FAQ

… for Physicians

Does the ND Board of Medicine participate in the Interstate Medical Licensing Compact (IMLC)?
Yes, the Board does participate in the Interstate Medical Licensing Compact (IMLC).   The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is an agreement among participating U.S. states to work together to significantly streamline the licensing process for physicians who want to practice in multiple states. It offers a voluntary, expedited pathway to licensure for physicians who qualify. If you are interested in applying via the IMLC, please go to their website at www.imlcc.org to see if you qualify.
Where do I find info on Telemedicine and/or other rules?

You will find statutes related to Telemedicine at 43-17-01 (6) [page 1]; 43.17-44 and 43-17-45 [page 14] by clicking here

All statutes and admnistrative rules can be found under Laws and Regulations from our homepage under the blue ribbon titled About the Board.

How soon before a board meeting does my file need to be complete to be considered for a regular medical license?

Your file must be complete at least 4-5 weeks prior to the scheduled board meetings in March, July, and November.  Once your file is complete, it does need to be sent to our Chairman for his/her review and approval of a provisional temporary (PT) license.  This process takes a minimum of 7-10 days and we finalize licensees for our board meeting at least 2-3 weeks prior to each meeting so that our board members have ample time to review the many applicants for licensure. 

You can find the exact dates of the board meetings on our website.

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 may be available 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 $41.25.  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.  A National Practitioner Data Bank report is also included as part of the FCVS packet.

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

Your online application status can be checked 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.

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 $37.00. 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 six (6) months from the date of their receipt.  If the verifications are older than six (6) 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 medical license.  Foreign medical graduates in a North Dakota residency program can apply for a special license after they have successfully completed 24 months of postgraduate training.  This allows them to moonlight outside of the scope of the residency training program.  The same application is used for a special license as is for a regular medical license.  U.S. medical graduates in a North Dakota residency program or any other ACGME or AOA accredited program can apply for a regular medical license after successfully completing one year of postgraduate training.
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 provide your own form.  The form # is North Dakota SFN 13610 which you can find online via Google or on the ND Secretary of State website . 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 February, May, August, 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.

SEC = Special Emeritus Certification. This certification is considered "honorary" only. There is no fee for this certification; however, the physician cannot practice or prescribe with a Special Emeritus certification. 

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 "Print 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.

Can I get a paper application or renewal form if I don’t want to apply/renew online?

No, the Board does not accept paper applications or renewals as of February 2021.

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

Where do I find info on Telemedicine and/or other rules?

You will find statutes related to Telemedicine at 43-17-01 (6) [page 1]; 43.17-44 and 43-17-45 [page 14] by clicking here

All statutes and admnistrative rules can be found under Laws and Regulations from our homepage under the blue ribbon titled About the Board.

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 background check is $41.25, 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.

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.

What is the scope of practice of a PA?

a. May prescribe, dispense, administer, and procure drugs and medical devices; 

b. May plan and initiate a therapeutic regimen that includes ordering and prescribing nonpharmacological interventions, including durable medical equipment, nutrition, blood and blood products, and diagnostic support services, including home health care, hospice, and physical and occupational therapy; 
c. May prescribe and dispense schedule II through V substances as designated by the federal drug enforcement administration and all legend drugs; 
d. May not dispense a drug, unless pharmacy services are not reasonably available, dispensing is in the best interest of the patient, or an emergency exists; 
e. May request, receive, and sign for a professional sample, and may distribute a professional sample to a patient; and 
f. If prescribing or dispensing a controlled substance, shall register with the federal drug enforcement administration and shall comply with appropriate state and federal laws. 
Can a PA prescribe controlled substances?

A physician assistant if prescribing or dispensing a controlled substance, shall register with the federal drug enforcement administration and shall comply with appropriate state and federal laws. 

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

PA’s renew annually.

Does a PA need to collaborate with physicians and other health care providers?

A physician assistant shall collaborate with, consult with, or refer to the appropriate member of the health care team as indicated by the condition of the patient, the education, experience, and competence of the physician assistant, and the standard of care. The degree of collaboration must be determined at the practice which may include decisions made by the employer, group, hospital service, and the credentialing and privileging systems of a licensed facility. A physician assistant is responsible for the care provided by that physician assistant and a written agreement is not required.

How do I change practice location(s)?

A physician assistant is obligated to inform the ND Board of Medicine of any employment change that falls outside of your current certification.  A physician assistant must ensure that the certification you provided to the ND Board of Medicine on your application and/or renewal is current and matches your current employment.

What are a physician assistants practice requirements?

A physician assistant shall practice at a: 

1. Licensed health care facility; 
2. Facility with a credentialing and privileging system; 
3. Physician-owned facility or practice; or 
4. Facility or practice approved by the board. If a physician assistant has less than four thousand hours of practice experience and seeks to practice at a facility or practice that is not a licensed health care facility, a facility with a credentialing and privileging system, or a physician-owned facility or practice, the physician assistant must execute a written collaborative agreement with a physician that describes how collaboration with that physician will occur and provide it to the board upon request. 
A physician assistant shall comply with any privileging and credentialing systems at the facility at which the physician assistant practices.
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?

The physician assistant can renew and pay the past due amount if renewing within three years.  If renewing after three years the physician assistant will need to complete a new application.

What is the description of the physician assistant in North Dakota?

The physician assistant is a medical professional qualified by academic and clinical training to provide patient services, including the diagnosing of illnesses, developing and managing treatment plans, prescribing medications, and often serving as a patient's principal health care provider in collaboration with physicians and other health care providers. 

1. A physician assistant may: 
a. Provide a legal medical service for which a physician assistant is prepared by education, training, and experience and is competent to perform, including: 
1 (1) Obtaining and performing a comprehensive health history and physical examination; 
(2) Evaluating, diagnosing, managing, and providing medical treatment; 
(3) Ordering and evaluating a diagnostic study and therapeutic procedure; 
(4) Performing a diagnostic study or therapeutic procedure not involving the use of medical imaging as defined in North Dakota Century Code section 43-62-01 or radiation therapy as defined in North Dakota Century Code section 43-62-01; 
(5) Performing limited sonography on a focused imaging target to assess specific and limited information about a patient's medical condition or to provide real-time visual guidance for another procedure; 
(6) Educating a patient on health promotion and disease prevention; 
(7) Providing consultation upon request; and 
(8) Writing a medical order; 
b. Obtain informed consent; 
c. Supervise, delegate, and assign therapeutic and diagnostic measures not involving the use of medical imaging as defined in North Dakota Century Code section 43-62-01 or radiation therapy as defined in North Dakota Century Code section 43-62-01 to licensed or unlicensed personnel; 
d. Certify the health or disability of a patient as required by any local, state, or federal program; 
e. Authenticate any document with the signature, certification, stamp, verification, affidavit, or endorsement of the physician assistant if the document may be authenticated by the signature, certification, stamp, verification, affidavit, or endorsement of a physician; and 
f. Pronounce death. 
How many PAs are licensed in North Dakota?

There are over 450 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

How can I track my application status?
You can go to our website at www.ndbom.org and at the bottom of the page under QuickLinks, click on Application Status.  Then enter your credentials requested and you will find your online task list. 
Where can I get fingerprint cards? Where do I get fingerprinted? Is there a fee?
Fingerprint cards can normally be obtained from a local law enforcement agency or embassy; however, it is best to first make contact to find out if this is the case and if the fingerprinting service is available.  There are also private companies who offer fingerprinting services.  The background check fee is $41.25 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 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.

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.