Board of Medicine



Q.How do I change my address?

Click on Online Services at the top of this page. You will be redirected to the Board's online services website.

Q Can I get a duplicate wall certificate?

If your wall certificate is lost or destroyed, you may purchase a duplicate by clicking Online Services at the top of this page. You will be redirected to the Board's online services website, then select Purchase Items from the menu bar. A duplicate wall certificate with "Duplicate" stamped on it will be issued and mailed to you.

Q.How can I get a duplicate renewal card?

If you need a duplicate renewal card due to an address change or loss, click Online Services at the top of this page. You will be redirected to the Board's online services website, then select Purchase Items from the menu bar. The duplicate renewal card will be mailed to you.

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

Since your license has been inactive for more than one year you will need to reinstate it. The application can be found on our website at Go to the Reinstatement page for details.

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

If you do not renew your license before the end of your grace period, you will have to reinstate your license. Click Online Services at the top of this page. You will be redirected to the Board's online services website, select Licensing from the menu bar to begin the online reinstatement process.

Q.Now that I have my Iowa license, how do I get my Iowa Controlled Substance Registration number?

In order to obtain your Iowa Controlled Substance Registration number, you need to contact the Iowa Board of Pharmacy. Their phone number is 515-281-5944. Their website is

Q.How many continuing medical education hours do I need to renew my license?

You are required to have 40 hours of Category 1 continuing medical education hours per renewal period. Your first renewal CME requirement may be pro-rated if you have not had the license for 24 months. If you report more than 40 hours, you are allowed to carry over up to 20 hours.

Q.How do I get a paper renewal application if I don't want to renew online?

You can request a paper application by calling Judy Hojati at 515-242-3248.

Q.I did not receive the renewal notice in the mail. Do I still have to pay the penalty if I am renewing late?

Yes. The Administrative Rules state that "failure of the licensee to receive the notice does not relieve the licensee of responsibility for renewing the license."

Q.I just got married/divorced. How do I change the name on my license?

You will need to submit a notarized or certified copy of a legal document such as a marriage license or divorce decree showing your new legal name. A generic copy will not be accepted.

Q.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 renewal card indicating your new name, click Online Services at the top of this page. You will be redirected to the Board's online services website, then select Purchase Items from the menu bar. The duplicate renewal card will be mailed to you.

Q.Can a resident prescribe?

A resident physician has the ability to prescribe within the confines of the residency program under the supervising physician. 

Q.Does the supervising physician's name need to be on the prescription written by the resident?

There are currently no rules with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy or the Iowa Board of Medicine that address this.  Programs may have their own rules regarding this topic.  For example, if a resident is prescribing using the hospital sponsored DEA, the residency program may require the prescription to be counter signed.  If a resident is using their own DEA number, the residency program may not require the prescription to be countersigned. 

Q.What are the limitations on what a resident can practice in their program?

Resident physicians may practice as physicians within the scope of their program.  They are able to practice/perform the duties that their supervising physician has been privileged or credentialed to do in that facility.

Q.Can a resident "moonlight?"

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education defines internal moonlighting as voluntary, compensated, medically-related work (not related with training requirements) performed within the institution in which the resident is in training or at any of its related participating sites.  External moonlighting is voluntary, compensated, medically-related work performed outside the institution where the resident is in training or any of its related participating sites. 

In order for a resident to moonlight, they must have a permanent medical license.  A resident that has a resident license cannot moonlight.  Resident physicians should consult with the program prior to moonlighting to ensure that the moonlighting will not interfere with the resident physician’s ability to achieve their learning goals and objectives.  The resident physician should also confirm with the program as to whether the time spent moonlighting will count towards their weekly maximum hour limit. 

Q.Can a resident sign a death certificate?

Iowa Code 144.28 states that unless there is a non-natural cause of death, the medical certification shall be completed and signed by the physician, physician assistant, or advanced registered nurse practitioner in charge of the patient’s care for the illness or condition which resulted in death within seventy-two hours after receipt of the death certificate from the funeral director or individual who initially assumes custody of the body.

Iowa Administrative Code 641-97.8(1) states that only an Iowa-licensed physician, physician assistant, advanced registered nurse practitioner or medical examiner shall certify to the cause and manner of death.

Q.Does a resident have to complete residency to be eligible for permanent licensure?

A resident who graduated from a medical school in the United States must successfully complete at least one year of accredited post-graduate training to be eligible for permanent licensure.

A resident who graduated from an international medical school must successfully complete at least two years of continuous, progressive post-graduate training that is accredited to be eligible for permanent licensure.

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Q.I previously had a resident, special, or temporary license and now I am applying for a permanent license. Do I have to complete the whole application packet?

You will need to complete the permanent application. Some things will need to be repeated such as the fingerprint card and waiver. Documents that won't change, such as diplomas, post-graduate training verifications, medical education verification, medical transcripts, and any accompanying English translations, will not need to be resubmitted if they are in your previous application. Any verifications that can change, i.e. license and hospital verifications, will need to be redone.

Q.I am using Federation Credential Verification Service (FCVS). Do I have to complete the application?

Yes, you still need to fill out the Iowa Board of Medicine application. Click Online Services at the top of this page to be redirected to our online services website. The Board's application contains two parts; the Uniform Application and the Application Addendum.

Q.I am using Federation Credential Verification Service (FCVS). What else do I need to submit?

FCVS only collects what are called "core credentials." These are the documents that will not change. You will need to request license verifications, hospital privilege verifications, submit copies of specialty board certificates, etc. If you follow the checklist enclosed with the application packet, it will identify specifically which items you need to do and which items FCVS will provide.

Q.What is the processing time for a licensure application?

Typically, the processing time is 45-60 days, however, there are situations which will make the process longer. For example, an incomplete application, waiting for documents to arrive, and lack of cooperation from the physician with the process can make the process cumbersome. Also, some applications will need to be approved by the Licensure Committee/Board. The board holds its meetings every 6-8 weeks.

Q.What do the different statuses under "Find a Physician" mean?

Click here for a complete list of statuses and their meanings.

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

Verification to a U.S. medical or osteopathic licensing board is processed using VeriDoc.  Go to to request the verification of your Iowa license to another licensing board.  You will pay by credit card and the verification will be sent immediately to the state medical or osteopathic board. Each request will include verification of all licenses a physician has held in Iowa, e.g., resident and permanent licenses.

The board will continue to verify manually those requests to agencies outside the U.S.  For these, submit your request for verification in writing to the board along with the $40 fee. 

Q.Will the board accept a printout of my license verification from the internet in lieu of the verification form?

No. When verifying licenses from other states in order to obtain Iowa licensure, the verification must come directly from a state board. Printouts from the internet are not acceptable.

Q.Why do I have to have another set of fingerprints done when I just went through the process a few months ago?

Whenever you apply for a different license type you must do the fingerprinting again. Another reason you may be asked to do the fingerprinting again is that the first set may have been "unreadable" and was rejected by the FBI.

Q.The police department will only do electronically scanned fingerprinting with prints applied to their cards. What should I do?

If the agency doing the prints refuses to use the fingerprint card provided, we will accept their cards.  The card must be an Applicant card (Form FD-258) with a blue or black grid.  We will apply our identification stamps upon receipt.  The card must come directly to this office from the agency that did the prints and we will forward them to the DCI.  The fingerprint card cannot be sent directly to the FBI.

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About the Board

Q.How often does the board meet?

The board meets approximately every eight weeks. Meetings are usually held at the board's office in Des Moines. Conference calls are held to handle some types of business between regularly scheduled in-person meetings.

Q.How does someone become a board member?

The board has ten members who are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Iowa Senate. If you are not an M.D. or D.O., you may be eligible to serve as one of the three public members of the board. The board has five M.D.s and two D.O.s at any one time. For more information on how to seek appointment, address your questions to the governor's office at 515-281-0215.

Q.How can I get on the agenda list for the board?

Go HERE if you would like to receive agendas for all board meetings via email and free of charge.

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Q.I can't find the doctor who had my medical records years ago. How can I find them?

You may be able to find your doctor by using "Find a Physician." If you are unable to find the physician and the care was provided years ago, the records may have been destroyed. The board requires a physician to retain all medical records, not appropriately transferred to another physician or entity, for at least seven years from the last date of service for each patient, except as otherwise required by law. Children's records are somewhat different in that the period of retention must be consistent with that established by Iowa Code section 614.8.

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

Yes. A physician incurs costs in storing and duplicating records and may charge a reasonable fee for copies of your medical records.

Q.I owe my doctor money and he won't give my records to me until I pay my bill. Can he do that?

A physician may not withhold your medical records because you have not paid your bill.

Q.How long do doctors have to keep medical records?

The board requires a physician to retain all medical records, not appropriately transferred to another physician or entity, for at least seven years from the last date of service for each patient, except as otherwise required by law. Children's records are somewhat different in that the period of retention must be consistent with that established by Iowa Code section 614.8.

Q.My doctor won't give me pain medication. Can he do that?

A physician is not obligated to provide any particular treatment, such as a particular type of pain medicine, if the physician does not find it medically appropriate.

Q.My doctor refuses to keep me as a patient. Can he do that? Why?

A physician may choose which patients to serve. If your physician no longer wants to provide care for you, he or she should provide you with written notice 30 days before terminating your care. Your physician should ensure that emergency medical care is available to you during the 30-day period following the written notice. This does not mean that he or she must provide the care himself or herself.

Q.My doctor refuses to see me. Isn't that unethical?

A physician may choose which patients to serve.

Q.Several years ago my doctor did a procedure and now it is causing me problems. A new doctor has asked for my medical records and my old doctor doesn't have them. What do I do?

If the procedure was done in a hospital, ask the hospital to have your record of the procedure copied for the requesting physician. Otherwise, you need to explain to the requesting physician that the records no longer exist.

Q.Who do I complain to about a HIPAA violation?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires that your information obtained by health care providers is to remain private. The Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services implements and enforces HIPAA privacy laws. If you believe a health care agency or provider violated your (or someone else's) privacy rights, you may file a Health Information Privacy Complaint. To file a complaint click here

Q.My doctor has charged me excessively. What is my recourse?

If you think your doctor has overcharged you, try to work out the problem with the physician's or clinic's billing office. If you have no satisfaction there, speak to the physician or clinic manager directly about your concerns. Acting in a hostile or aggressive manner will not assist in getting the problem resolved. You may file a complaint with the Board of Medicine, but the board does not generally handle these complaints unless it sees a pattern of billing problems arising.

Q.I have a complaint about a clinic/hospital. Who do I call?

The Board of Medicine handles complaints about M.D.s, D.O.s, and licensed acupuncturists. Complaints about hospitals should be made to the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals or the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Hospitals. Complaints about clinics should be made to clinic administration.

Q.My doctor was rude to me. Isn't this unethical?

Most physicians make every effort to get along with their patients and other staff. Sometimes patients misinterpret a physician's response as being rude and other times physicians are simply having a bad day. If you are offended by your physician's behavior and you are not able to work out your differences, find another physician with whom you are more suited. If you find the rudeness to be more extreme, you may file a complaint with the board. The board does not generally handle these complaints unless it determines that a pattern of rudeness is arising.

Q.My doctor's office sent me a bill for a procedure that was done well over a year ago. Can they do that after this much time and expect me to pay it?

Yes. Most offices attempt to bill in a timely manner. However, on occasion, billing occurs for procedures carried out some time ago. If the procedure was conducted and the bill is accurate, you are obligated to pay, even if it has been more than a year since the procedure.

Q.Why is it taking so long to get action on my complaint?

Investigations take months or longer depending on the case and the size of the investigator's case load. It can take months just to gather the pertinent clinic and hospital records, talk to witnesses and get a response from your physician. Cases that question a physician's competency involve physician experts in the same specialty as your doctor reviewing the investigative materials to determine whether the standard of care was met and then writing a report for the board. Other times, there is sufficient evidence to send a physician for a confidential evaluation of the physician's competency or health. All of these things can occur before a case is closed or ordered to hearing.

Q.What does a physician need to report to the board about malpractice suits?

Iowa law requires malpractice insurance companies to inform the board when a suit has been filed on an Iowa licensed physician. In addition, a physician must report adverse actions to the board within 30 days of a settlement or judgment. This information is confidential and cannot be shared with the public unless it becomes part of board charges against a physician.

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