FAQ

… for Physicians

What is the processing time for a license application?

We strive to process each application in a timely manner; however, the processing time does vary for each application as there are situations which can delay the process. For example, an incomplete application, waiting for documents/verifications to arrive, rejection of fingerprints, and lack of cooperation from the physician can delay the process.

Please note that your file must be complete and approved by our Board Chair before going to a board meeting for consideration of a permanent license.  We ask you to allow 7-10 days to get your approved provisional temporary license returned from the Board Chair.  If you want to be considered for a permanent license at any board meeting, you should apply early enough so that your file is complete and back from the Chair at least three weeks prior to the date of the board meeting.   The board meeting dates are posted on our website.

How can I obtain fingerprint cards?

Fingerprint cards can normally be obtained at any local law enforcement agency or at companies who provide fingerprinting services.  The standard FBI fingerprint card number is FD-258 (white card/blue print).  However, other types of fingerprint cards may be used if they have the required 14 boxes/sections for fingerprints.  If you have problems obtaining fingerprint cards, please contact the Board office.

Can fingerprints be submitted electronically?

No, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is not able to accept digital fingerprints electronically from another location at this time; however, you can be fingerprinted digitally but you must have the individual taking your fingerprints actually print out two copies of your fingerprints and then you can submit those along with the required personal authorization for criminal record inquiry.  Do not fold the copies of the prints.

What are the application and background check fees?

The application fee for a permanent license or locum tenens license is $200.00. The background check fee is currently $40.00.  The application fee is payable online via credit card. A separate money order must be submitted for the background check fee. The money order must be payable to the Office of the Attorney General and should be mailed to the Board office with your two required fingerprint cards.

I am using FCVS. Do I have to complete the application?

Yes, you still need to fill out the online application.  You do NOT need to request the Certificate of Medical Education, licensing exam transcript, or ECFMG verification status (if applicable) as those credentials will be included in your FCVS packet.

I am using FCVS. What else do I need to submit?

FCVS only collects what are called "core credentials". These are the documents that will not change such as medical school and postgraduate training, ECFMG status, and licensing exam scores. You will need to request license verifications and we also ask that you submit copies of your medical diploma, postgraduate training certificates, ECFMG certificate, and ABMS/AOA board specialty certificates, if applicable.

What is the best way for me to check the status of my application?

If you submitted your application online, you can check your application status by going to the QuickLinks section located at the bottom of the home page and clicking on "Application Status."  If none of the items are checked as received, it likely means that your application has not been processed so please allow time for this to occur.

If you submitted your application via paper and mailed it to us, please email our credentialing specialist at lschreiner@ndbom.org for a status update.

I am applying for a license in another state and they need verification of my North Dakota license. What do I need to do?

Verification to a U.S. medical or osteopathic licensing board is processed using VeriDoc. Go to http://www.veridoc.org to request the verification of your North Dakota license to another licensing board. You will pay by credit card and the verification will be electronically sent to the state medical or osteopathic board. Verifications obtained through VeriDoc are accepted by all state licensing boards in lieu of any form they might have.

If you need a license verification sent to a location outside of the U.S., you will need to mail your request to the Board along with a check or money order for $30.00. Please clearly indicate the address where the verification is to be sent.

Can a license be issued without receipt of the federal/state background check?

No license of any type will be issued without the Board having the results of the federal and state background checks; therefore, it is extremely important that you submit your fingerprint cards at the beginning of the application process to allow ample time for processing. Fingerprints can be rejected due to low characteristics of the prints and/or for other reasons and if this happens, an applicant must submit two additional fingerprint cards. If an applicant’s prints are rejected a second time, a name search will be conducted. However, name searches tend to take longer than the normal fingerprint-based background checks.

Do any verifications in my file expire if my licensing file remains incomplete for a period of time?

Yes, license verifications from other states can be no older than 4 months from the date of their receipt.  If the verifications are older than 4 months, you will be required to make an additional request to that state board for an updated verification.

If your file is not complete within one year of receipt, you will be required to complete a new application and obtain updated verifications.

I previously held a North Dakota resident license and now I am applying for a permanent license. Do I have to complete the whole application packet?

Yes, you do have to complete the application online for a permanent license. The resident application for licensure and the physician application for permanent licensure differ. However, if you currently hold a resident license in the state of North Dakota, you do not need to request the verification of your medical school again nor will you need to submit fingerprint cards for an additional background check.

However, if you previously held a resident license in the past and have since left the North Dakota residency program, you will be required to submit another set of fingerprint cards with your application for a permanent license.

What is required for verification of my license to the Secretary of State's office for purposes of forming a professional corporation?

We require a $30 fee for this service, payable only by check or money order only at this time.  We have the required form available in our office or you can send your own form.  Please indicate where we are to send the completed verification of licensure, i.e., directly to the Secretary of State's office, your attorney's office, or back to you.
 

My license has been inactive for several years. How do I reactivate it?

If your license has been inactive for three years or more, you do have to start the process as a new applicant. The only items you do not need to request are the Medical School Verification, the licensing exam transcript and the ECMFG verification status, if applicable.  You also do not need to provide copies of your medical diploma or postgraduate training certificates unless you have completed additional training since your medical license lapsed.

What do the different licensure statuses mean?

PT = Provisional Temporary License. These licenses are granted in the interim of regularly scheduled board meetings to allow a physician to start practicing. All PT licenses are presented to the Board at one of their Board meetings held in March, July and November of each year for consideration of a permanent North Dakota medical license. Once approved by the Board, the PT drops off the front of the license and the physician retains the 4 or 5 digit license number as their permanent license number.
 

PTA = Provisional Temporary Administrative License.  These licenses are granted in the interim of regularly scheduled board meetings to allow a physician to start practicing administrative medicine only.  Administrative medical licenses are issued for the purpose of practicing medicine only in an administrative capacity and does not allow a physician to practice clinical medicine. All PTA licenses are presented to the Board at one of their Board meetings held in March, July and November of each year for consideration of a permanent North Dakota administrative medical license. Once approved by the Board, the PT drops off the front of the license and the physician retains the A (for Administrative) followed by a 5 digit license number as their permanent license number.  (Example:  A12345) 

LT = Locum Tenens License. Locum tenens licenses are site specific and are only valid for a period of 90 days. A locum tenens license can be converted to a provisional temporary (PT) license by submitting an additional $200 fee.

TSL = Temporary Special License. These licenses are granted in the interim of regularly scheduled board meetings to international medical graduates who are residents currently enrolled in a North Dakota postgraduate training program who have completed 24 months of ACGME accredited training. The license allows the resident to moonlight outside the scope of the residency program.

SL = Special License. After the Board approves the temporary special license (TSL) at one of their regularly scheduled board meetings, the TSL is then considered a Special License.

RL = Resident License. Resident licenses are issued for the full duration of the North Dakota postgraduate training program. Residents cannot moonlight outside the scope of the residency training program with a RL license.

SEL = Special Emeritus License. This license is considered a "honorary" type license. There is no fee for this license; however, the physician cannot practice or prescribe if they hold a SEL.

How can I get a duplicate licensure card?

If you need a duplicate licensure card due to loss or some other reason, you may reprint a license by going to the "QuickLinks" section located at the bottom of our home page.  Click on "Print License" to print your licensure card. 

How do I change my mailing address or email?

You can make any address or email change by clicking on Change of Address found in the "QuickLinks" section located at the bottom of our home page.

I just got married/divorced and/or had a legal name change. How do I change the name on my license?

You will need to submit a notarized copy of a legal document such as a marriage license or divorce decree showing your new legal name.

Will I receive a new renewal card or wall certificate with my new name?

A new wall certificate is not issued when a name change occurs. If you need a new wallet sized renewal card in your new name, you will need to wait until the board has processed your name change and then you can reprint your licensure card by going to the "QuickLinks" section at the bottom of the home page.  Click on "Reprint License" to reprint your licensure card.

How do I log in to renew my license?

Under the Practitioners section, click on "Physicians Licensing and Support", then "Current ND License Holders", and then on "License Renewal" or you can go directly to the bottom of the homepage under QuickLinks and click on "Physicians' Renewal" to begin the renewal process.  You will be prompted to enter your last name, last four digits of your social security number and your ND license number to allow you to enter the renewal system.

I did not renew my license in time and now it is inactive. How do I renew it?

If you did not renew your license before the end of the 31 day grace period, you will still be allowed to log in and renew your license.  You will be asked an additional question as to whether you have practiced within the state since your medical license expired.  You may also be asked to supply additional information such as CME documentation.  You will be required to pay any renewal fees in arrearage. 

… for Physician Assistants

What is the PA application process?

The majority of the PA application process may be completed on-line. Once the application has been submitted, the fingerprint cards have been received in the Board office the application process begins. If the PA has held a license in other state(s) letters will be sent out to last places of employment and supervising physicians. A file will be deemed complete once all license verifications have been received, back ground check has been completed, all correspondence from last place of employment and supervising physicians have been received.

Does the North Dakota Board of Medicine issue temporary licenses for PA's?

The North Dakota Board of Medicine does not issue temporary licenses for PA's.

Can I submit my application if information is missing?

You must submit your PA application on-line, and send by mail two fully completed fingerprint cards and the Personal Authorization for Criminal Record Inquiry Form completed.

What are the application and renewal fees for a PA?

The fee for initial licensure of a physician assistant is fifty dollars ($50.00). The annual online renewal fee is fifty five dollars ($55.00). The fee for approval of employment contract changes is twenty-five dollars ($25.00). The fee for background check is $40.00, payable via money order only to the Office of the Attorney General. 

What could hold up/delay my application?

Failure to submit fingerprint cards, background authorization, and fees is a major reason for delay. Processing will not begin without those items being submitted.

If you answer any of the personal data questions with a "yes" answer, please submit all original supporting documentation and request that the court(s), police department, etc. send their documentation/transcripts directly to the North Dakota Board of Medicine.

Where can I obtain fingerprint cards?

Fingerprint cards can be obtained at any local law enforcement agency or by contacting the Board to have them mailed out.

Do I need a primary supervising physician prior to applying for a PA license?

Yes, the primary supervising physician must sign the PA’s initial application and the physician shall file with the board a copy of the contract establishing that relationship. That contract must be approved by the Board of Medicine.

The contract must be confirmed annually by completing and filing with the board such forms as are requested and provided by the board. The board must be notified within seventy-two hours of any contract termination or modification.

Every physician who supervises a physician assistant under this chapter must practice medicine in North Dakota. No physician may act as a supervising physician for any physician assistant who is a member of the physician's immediate family unless specific authorization for such supervision has been approved by the board of medical examiners. For purposes of this section, "immediate family" means a spouse, parent, child, or sibling of the supervising physician.

How long does it take for a PA application to be processed and a license to be issued?

Processing time of a PA application varies. We strive to process each application in a timely manner; however, the time does vary for each application. If the physician assistant has just completed a physician assistant program the processing time is typically a couple of weeks. If the physician assistant has held other state licenses, has worked at numerous facilities, and has had numerous supervising physicians, the processing time can be from 60-90 day dependent upon receiving the requested documentation back from last places of employment and supervising physicians.

Can I continue to practice as a PA without a current NCCPA certificate?

No, you may not practice in North Dakota without a current NCCPA certificate.

Can third parties contact the NDBOM for information on the status of a pending PA license application?

Yes, third parties can check on the status of a pending application.

Does a PA have a "scope of practice"?

PA’s may perform only those duties and responsibilities that are delegated by their supervising physicians. No supervising physician may delegate to a PA any duty or responsibility for which the PA has not been adequately trained. PA’s are the agents of their supervising physicians in the performance of all practice-related activities. A PA may provide patient care only in those areas of medical practice where the supervising physician provides patient care.

Can a PA prescribe controlled substances?

A physician assistant may prescribe medications as delegated to do so by a supervising physician. This may include schedule II through V controlled substances. A physician assistant who is a delegated prescriber of controlled substances must register with the federal drug enforcement administration.
 

Does a PA need to renew his/her license every year?

PA’s renew annually.

How do I add a supervising physician?

Complete the supervision contract and submit payment of $25.00. The supervision contract is available www.ndbom.org. The board must be notified within seventy-two hours of any contract termination or modification.

How do I change practice location(s)?

Complete a supervision contract and submit payment of $25.00. The supervision contract is available at www.ndbom.org. The board must be notified within seventy-two hours of any contract termination or modification.

How do I remove a supervising physician?

Notify the Board in writing to remove a supervising physician. The board must be notified within seventy-two hours of any contract termination or modification.

How many PA's can a physician supervise?

Subject to approval by the board, a physician may act as primary supervising physician for such number of PA’s as is consistent with good medical practice, considering the type and circumstance of the physician’s practice and the authority delegated to the PA and which permits the physician to fulfill all supervisory duties required by law.

How often must a primary supervising physician meet with the PA?

"Supervision" means overseeing the activities of, and accepting the responsibility for, the medical services rendered by a physician assistant. Supervision shall be continuous but shall not be construed as necessarily requiring the physical presence of the supervising physician at the time and place that the services are rendered. It is the responsibility of the supervising physician to direct and review the work, records, and practice of the physician assistant on a continuous basis to ensure that appropriate and safe treatment is rendered. The supervising physician must be available continuously for contact personally or by telephone or other electronic means. It is the obligation of each team of physicians and physician assistants to ensure that the physician assistant’s scope of practice is identified; that delegation of medical tasks is appropriate to the physician assistant’s level of competence; that the relationship of, and access to, the supervising physician is defined; and that a process for evaluation of the physician assistant’s performance is established.

Is on-site, physical presence of supervising physician required at all times the PA is practicing?

"Supervision" means overseeing the activities of, and accepting the responsibility for, the medical services rendered by a physician assistant. Supervision shall be continuous but shall not be construed as necessarily requiring the physical presence of the supervising physician at the time and place that the services are rendered. It is the responsibility of the supervising physician to direct and review the work, records, and practice of the physician assistant on a continuous basis to ensure that appropriate and safe treatment is rendered. The supervising physician must be available continuously for contact personally or by telephone or other electronic means. It is the obligation of each team of physicians and physician assistants to ensure that the physician assistant’s scope of practice is identified; that delegation of medical tasks is appropriate to the physician assistant’s level of competence; that the relationship of, and access to, the supervising physician is defined; and that a process for evaluation of the physician assistant’s performance is established.

Is the primary supervising physician responsible for the PA's medical acts?

"Supervision" means overseeing the activities of, and accepting the responsibility for, the medical services rendered by a physician assistant.

May a physician assistant supervise a physician in a residency training program?

A physician assistant may not supervise a physician in a residency training program.

My PA license expired due to non-renewal. How do I reactivate/reinstate it?

Contact the North Dakota Board of Medicine.

My supervising physician is going to be absent for a few days. Do I need to have a different physician supervising me?

Under no circumstances shall the supervising physician designate the physician assistant to take over the physician's duties or cover the physician's practice. During any absence or temporary disability of a supervising physician, it is mandatory that the supervising physician designate a substitute physician to assume all duties and responsibilities of the supervising physician. The physician assistant, during this period, will be responsible to the substitute physician. The designation of a substitute supervising physician must be in writing; signed by the supervising physician, the substitute supervising physician, and the physician assistant; and contain the following information:

a. The name of the substitute supervising physician.

b. The period during which the substitute supervising physician will assume the duties and responsibilities of the supervising physician.

c. Any substantive change in the physician assistant's duties or responsibilities.

The appointment of a substitute supervising physician does not become effective unless it is first approved by the Board of Medicine. You may down load the substitute supervising physician form at www.ndbom.org

How many PA's are licensed in North Dakota?

As of today’s date there are 362 physician assistants licensed in North Dakota.

If I fail to renew my license, how much time do I have before my license is made inactive?

Provided that all renewal requirements are deemed by the board to be met, a physician assistant who applies for renewal of a physician assistant license within thirty-one days of the expiration date of that license shall be granted a license with an effective date of the first day following expiration of the physician assistant’s license. Nothing in this rule shall be construed to affect the board’s ability to impose statutory fines or other disciplinary action against a physician assistant for failing to renew a license prior to its expiration date or for practicing with an expired license.

… for Residents

Where can I get fingerprint cards? Is there a fee?
 Fingerprint cards can be obtained at any local law enforcement agency or embassy.  The background check fee is $40.00 payable via money order only to the Office of the Attorney General and should be mailed to the Board office with your TWO required fingerprint cards. 
Do I have to interview before the board?
The board may require any applicant to appear for an interview regarding the applicant's qualifications for licensure.  The board shall establish a policy setting forth the criteria used in determining which applicants will be required to appear for such interviews.

… for Fluoroscopy Technicians

What is the processing time for a license application?

We strive to process each application in a timely manner; however, the processing time does vary for each application as there are situations which can delay the process. For example, an incomplete application, waiting for documents/verifications to arrive, and lack of cooperation from the applicant can delay the process.

What is the application fee?

The fluoroscopy technician application fee is $50.00.

What are the licensing requirements?

The Administrative Rules outlining the licensing requirements for Fluoroscopy Technologists (Chapter 50-03-04) are found at http://www.legis.nd.gov/information/acdata/pdf/50-03-04.pdf.

Is there a limit to the number of fluoroscopy technicians under a physician's supervision?

Yes, a physician may not act as a primary supervising physician for more than two fluoroscopy technicians unless compelling reasons are presented to and approved by the board.

Is onsite supervision required by my supervising physician?

In circumstances in which a fluoroscopy technologist performs fluoroscopy procedures outside the presence of the fluoroscopy technologist's primary supervising physician, the fluoroscopoy technologist must be supervised by an on-site supervising physician who is immediately available to the fluoroscopy technologist for consultation and supervision at all times when the fluoroscopy technologist is performing fluoroscopy procedures.

When does my license expire?

All fluoroscopy technician licenses expire on December 31 of each year.

What is the annual renewal fee?

The annual renewal fee is $50.00.

… for Public

What information does the board give the public about North Dakota physicians and physician assistants?

The board provides the public with the status of a physician's or physician assistant's license; practice location; how long they have been licensed in North Dakota; and whether they have ever been disciplined by the board.  For physicians, we also provide the name of their medical school and their practice specialty.

Beginning with physicians licensed in 2013, the board will also provide their postgraduate training, including all residency training and internships.

All of this can be accessed in the Public section of the board's website by clicking "Find a Practitioner/Verify a License".

How do I know if my doctor or a doctor I am considering seeing has been disciplined by the board?

On the board's home page, under the Public section, click "Find a Practitioner/Verify License Status".  There, you can search for a physician or physician assistant by last name or even part of a last name.

If the physician or physician assistant has been disciplined, it will say so and, for cases since 2012, provide all public disciplinary documents that you can read online or download and print. 

Does the board provide malpractice information?

No.  Medical malpractice settlements and judgments are reported by insurance companies to the North Dakota Insurance Department, which provides reports to the public upon request.  Typically, there is no charge for this information.  The Insurance Department may be contacted at 701.328.2440 or toll-free at 800.247.0560.

How do I file a complaint with the Board about a doctor or physician assistant?

You may file a complaint by going to "File a Complaint" under the Public section of the board's home page.  You may download a written complaint form that may be faxed or mailed to the board office.

May I just file a complaint over the telephone?

No. Putting the complaint in writing assures that we accurately convey your complaint, rather than putting it into our own words. Also, putting the complaint in writing protects you from any charge that you filed the complaint in bad faith, as it is an exact record of what you stated, recorded in your own words.

Do I have to sign my name to the complaint? Can't I just do it anonymously?

The board strongly discourages anonymous complaints. It makes it just about impossible to investigate and prove a case without the most important witness to what happened. Therefore, in most cases, we require complaints to be signed.

Can I file a complaint on behalf of someone else, such as my children or my parents?

Yes.  Anyone may file a complaint if he or she has reason to believe a physician or physician assistant has violated the state's medical practice law.

You may find the grounds for taking action against a physician by going to our home page and, in "About the Board" section, clicking "Laws and Regulations" and then the link for the North Dakota Century Code.  The disciplinary grounds are found at 43-17-31.

You may find the grounds for taking action against a physician assistant under "Laws and Regulations" and then the link for the North Dakota Administrative Code.  Click "Physician Assistants and Technicians">"Physician Assistants" and go to section 50-03-01-11, Grounds for Disciplinary Action.

Is there a time limit for filing a complaint?

No, but it is sometimes very difficult to investigate an incident that happened years before. The board encourages you to file a complaint as soon as you feel you have a basis for doing so.

What happens after I file a complaint?

Usually, a board staff member will call you within a day or two of the receipt of your complaint to acknowledge its receipt and to make sure we understand all we can about it.  You will also receive a letter within a few days outlining the investigative process.

The complaint then will be served on the physician or physician assistant named in your complaint, asking for a response.

When the response is received, the case then will be investigated by seeking appropriate medical records and talking to appropriate witnesses.

The matter will be reviewed by an investigative panel of the board and a decision made to formally charge the physician or physician assistant, dismiss the complaint, or send the physician or physician a confidential letter of concern.

You will be notified when the panel makes its decision, usually at the next scheduled board meeting which occurs three times per year, in March, July and November.

What can the board do to a physician if it finds my complaint is valid?

If the board finds a physician or physician assistant has violated the state's medical practice act, it has the authority take any appropriate action against a physician's or physician assistant's license to practice in North Dakota that is necessary to keep the public safe.

This can include revoking the license, restricting it, or placing conditions on the continued practice of medicine.

What are the actions the board cannot take even if it finds my complaint to be valid?

Even if the board agrees that your complaint is valid and a physician or physician assistant has violated the state's medical practice act, it cannot 

  • Award money damages
  • Forgive physician or hospital bills
  • Represent you in any action against a physician
  • Force a physician to provide different or further treatment to you
If the board dismisses my complaint, can the doctor sue me?
No.  State law protects anyone filing a complaint with the board, provided the complaint is filed in "good faith".   That means you are protected even if your allegations are wrong, as long as they are not an intentional lie.
Will my complaint and name be made public?

No.  Under state law, complaints filed by members of the public are confidential, as are physician responses and all investigative material of the board.  This is done to protect the privacy of the patient-physician relationship.

When an investigative panel of the board brings a formal action against a physician or physician assistant, all pleadings and hearings are then open to the public, and any order of discipline is posted on our website under the physician or physician assistant's disciplinary history.  But even in public, disciplinary cases, neither the original complaint nor the name of the patient involved are revealed.

My doctor wants to charge me for my medical records. Can she do that?

A physician incurs costs in storing and duplicating records and may charge a reasonable fee for copies of your medical records.  Under North Dakota law, a health care provider may charge $20.00 for the first 25 pages and .75 per page for each additional page.

Can I be charged just to look at my medical records?

No, your health care provider may not charge you for inspecting your records.

Can I make my doctor change my medical record if I feel it contains incorrect information?

No, you cannot make a health care provider delete or change your medical record or change a diagnosis.  Under HIPAA, you do have a right to request that additional information be added to your medical record to clarify it.  If your provider refuses to add information because he or she believes the record to be accurate, you have a right to provide limited written information and have it added to your medical record.

Can a physician refuse to see me as a patient?

Yes. With the exception of certain emergent situations, there is no legal obligation on a physician to take anyone as a patient.

Can a physician stop seeing me if I am a current patient?

Yes, a physician may terminate a patient-physician relationship, but must provide notice of the intention to do so and assist the patient in obtaining alternate care.

Can I change physicians if I choose?

Yes, subject to any requirements that might exist with regard to preferred provider networks by a specific insurance policy, it is completely up to the patient to choose the physician they want to see, or to change physicians if they choose.