send these original?
I don't reside in california, how much time does it take if I use the paper fingerprint cards?

Last edited by ferrero; 03-23-2011 at 08:06 PM. Reason: wanted to add more info
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Old 03-26-2011
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Arrow Answers to your questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by ferrero View Post
I am in the same boat guys.. Do we have to fill the 14,15 Q in for L1B? though this post say no need to in the 1st page. but I read in other forum somebody got rejected for this reason.

@sabio : Do I need to ask them, If I want to send my original diploma and transcript to california med/board?
If yes, what is the safest method to send these original?
I don't reside in california, how much time does it take if I use the paper fingerprint cards?
--You have to answer Questions 14 and 15 in Form L1B. If it is not applicable to you, write N/A and check the NO answers to all questions in item 14.
--Yes, the need the original Diploma and transcript, you need to send it via courier such as FedEx, UPS, DHL, ..etc
--If you use the paper fingerprint cards, it will take at least three weeks.
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  #36  
Old 04-26-2011
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Would you please tell me what is enclosed in the final California letter, I mean USMLE score, medical school transcripts will be attached to the letter?

Thanks a lot.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drcrossing View Post
Would you please tell me what is enclosed in the final California letter, I mean USMLE score, medical school transcripts will be attached to the letter?

Thanks a lot.
No.
Nothing will be enclosed to the California letter, it's just a paper saying that you are authorized for postgraduate training in the State of California.
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  #38  
Old 04-27-2011
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Default one more question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabio View Post
No.
Nothing will be enclosed to the California letter, it's just a paper saying that you are authorized for postgraduate training in the State of California.
Sabio, thank you very much for your reply.
I have one more question.
On the Form L2, there is a full list of different courses, but many of them are combined as in one course in our medical school transcript, for example, Anesthesia and Urology are included in Surgery. My question is: do my transcript have to be exactly match the items listed on the form L2? or do I need ask my medical school give some explanation about some courses, for example, saying Surgery includes Anesthesia and Urology?
Thank you so much for your time and efforts.
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Old 04-30-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drcrossing View Post
Sabio, thank you very much for your reply.
I have one more question.
On the Form L2, there is a full list of different courses, but many of them are combined as in one course in our medical school transcript, for example, Anesthesia and Urology are included in Surgery. My question is: do my transcript have to be exactly match the items listed on the form L2? or do I need ask my medical school give some explanation about some courses, for example, saying Surgery includes Anesthesia and Urology?
Thank you so much for your time and efforts.
Yes you can ask your medical school to include further details about each rotation.
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Old 06-25-2011
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Default Regarding My NAme for the PTAL

Hey Sabio thanks for the valuable info you always provide

I want to ask in regards to name, in my medical school my name is ______ but after I graduated I got my citizenship my name got changed, regarding the L5 my college will probably not recognize this name change, so do I write my name on the L5 as the one I had during college?
And continue the rest of the application with my new name providing them with a copy of my name change??

Please help, thanks

Last edited by renasami; 06-25-2011 at 01:57 PM.
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  #41  
Old 06-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renasami View Post
Hey Sabio thanks for the valuable info you always provide

I want to ask in regards to name, in my medical school my name is Erene Samir Ehsan but after I graduated I got my citizenship my name got changed, regarding the L5 my college will probably not recognize this name change, so do I write my name on the L5 as the one I had during college?
And continue the rest of the application with my new name providing them with a copy of my name change??

Please help, thanks
Yes. That sounds good.

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  #42  
Old 06-25-2011
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Thanks for the prompt reply

Alright one more question...the facility name on the L5 do they want the hospital name or the unit in which you took that training
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  #43  
Old 07-01-2011
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Hi do you think it is to late for me to start this whole application??
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  #44  
Old 07-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renasami View Post
Thanks for the prompt reply

Alright one more question...the facility name on the L5 do they want the hospital name or the unit in which you took that training
Hospital name is enough.

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  #45  
Old 07-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Androide89 View Post
Hi do you think it is to late for me to start this whole application??
If you start the application now, you might get the PTAL by November or December.

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  #46  
Old 08-24-2011
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Default i need help please

hi
i dont have ssn for registration so what i should do.
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  #47  
Old 12-24-2011
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Default Holly SSN!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver1983 View Post
hi
i dont have ssn for registration so what i should do.
It seems that if you dont have SSN they will not process the application.
Nobody say this clear, I mean, even Sabio, being wise, mentioned this:
"Of course you click on the first time users link
thereafter you choose a username and password, email, mailing address, SSN (optional), and a credit card to be charged later on."


If you try to apply online the option is NOT OPTIONAL, it is mandatory and you are not allowed to continue if you dont provide a SSN.

The fact is that they are free to put the requierements they love, this should be more public.
I -for example- started all the proper papers and docuents, send them off.. and when I tried to pay...I discover this.

It is unfair, but they can do it.
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Old 01-12-2012
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Default Requirement for California letter

Dear All,
My Name is Dr. Bhagyalakshmi ( Pediatrician ) graduated from India.
My Query are,
a) Do I need this California letter for doing Residency in any other state other than California
b) I Have completed my Diploma in Child Health(DCH) in India , which is a 2 year post graduation program after Medical Degree. Will I be eligible to take up Fellowship program in California or USA. If Yes, Please help me with the procedure or any pointers.

Thank you,
Dr Bhagya
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Old 01-16-2012
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Default fellowship

Carlifornia letter is only for that state

To do fellowship you have give all usmle steps , with out doing residency its difficult to get fellowship in USA , wait seniors advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr.bhagyalakshmi View Post
Dear All,
My Name is Dr. Bhagyalakshmi ( Pediatrician ) graduated from India.
My Query are,
a) Do I need this California letter for doing Residency in any other state other than California
b) I Have completed my Diploma in Child Health(DCH) in India , which is a 2 year post graduation program after Medical Degree. Will I be eligible to take up Fellowship program in California or USA. If Yes, Please help me with the procedure or any pointers.

Thank you,
Dr Bhagya
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  #50  
Old 01-25-2012
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Default Thanks a lot

I really appreciate your help in regarding PTAL. This is the most comprehensive detailed guideline for California letter application.
Thanks a ton Sabio
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  #51  
Old 03-24-2012
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Hello, everybody
I've been searching lately for more information about the PTAL and found this forum very useful. However I'm still confused about the clinical weeks requirement. Section 2089.5 of the California Law mentions nothing about how many clinical hours are considered in a week, it only mentions weeks, but yes, I have read on several sites/forums about the 32h/week calculation. The problem is I meet the number of weeks requirement for all core clinical courses but the number of hours that shows on my transcript (btw, my transcript shows the no. of hours for each course broken down in lectures and practice, nothing is in weeks) for certain courses is less than the minimum no of hours calculated based on the 32h/week. That's because in our medical school we had about 20h/week of clinical practice (acctually I'm still not very certain about how the hours were calculated on my transcript, I will have to check on that). If I fill out weeks on Form L5 will they notice the discrepancy with my transcript? On the other hand if I fill "weekly hours" I will probably be deficient...Anybody else faced with this issue?
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Old 03-30-2012
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Default When will I get my PTAL?

Thank You Sabio for making it easy for the new applicants like me to know about PTAL. I am planning send my L1A-E forms by 2day. I contacted the California board regarding the fingerprint materials, they told they will mail them to my address. I had a doubt. When should I send my degree to the California Board. Approximately how long will it take for me to get the PTAL if I send my formL1A-E now.
Thanks!!
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Old 03-30-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pret19 View Post
Thank You Sabio for making it easy for the new applicants like me to know about PTAL. I am planning send my L1A-E forms by 2day. I contacted the California board regarding the fingerprint materials, they told they will mail them to my address. I had a doubt. When should I send my degree to the California Board. Approximately how long will it take for me to get the PTAL if I send my formL1A-E now.
Thanks!!
Average is three months.

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  #54  
Old 04-02-2012
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Default Form l1c

Dear all,

what is the answer to question No. 23 form L1C If I had speeding ticket(YES,NO) ?
Dose the speeding ticket will affect the approval of my application?
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  #55  
Old 04-02-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badro0oz View Post
Dear all,

what is the answer to question No. 23 form L1C If I had speeding ticket(YES,NO) ?
Dose the speeding ticket will affect the approval of my application?
Answer the truth.
It won't affect your chances even if you answered Yes.

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  #56  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StepTaker View Post
Answer the truth.
It won't affect your chances even if you answered Yes.

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But this is not a serious traffic violation like which they specified in the form
(for example; reckless driving)
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Old 04-03-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badro0oz View Post
But this is not a serious traffic violation like which they specified in the form
(for example; reckless driving)
Please post the form question exactly as it is and I will tell you what you should answer.

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  #58  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StepTaker View Post
Please post the form question exactly as it is and I will tell you what you should answer.

-

CRIMINAL RECORD HISTORY

23. Have you ever been convicted of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to ANY offense in any state in the United States or foreign country?

This includes a citation, infraction, misdemeanor and/or felony, etc. If “YES” attach a list of each offense by arrest and conviction dates, violation, and court of jurisdiction (name and address). Matters in which you were diverted, deferred, pardoned, pled nolo contendere, or if the conviction was later expunged from the record of the court or set aside under Penal Code Section 1203.4 MUST be disclosed. If you are awaiting judgment and sentencing following entry of a plea or jury verdict, you MUST disclose the conviction; you are entitled to submit evidence that you have been rehabilitated. Serious traffic convictions such as reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, hit and run, evading a peace officer, failure to appear, driving while the license is suspended or revoked MUST be reported. This list is not all-inclusive. If in doubt as to whether a conviction should be disclosed, it is better to disclose the conviction on the application.
For each conviction disclosed, you must submit with the application certified copies of the arresting agency report, certified copies of the court documents, and a descriptive explanation of the circumstances surrounding the conviction of disciplinary action (i.e., dates and location of incident and all circumstances surrounding the incident). This letter must accompany the application. If documents were purged by arresting agency and/or court, a letter of explanation from these agencies is required.
Criminal Record
Applicants who answer “NO” to the question but have a previous conviction or plea, may have their application denied or license
revoked for knowingly falsifying the application.
YES NO
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  #59  
Old 04-06-2012
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Default Img residnecy -does any other state in usa require ptal letter (similar to california ?)

Img residnecy -

does any other state in usa require ptal letter (similar to california ?)
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  #60  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medicine1234 View Post
Img residnecy -

does any other state in usa require ptal letter (similar to California?)
PTAL is only for California. No other state.

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Old 04-06-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badro0oz View Post

CRIMINAL RECORD HISTORY

23. Have you ever been convicted of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to ANY offense in any state in the United States or foreign country?
Speeding tickets are generally not recognized as crimes or offenses. They are considered citations and infractions. Since they are even asking for these, If I were you, I would put the speeding ticket, it wouldn't affect your chances. Everybody in America has got speeding ticket

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  #62  
Old 04-28-2012
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Default

In our medical school we did clerkship in IM, psychiatry & all other required fields..but we had nothing named family medicine. But for PTAL they said in FM 4 weeks clerkship is needed....so what I can do now..?..confused ...
plz help.
do they reject application also for FM? bcoz in total we did medicine about 70 weeks..with all the sub-specialties..
but there is nothing about FM...
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  #63  
Old 04-29-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oti nogonno View Post
In our medical school we did clerkship in IM, psychiatry & all other required fields..but we had nothing named family medicine. But for PTAL they said in FM 4 weeks clerkship is needed....so what I can do now..?..confused ...
plz help.
do they reject application also for FM? bcoz in total we did medicine about 70 weeks..with all the sub-specialties..
but there is nothing about FM...
Did you do community medicine or preventive medicine or public health?
I am sure you did, therefore when you fill form L5, mention those course as Family Medicine and let your school approve it. It's just a name game here

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  #64  
Old 05-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabio View Post
Did you do community medicine or preventive medicine or public health?
I am sure you did, therefore when you fill form L5, mention those course as Family Medicine and let your school approve it. It's just a name game here

-
Sabio thanks a lot....!
If my med school approved the L5, do they (California medical board) cross check with the transcript? Bcoz though we did community med/preventive med 4 weeks,it is not mentioned in the transcript..!! so now if Dean approve my L5 with FM 4 weeks..is that ok?
confused..
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Old 05-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oti nogonno View Post
Sabio thanks a lot....!
If my med school approved the L5, do they (California medical board) cross check with the transcript? Bcoz though we did community med/preventive med 4 weeks,it is not mentioned in the transcript..!! so now if Dean approve my L5 with FM 4 weeks..is that ok?
confused..
No. They don't cross check with the transcript. So once you get your L5 done appropriately you are good to go.
L5 is the biggest hurdle toward getting the California Letter.

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Old 05-17-2012
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Default hi sabio

hi sabio, i am having problems with this process. there seems to be something i am doing wrong. i have paid the money online and have gotten an email saying that i have successfully registered with the online system. But i cant print my receipt (i.e theres no online receipt) and when i log in i cant find my final instructions. Also i did not see this page when i finished paying online. isnt the payment almost the only online part of the application, the L1-5 forms can be printed and filled out in ink right?
i really apologize for having all these questions after your beautiful explanation at the top.

thanks

Last edited by nativedoc2; 05-17-2012 at 04:45 PM.
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  #67  
Old 05-17-2012
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Default hi sabio

hi i have a question
you may have addressed this in oti's question, in my official school transcript there is no place for psychiatry it was a part of my internal medicine clerkship. from what you told her, i am guessing that my school should fill out psychiatry in the L5 form. i really hope they dont crosscheck with the transcript. or should i get the school to write a separate letter stating how psychiatry was a part of my medicine clerkship and i fufilled even more than California's required 4 weeks.

i graduated from a nigerian school and my transcript doesnt show how many hours or weeks spent per clerkship, theres nothing i can do about it, this is the official template my school has used for years. is this going to be an issue?

thanks
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Old 05-18-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nativedoc2 View Post
hi i have a question
you may have addressed this in oti's question, in my official school transcript there is no place for psychiatry it was a part of my internal medicine clerkship. from what you told her, i am guessing that my school should fill out psychiatry in the L5 form. i really hope they dont crosscheck with the transcript. or should i get the school to write a separate letter stating how psychiatry was a part of my medicine clerkship and i fufilled even more than California's required 4 weeks.

i graduated from a nigerian school and my transcript doesnt show how many hours or weeks spent per clerkship, theres nothing i can do about it, this is the official template my school has used for years. is this going to be an issue?

thanks
It's not going to be an issue. Just let them fill L5 and let them mention psychiatry, there's no need for a separate letter of explanation, don't open the door for them to scrutinize and make problems.

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  #69  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nativedoc2 View Post
hi sabio, i am having problems with this process. there seems to be something i am doing wrong. i have paid the money online and have gotten an email saying that i have successfully registered with the online system. But i cant print my receipt (i.e theres no online receipt) and when i log in i cant find my final instructions. Also i did not see this page when i finished paying online. isnt the payment almost the only online part of the application, the L1-5 forms can be printed and filled out in ink right?
i really apologize for having all these questions after your beautiful explanation at the top.
thanks
You are fine.
Yes. the L1-L5 should be printed and sent to them via mail.

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  #70  
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Default hi sabio

thanks for replying.
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Old 05-29-2012
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I applied for the ptal and I have all my documents sent, however i dont think i will receive my PTAL until aug-sept. I hear you can send in the "applications received letter" as a temporary document to ERAS until you receive your actual PTAL. My problem is that I seemed to have misplaced that applications received letter! what should I do since I am pretty sure my PTAL wont be here until september.

Last edited by lox786; 05-29-2012 at 04:03 PM. Reason: forgot to mention something
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  #72  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lox786 View Post
I applied for the ptal and I have all my documents sent, however i dont think i will receive my PTAL until aug-sept. I hear you can send in the "applications received letter" as a temporary document to ERAS until you receive your actual PTAL. My problem is that I seemed to have misplaced that applications received letter! what should I do since I am pretty sure my PTAL wont be here until september.
Call your licensing analyst at the Medical Board of California and ask him/her to email or mail you the "application received" letter.
But I want to emphasize here that this letter wouldn't be as powerful as the real California letter.

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  #73  
Old 06-15-2012
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Thank you for providing all of this information.
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  #74  
Old 11-11-2012
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Hi!
Thanx for the informative post... I have graduated from india and do have my official transcript which has 2 weeks of psychiatry(during my 2nd year) and internship completion certificate ( separate from official transcript) which shows the other 2 weeks.. So should I ask my medical school to make a transcript combining them both for the required 4 weeks (else the transcript will show 2 weeks and my application will show 4) or do i send the certified copies of both??
Thanx for the help.
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  #75  
Old 11-11-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sndhgrvr View Post
Hi!
Thanx for the informative post... I have graduated from india and do have my official transcript which has 2 weeks of psychiatry(during my 2nd year) and internship completion certificate ( separate from official transcript) which shows the other 2 weeks.. So should I ask my medical school to make a transcript combining them both for the required 4 weeks (else the transcript will show 2 weeks and my application will show 4) or do i send the certified copies of both??
Thanx for the help.
Send certified copies of both.

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  #76  
Old 03-19-2013
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Default PTAL vs license.

Thanks for the step by step instructions, still lots of papers ...

Hey, I realized that PTAL process is part of Cali medical licensure.
Cali license = PTAL + Post-graduate completion.

Am I right?

In that case, assume that I apply for PTAL now, have it, then complete an ACGME program. Then I apply for the rest (form L3A, B) to get Cali license.

Or do I need to redo everything like ... form L1A-E, my school has to resubmit all of my credentials again like ... forms L2, L5, transcript, certified copy of diploma ...?

Thanks for the inputs!
LBX.
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  #77  
Old 03-20-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longbuxu View Post
Thanks for the step by step instructions, still lots of papers ...

Hey, I realized that PTAL process is part of Cali medical licensure.
Cali license = PTAL + Post-graduate completion.

Am I right?

In that case, assume that I apply for PTAL now, have it, then complete an ACGME program. Then I apply for the rest (form L3A, B) to get Cali license.

Or do I need to redo everything like ... form L1A-E, my school has to resubmit all of my credentials again like ... forms L2, L5, transcript, certified copy of diploma ...?

Thanks for the inputs!
LBX.
Yes. You are right. You don't need to redo everything. Just send them the ACGME residency completion forms and Step 3 form and they'll grant you the full license.

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  #78  
Old 03-22-2013
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I have a question regarding PTAL, is it a one-time issed letter ?

Does it have a validity period or expiration date ? Or once I get it, I can use it every year. If I don't get a residency position, Can I use the same letter the following year? Or I have to apply for a new one


Regards
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  #79  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bishoy View Post
I have a question regarding PTAL, is it a one-time issed letter ?

Does it have a validity period or expiration date ? Or once I get it, I can use it every year. If I don't get a residency position, Can I use the same letter the following year? Or I have to apply for a new one


Regards
Once it's issued it's valid for one year. Next year they'll ask you to update some stuff, like you need to send them a statement of activity of what you have been doing during the last year, but you don't need to send the med school papers and diploma again.

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  #80  
Old 03-22-2013
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Default Can I include Internship rotations?

Hi, thank you for this post!

I am an IMG. We had 8 weeks of Medicine, 8 weeks of Surgery, 8 weeks of Pedia, 8 weeks of Ob-gyn, 4 weeks of FM but only 2 weeks of Psychiatry during our clinical clerkship. After being awarded the MD degree by my medical school, I did internship at a different hospital where we did 4 weeks of Psychiatry. Can I add those weeks to my clinical clerkship training to satisfy the minimum 4 weeks Psych requirement? If yes, do I place those internship weeks in L5 or L6? Additionally, do I ask the clinical clerkship director or the internship training director to sign the L5 or L6?

I hope you can enlighten me. Thank you!
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Old 03-22-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monday Glazes View Post
Hi, thank you for this post!

I am an IMG. We had 8 weeks of Medicine, 8 weeks of Surgery, 8 weeks of Pedia, 8 weeks of Ob-gyn, 4 weeks of FM but only 2 weeks of Psychiatry during our clinical clerkship. After being awarded the MD degree by my medical school, I did internship at a different hospital where we did 4 weeks of Psychiatry. Can I add those weeks to my clinical clerkship training to satisfy the minimum 4 weeks Psych requirement? If yes, do I place those internship weeks in L5 or L6? Additionally, do I ask the clinical clerkship director or the internship training director to sign the L5 or L6?

I hope you can enlighten me. Thank you!
  • Use L6 if you have done your internship in another system (outside your med school city)
  • Use L5 if you have done your internship in the same city.
  • If you have done the internship in the same city, then your med school should fill form L5 (not your clerkship director or your internship director), it should be the registrar of your med school.
  • If you have done your internship in another city, then make your internship director fill for your Form L6.
  • If you internship is a core rotation (i.e. your MD degree was awarded after the internship) then your psychiatry rotation during the internship will definitely count as a core rotation and must be mentioned in either form L5 or L6 as I outlined above.

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  #82  
Old 03-22-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StepTaker View Post
Once it's issued it's valid for one year. Next year they'll ask you to update some stuff, like you need to send them a statement of activity of what you have been doing during the last year, but you don't need to send the med school papers and diploma again.

-
Thank you for the information but how will this affect the issuance of the letter for the second time ?

Most IMGs (who are living in US like myself) will be either doing some observerships, or working somewhere trying to save some money for the next Match !! How will this affect the PTAL? and is there another fee of $500 for issuing PTAL for the second time ?

Thank you
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  #83  
Old 03-22-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bishoy View Post
Thank you for the information but how will this affect the issuance of the letter for the second time ?

Most IMGs (who are living in US like myself) will be either doing some observerships, or working somewhere trying to save some money for the next Match !! How will this affect the PTAL? and is there another fee of $500 for issuing PTAL for the second time ?

Thank you
That's OK. Just tell them what you have been doing, they won't mind it.
No. There won't be another $500.

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  #84  
Old 04-09-2013
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Hey thanks for the reply.

As I understand, ECFMG will only send score reports only (maybe also the exam performance charts).
Is there anyway to have them send the whole credentials (medical transcript, MSPE, diploma, ...) so I don't have to deal with this kind of hassle again?

What will be included in the letter anyway? is it a triple seal gold plate?
Anyone can share a sample of the letter please?

Thanks a lot.
LBX.
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  #85  
Old 04-10-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longbuxu View Post
Hey thanks for the reply.

As I understand, ECFMG will only send score reports only (maybe also the exam performance charts).
Is there anyway to have them send the whole credentials (medical transcript, MSPE, diploma, ...) so I don't have to deal with this kind of hassle again?

What will be included in the letter anyway? is it a triple seal gold plate?
Anyone can share a sample of the letter please?

Thanks a lot.
LBX.
You cannot avoid the step of sending the transcript to the Medical Boards of California.
The actual letter looks very funny, a simple paper saying that you are authorized, nothing special in it.

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  #86  
Old 04-12-2013
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Default L5 form

Thank you for the information.

when I ask my medical school to complete L5 form, what courses should I include in the form?

They ask for clinical courses only. My understanding is that I should not include the academic subjects like anatomy, biochemistry, histology, physiology, pathology, pharma and microbiology.

Correct me if I am wrong.

Thanks
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  #87  
Old 04-15-2013
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Default What is L5 form- is it my core rotations or compulsory internship??

Hello,
What should be included in the L5 form-- is it supposed to be the clinical rotations I did before passing my final MBBS? Or do they mean the internship rotations completed after passing my MBBS? Thx
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  #88  
Old 04-20-2013
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Default

Hi,
just received the blank fingerprinting cards from Cali MB.
it's the normal card you can have it anywhere (free). come on, I thought it were a special designed one from Cali MB.
This is a 10-finger card form that every fingerprinting service stocks, it's a standardized form for police check before you apply for anything, including ECFMG (as I remember), job application, visa application (for some countries), ...

The difference is that Employer address and ORI boxes are pre-filled with name of Cali MB, address, ...
No offense here, but I suggest Cali MB can instruct people how to fill these boxes and go to any fingerprinting service to get the cards. Save some labor, time and stamps.

I personally had this done like ... several times before, well, for job things.
LBX.
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  #89  
Old 05-17-2013
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Default I'm stuck at firt step

Hi,
Thanks for the step by step guide, it helps a lot.
But at first step I got stuck! in filling out the information and applying online I created user name and password but there was no payment section or anywhere to put my credit card No.!! I recieved an email with this content:"
You have successfully registered with the State of California Online Professional Licensing system"

Should I wait or I did something wrong?
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  #90  
Old 05-18-2013
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Hi Sabio and all..
I have done my elective rotations in USA ,for PTAL shudder I include those rotations ..coz for my usmle steps application I didn't mention those electives because they were not required by my school ,neither did they sent me,I had the opportunity and I took it during that time.plz guide wat shud I do.

Sec I have applied for it and I have gotten the recielt that they got my letter.

About the steps I m taking my step 2 Ck next month.will it effect the PTAL process..I know California is not for IMG s...but I didn't want to regret afterwards that I didn't apply.
Plz guide me.thanks
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  #91  
Old 05-23-2013
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Default PTAL for IMG

Hi there,
I'm a 4th year at a uni in Australia and since we finish in November, and the academic year is different to the US, I won't have officially graduated when I apply for residency in the US. Is there a way to get around this for the PTAL documents so I can at least try for an interview and sort out the documents after graduation?
thanks!
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  #92  
Old 06-03-2013
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Hi,
I've requested a Certification Status Report from ECFMG, online, sent directly to MD of Cali.
Today, I've double checked the checklist (pdf from MD Cali website), it says "examination documentation":
(1)> Official Examination and Board Action History Report ... from FSMB [$65]
(2)> A Certification Status Report from ECFMG [$35]

Am I missing something?
Should (2) is enough? or Do I have to submit both?
Thanks.
LBX.
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  #93  
Old 07-18-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabio View Post
If you start the application now, you might get the PTAL by November or December.
-

Is that too late?

What if I start now? Am I still in good shape or should I just forget about it?
__________________
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  #94  
Old 01-04-2014
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Great guide!

I just wanted to clarify - if I start the application process now, but give my last USMLE exam - the Step 2 CK at the end of August, will I get the PTAL in time to be able to apply to the California residency programs in October?
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Old 01-06-2014
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I think the Op needs to be updated.

Recently, the process has changed a little, and applications are now through breeze.ca.gov

However, you cannot proceed with the application unless you are ECFMG certified. I will be ECFMG certified by the residency deadlines, but how can I start the application process now to expedite obtainment of the PTAL once I do finish with my USMLEs, anyone know more about that?
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  #96  
Old 02-05-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xaquake View Post
I think the Op needs to be updated.

Recently, the process has changed a little, and applications are now through breeze.ca.gov

However, you cannot proceed with the application unless you are ECFMG certified. I will be ECFMG certified by the residency deadlines, but how can I start the application process now to expedite obtainment of the PTAL once I do finish with my USMLEs, anyone know more about that?
That's exactly my question too, did you get any answer on that?
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  #97  
Old 02-07-2014
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Could anyone tell please what all documents I need to secure from my medical school or what all documents would need the signatures of my medical school authorities.
I just want to double check because I would soon be in USA and wouldn't be able to get these documents once there from my medical school here in INDIA.
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Old 02-19-2014
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Default Need help regarding Psychiatry Clerkship

Hi, I am FMG and want to apply PTAL, I have question regarding psychiatry clerkship which is 2 weeks in my transcripts but I did house job in psychiatry for about 6 weeks, so can i put house job in L5 form or should I use l L 6 form.

Thanks
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Old 02-22-2014
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Smile I just got my PTLA

Hi
I would like to share with you my experience
I submitted the first application, (missing documents Step 2 Ck result , and ECFMG certificate ), I received the first letter after 45 day.
when I got Ck result and the ECFMG certificate , I just the them to MBC (Dec 27th 2013), and I received PTAL (Jan 13th,2014)
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Old 02-22-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saroo View Post
Hi
I would like to share with you my experience
I submitted the first application, (missing documents Step 2 Ck result , and ECFMG certificate ), I received the first letter after 45 day.
when I got Ck result and the ECFMG certificate , I just the them to MBC (Dec 27th 2013), and I received PTAL (Jan 13th,2014)
Hey congrats.

If u could please help me.. I submitted the online part and paid the fee. But on the application they ask about ecfmg certification.. Can I still send the application ? And update my ck score and ecfmg certificate whenever I get them??

Thank you so much
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