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State Board of Medical Examiners

Frequently Asked Questions


Consumer Questions

  1. What is the State Board of Medical Examiners?
    The New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners' primary responsibility and obligation is to protect the citizens of New Jersey through proper licensing and regulation of physicians and some other health care professionals. To protect the public from the unprofessional practice of medicine, the state must provide laws and regulations that outline the practice of medicine and it is the responsibility of the Medical Board to regulate that practice through enforcement of the Medical Practice Act.
  2. What is the structure of the Medical Board?
    Board membership is composed of volunteers, appointed by the Governor, who are charged with upholding the Medical Practice Act. It is composed of twenty-one members: twelve graduates of medicine or osteopathic medicine (M.D. or D.O.), one podiatrist, one physician assistant, one certified nurse midwife, one licensed bio-analytical laboratory director, a designee from the Department of Health and Senior Services, a designee from the Executive Branch and three public members.
  3. How does the Board protect the public in the licensing process?
    Through the licensing process, the Board ensures that applicants receive the appropriate education and training prior to practicing medicine in the State of New Jersey. All applicants must provide information about their prior education, work experience and training. In addition, all applicants must pass a series of difficult examinations which measure the applicant's ability to use his/her knowledge in a safe and effective manner. Also, applicants are asked a series of questions that relate to their moral character, such as, arrests and convictions. Questions are also asked about any medical condition or use of drugs which may impair an applicant's ability to practice with reasonable skill and safety.
  4. How does the Board regulate its licensees?
    The Board promulgates regulations which serve as a basis as to the standard of practice and the Board ensures that these regulations and the statutes are followed. It also is the responsibility of the Board to evaluate when a licensee's conduct or ability to practice appropriately warrants modification, suspension or revocation of the license to practice. When the Board receives a complaint against a licensee and there is reason to believe that the licensee has violated the law, it has the power to investigate, hold hearings, and/or impose some disciplinary sanction. This may include fines, additional education, medical treatment, or a modification of his/her license.
  5. How can I find out more information about my doctor?
    You can learn more information about a doctor licensed in the State of New Jersey at the New Jersey Healthcare Profile (also known as the Physician Profile) by accessing www.njdoctorlist.com. At this web site, you can learn more about a physician's education, board certifications, where the physician has hospital privileges, the insurance which he/she accepts, whether any disciplinary action for the last ten years has been taken by the Board, whether any malpractice payments have been made out on the licensee's behalf and whether he/she has been disciplined by a health care facility.
  6. I heard there was some discipline taken against my doctor. How can I get more information if that happened or not?
    Any disciplinary action taken against a licensee by the Board for the last ten years can be found on the New Jersey Healthcare Profile at www.njdoctorlist.com. Additional disciplinary information can be obtained by calling (609) 826-7100 or writing to the Board office at P.O. Box 183, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0183.
  7. What does D.O. stand for? Is he/she qualified as a medical doctor?
    D.O. stands for Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and is fully qualified as a physician in the State of New Jersey, with all of the same authorities as medical doctors. His/Her training is essentially the same as a M.D. The only difference is that a D.O. receives extra hours on bone manipulation.
  8. How do I file a complaint against a doctor?
    From this web site, by clicking on the online consumer complaint form, you can file your complaint electronically. If you prefer to do it by hard copy, you can print out the complaint form available on this site and send it to the Board of Medical Examiners, P.O. Box 183, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0183.
  9. How long will the investigation take?
    The Board cannot predict how long an investigation will take because each case has many variables. Each matter received by the Board is investigated thoroughly and on its own merits. Some cases are clear and involve a limited number of circumstances and, upon assignment, can be completed quickly. Others are more complicated and may take longer periods of time. The Board will do its best to process your complaint as quickly as it can, while still maintaining an appropriate investigation.
  10. Will my doctor find out that I filed a complaint?
    Generally, yes. During the Board's investigation, your complaint will be sent to the physician and he/she will be asked to respond to your allegations. If ther are specific reasons why you do not want the doctor to see your complaint or know of your identify, please explain in complaint.
  11. I have not heard anything about the complaint I submitted sixty days ago. What is the status?
    You can call Christina Smith at (609) 826-7134 or by email at bmepatientadvocate@dca.lps.state.nj.us who can assist you in learning more about the status of your complaint.
  12. Do I have a right to my medical records?
    In most instances, the patient has a right to receive a copy of his or her medical records, not the original. Although most patients assume that the records belong to them, the Board requires that the physician to maintain the original to ensure that the patient's medical history is available to any subsequent treating physician or health care provider. Copies may be given to the patient, another doctor, your attorney, your insurance company or another family member if the patient expressly authorizes it. If a patient is deceased, the duly appointed executor or administrator of the estate may obtain copies also. Medical records cannot be released to a spouse, family member (except in the case of a child), attorney or any other person unless the patient gives his/her express consent to release them to that specific person.
  13. Can a doctor charge me for my medical records?

    The Doctor may charge the patient to copy the records, which cannot be greater than $1.00 per page or $100.00 for the entire record, whichever is less. If the record is less than 10 pages, the doctor may charge $10. A "service fee" may not be charged apart from these amounts. Charges for copies of x-rays and other documents which cannot be reproduced by ordinary photocopying machines are to be charged at the actual costs to reproduce them, plus an administrative fee of the lesser of $10.00 or 10 percent of the cost of reproduction to compensate for office personnel time spent retrieving or reproducing the materials and overhead costs.

    The Doctor has 30 days after he/she receives a written request from the patient, another doctor, an attorney, insurance company, or another family member if the patient expressly authorizes it. If the patient had provided a set of records from the patient's previous Doctor, the patient has a right to have these included as part of the entire medical record. Physicians may not refuse to release a copy of a patient's medical record if they are needed for on going treatment if the patient owes money for the medical services the physician provided. The physician, however, can hold the record until the patient pays for the costs to reproduce the record, providing the record is not required for on going medical care.

  14. How long must a doctor keep my medical records?
    A doctor has to keep a patient's medical records for seven years. After that, the physician can destroy them. There is no requirement in the law that requires the physician to notify a patient prior to destroying the records. It is recommended that you request a copy of your medical records when you are changing physicians.
  15. Can my doctor tell me that he/she does not want to see me anymore as a patient?
    As long as you are not being treated under circumstances where your life or health may be threatened or compromised unless timely medical care is given, the doctor may terminate the relationship. The doctor must notify the patient, in writing, that he/she will no longer provide care as a date certain, which cannot be less than thirty days prior to the termination date. This letter must be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested. The doctor, however, is obligated to provide all necessary emergency care and services, including providing necessary prescriptions, until the date of termination. If requested by the patient, the doctor must make reasonable efforts to assist the patient in finding another provider and the transfer of the medical records.
  16. Must my doctor provide me a chaperone during an examination?
    In an office setting, a doctor is required to provide notice to the patient that he/she has a right to a chaperone present whenever a breast and pelvic examination of females or during genitalia and rectal examinations of both male and females. If the proposed chaperone is not acceptable to the patient, the patient may refuse and the doctor is not obligated to provide further care. Also, if the doctor desires to have a chaperone present and the patient refuses, the doctor is not obligated to provide further treatment. If care is not provided, the doctor, however, must discuss with the patient the risks of not receiving further care.
  17. I was unhappy with the care that I received at the hospital, can I complain to the Board?
    The Board only has jurisdiction over the doctors. If you believe the care provided by a doctor in a hospital was improper, you can file a complaint as indicated above. If you have a complaint about the care provided within the hospital, you should contact the Department of Health and Senior Services, Complaint section at (800) 792-9770.
  18. Is the State Board of Medical Examiners responsible for autopsy reports?
    No. This is handled by The State Medical Examiners who can be reached at (609) 896-8900.
  19. Can you give me a physician referral?
    Unfortunately, the Board cannot provide you with a referral. You may wish to contact your county medical society or the Medical Society of the State of New Jersey at (609) 826-1766, any local hospital, or other physician referral services such as the American Medical Association at (800) 665-2882. You may also wish to check with your health insurance provider for other practitioners within your network. And, when considering a particular physician, you may wish to review the education, certification, hospital affiliation, and other information by reviewing his/her background on the New Jersey Healthcare Profile.
  20. How do I find out if a medical facility is licensed?
    The Department of Health licenses many types of healthcare facilities. You may search their database here.

Continuing Medical Education (CME) Questions

  1. Is this training required repeatedly for each license renewal?

    No. Physicians licensed on or before June 29, 2007 and podiatrists licensed on or before October 30, 2007 are required to comply with the cultural competency training requirement by the next license renewal after March 24, 2008.

    Physicians licensed on or after June 30, 2007 and podiatrists licensed on or after October 31, 2007 are required to comply with the requirement by the end of the next complete renewal cycle after licensure.

  2. How much training is required?
    Licensees must complete at least 6 hours of training in cultural competency in the six topics discussed in question below.
  3. Does this training have to be formally accredited CME education?

    Yes, all 6 hours must be approved for credit in one of the following categories:

    • AMA Cat I
    • AOA Cat 1A, 1B or 2A
    • AAFP Prescribed Hours
    • COPME Contact Hours
  4. Are there specific topics that must be covered in the accredited CME education on cultural competency in order to meet the Board's requirements?

    Yes. There are 6 specific topics that must be covered in the accredited cultural competency CME in order to meet the Board requirements. These 6 topics are listed below.

    1. A context for the training, common definitions of cultural competence, race, ethnicity and culture and tools for self assessment.
    2. An appreciation for the traditions and beliefs of diverse patient populations, at multiple levels- as individuals, in families and as part of a larger community.
    3. An understanding of the impact that stereotyping can have on medical decision making.
    4. Strategies for recognizing patterns of health care disparities and eliminating factors influencing them.
    5. Approaches to enhance cross-cultural skills, such as those relating to history-taking, problem solving and promoting patient compliance.
    6. Techniques to deal with language barriers and other communication needs, including working with interpreters.
  5. When does the Board expect that this training should be completed?

    For physicians licensed prior to March 24, 2005 the cultural competency training requirement can not be included in the 100 hour CME requirement for licensure renewal. The law specifically required that this group of physicians complete this training in addition to the usual CME required for relicensure.

    Physicians licensed on or after June 30, 2007 and podiatrists licensed on or after October 31, 2007 are required to comply with the requirement before the end of the next complete renewal cycle after licensure.

  6. Is the cultural competency CME counted towards fulfilling the Board's general 100 hour CME requirement?

    For physicians licensed prior to March 24, 2005 the cultural competency training requirement can not be included in the 100 hour CME requirement for licensure renewal. The law specifically required that this group of physicians complete this training in addition to the usual CME required for relicensure.

    For podiatrists and physicians licensed after March 24, 2005 the cultural competency training requirement can be included in the 100 hour CME requirement for licensure renewal.

  7. Does this requirement apply even when licensees are not currently practicing in New Jersey?
    Yes, it is a condition for renewal of your New active or reduced fee active New Jersey medical license whether or not you actively practice in New Jersey.
  8. Must licensees who hold fully retired or inactive licenses comply with this requirement?
    Physicians whose licenses are fully retired or inactive are not required to demonstrate compliance with this requirement until such time as they seek reinstatement of their license to active or reduced fee active status.
  9. Are there situations where a waiver may be obtained?
    A licensee may request a waiver from this requirement by providing the Board of Medical Examiners with independently verified materials demonstrating that he or she has attained the substantial equivalent of the required training through completion of a similar course of training in an approved professional school, or graduate medical education program which training must include the six required topics #4 above.
  10. Would participation in accredited CME courses meeting the curriculum requirements prior to final adoption of the rules described here be acceptable for meeting the requirement?
    Yes. Participation in courses which meet the requirements of the regulation taken prior to final rule adoption will be acceptable for demonstrating compliance.
  11. Does the requirement have to be met by attending a single course or can the requirement be met by attendance at various courses which when taken together meet the requirement?
    The Board believes that ease of compliance and quality educational experience are better obtained by participating in one or two courses which are designed specifically around the NJBME requirements. A licensee may demonstrate compliance using any combination of accredited CME courses which can be shown to include all of the required topics.
  12. What documents will a licensee be required to provide that demonstrate compliance with the cultural competency training requirements?
    Licensees should maintain certificates documenting CME attendance for a minimum of 6 years. Additionally, in order to demonstrate compliance with each of the topic areas required in the cultural competence regulation you should keep evidence of the specific curriculum covered in the course(s) along with your certificates of completion. (e.g. brochures, course outlines, materials distributed in the course etc.)
  13. Can this CME be obtained online or using an enduring materials format?
    Yes. Any properly accredited CME course that meets the requirements in #3 and #4 above is acceptable regardless of its format.

Institution Questions

  1. Where can I find the Rules and Regulations that govern Residency Training Permits?
    The regulations for issuance of residency training permits may be found under N.J.A.C. 13:35-1.5.
  2. Who requires a residency training permit?
    Each unlicensed physician planning to participate at the PGY 2 level or higher in a residency training program in New Jersey must complete a permit application.
  3. Do I need an official Medical Transcript for a permit?
    A Medical Education Verification Form OR the original, official transcripts showing courses taken, dates of attendance and degree conferred for each medical school attended must be provided. Under special circumstances, the Board reserves the right to request additional medical school documents.
  4. Do I need to submit the ECFMG official certification with the residency training permit application?
    No, not at this time. You may submit a copy of the resident?s ECFMG Certificate if he or she is an international medical school graduate. When the resident applies for a license to practice medicine and surgery in the State of New Jersey, he/she will need to submit an original certification directly from ECFMG at that time.
  5. Our residents will not finish their PGY 1training until the end of June, how can we complete the postgraduate training form by March 1?
    The completed certificate of postgraduate training form is to be submitted with the application due by March 1st. It is understood that formal granting of credit for the current training year will not be known as early as March 1st. Hence, to verify/ confirm credit for the current training year, you will need to submit a master list or Verification of Completion forms by June 1st for residents who are currently in your program. For residents transferring into your program, you will need to obtain a Verification of Completion form from the resident?s current program and submit that form to the Board by June 1st.
  6. How do I get our residents fingerprinted to the satisfaction of the Board?

    All residency permit applicants must provide a New Jersey address on both the Permit Application and the Certification and Authorization Form. If an applicant is in transition from out of state and does not have a New Jersey address, please instruct the applicant to use your hospital/ program address on the application and certification form.

    Upon receipt and processing of the Certification and Authorization form, the Board will provide the residency program with a Sagem Morpho Form, which is unique, for each applicant. The resident/applicant will need this form to schedule an immediate appointment for fingerprinting at a Sagem Morpho facility. He or she must also take the form to his/her appointment.

  7. May I have the third party forms sent to your office directly?
    All forms submitted by ?third parties? in support of an application must be returned to the facility?s Director of Medical Education/Program Director who will then submit them to the Board. Please ensure you have provided appropriate name, title and return address on each necessary form.
  8. I have a resident who will be starting his first year of training. If he does not need a permit, what should I do to notify you that he or she will be in New Jersey as a trainee?
    Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:35-1.5d, ?..The Director shall prepare a master list which contains the names of all registration applicants and the names and addresses of the institutions from which the applicants graduated and shall submit the master list to the Board, along with his or her certification, no later than one month before the registration applicants are to begin participating in the graduate education program.? If the residency program is uncertain as to whether the medical school is approved by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) or is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools, the program may submit a copy of the transcript to the Board office for review at least six weeks prior to the start of the program.
  9. What are my responsibilities when a resident is granted a leave of absence, terminated from the program or has withdrawn from one of my programs?
    If a resident is granted a leave of absence for any reason, relating to a medical or psychiatric illness or to medical competency or conduct which would represent cause for the withdrawal of the authority to practice, the program director must notify the Board with a full explanation of the incident.

Applicant Questions

  1. Can doctors applying for licensure as physicians or podiatrists file their applications online?
    In the near future applicants will be able to file their applications online and also will be able to electronically check the status of their applications. In the meantime, doctors who wish to apply for licensure should contact the Medical Board at 609-826-7100 to request that an application packet be mailed to them.
  2. What application and/or licensure fees will I need to pay to obtain my New Jersey license?
    All applicants for physician or podiatrist licensure are required to pay an application fee which must be submitted with the application. The current application fee is $325 for physicians and $125 for podiatrists. The application fee is non-refundable. At the time of licensure, applicants will be asked to submit the appropriate license fee. The current license fee consists of a one time endorsement fee of $225 for physicians and $150 for podiatrists, plus a registration fee of $290 per year. The total license fee will depend on whether the license is issued in the first or second year of the current biennial registration period. Application and license fees are to be paid by money order or certified check - personal checks are not accepted.
  3. How long should the application process take before my license is issued?

    On average, it will typically take 3 months from receipt of application to issuance of the license. The following variables can affect the time to process your application:

    • Timely receipt of necessary supporting documents from appropriate 3rd parties.
    • Completion of the criminal history background check.
    • The seasonal volume of applications received by the Medical Board.
    • Issues raised during the application review process requiring additional follow-up.

    To assist the Medical Board in providing the timely issuance of your license, it is suggested that the applicant take a proactive approach in following up with those facilities submitting documents on your behalf to ensure they have submitted the required forms in a timely manner.

  4. Where should I mail or deliver any correspondence?

    All regular mail should be sent to the following address:

    New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners
    P.O. Box 183
    Trenton, NJ 08625-0183

    Please note that overnight/priority mail sent through the United States Postal Service will also be delivered to the post office box and not to the Medical Board's physical address. Should you wish to utilize overnight delivery service directly to the Medical Board, you are encouraged to use DHL, Fedex, or UPS and send to the following address:

    New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners
    140 East Front Street, 3rd Floor
    Trenton, NJ 08608
  5. Does the New Jersey Medical Board accept physician core credentials submitted via the Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS) from the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)?
    New Jersey will accept that your core credentials be submitted via an FCVS packet. Please note that the FCVS packet provides the core credentials (i.e. identity, medical education, postgraduate training, examination history/score transcripts - as well as the ECFMG certificate which is required from applicants who graduated from medical school outside the U.S.). Upon reviewing the physician's application, you will note that additional supporting documentation will be required in addition to the FCVS packet (i.e. AMA/AOA Physician Profile, Employer Verification Form-BME-PEA, and Malpractice Insurance Carrier Form-BME-MI).
  6. How many years of residency training are required for licensure eligibility?
    All applicants who graduated prior to July 1, 1985 must have completed a minimum of 1 year of ACGME/AOA accredited training to be eligible for licensure. Graduates of non-LCME accredited medical schools (i.e. international medical school graduates) who graduated after July 1, 1985 and before July 1, 2003 are required to complete 3 years of ACGME/AOA accredited training. Graduates of LCME accredited medical schools prior to July 1, 2003 must complete 1 year of ACGME/AOA accredited training. All applicants graduating after July 1, 2003 must have completed 2 years of accredited training and have a contract for a 3rd year of accredited training.
  7. Do I have to submit a USMLE transcript if I have submitted my ECFMG certification?
    The ECFMG certificate reflects the passing results of only steps 1 and 2 of the national licensing exam (i.e. USMLE steps 1 and 2). Your USMLE transcript is necessary to verify completion of all 3 steps of the USMLE exam sequence.
  8. Where will the Medical Board send my license when it is issued?
    The license will be mailed to the mailing address indicated on your application. If you move during the application process, you must notify the Medical Board in writing to ensure your license is sent to the appropriate location. The United States Postal Service will not forward your license.
  9. Do I have to submit the form with the Child Support Questions even if I don't have children?
    The form must be completed and submitted by all physician and podiatrist applicants.
  10. How do I contact the Medical Board to check the status of my application?
    For general follow-up on your application, contact the Medical Board call center at 609-826-7100. Upon review of your file, your reviewer will contact you to give you a status update and she/he will give you her/his direct contact information for any additional follow-up.
  11. Is a Criminal History Background Check required prior to obtaining my license?
    In your application packet, you will receive a Certification and Authorization Form for a Criminal History Background Check. Complete the form and return it to the Medical Board with your license application. Once the Medical Board receives the form you will then receive instructions and the necessary documents to complete the fingerprint process. New Jersey law requires that every person seeking licensure or certification as a healthcare professional must undergo a Criminal History Background Check.

Physician & Podiatrist Questions

  1. When does the Board of Medical Examiners meet?
    The Board holds its monthly meeting on the Second Wednesday of the month at 9:00 a.m. at the Richard J. Hughes Complex, 25 Market Street, 4th Floor Conference Center, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0183.
  2. How does the Board regulate its licensees?

    The Board promulgates regulations/laws which serve as a basis as to the standard of practice and the Board ensures that these regulations are followed.

    It also is the responsibility of the Board to evaluate when a licensee's conduct or ability to practice appropriately warrants modification, suspension or revocation of the license to practice. When the Board receives a complaint against a licensee and there is reason to believe that the licensee has violated the law, it has the power to investigate, hold hearings, and/or impose some disciplinary sanction. This may include fines, additional education, medical treatment, or a modification of his/her license.

  3. How do I change my address with the Board?
    Practitioners are required to report to the Board , in writing, any change in address. The failure to provide timely notice of any change of address from the address that appears on the licensee's most recent license renewal or application may be deemed a failure to cooperate and therefore, professional misconduct and grounds for suspension or revocation of license. A form is available to submit your on-line change of address at: http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/bme/address.htm. You may fax your change of address directly to the Board. Please call the BME Call Center @ 609-826-7100 for instructions.
  4. Are continuing medical education credits required as a condition of renewal of licensure?

    As of 2001, the legislature enacted a law to require continuing medical education as a condition for biennial registration renewal. Physicians and podiatrists must complete 100 credits of continuing medical education, minimum 40 must be Cat I, maximum 60 may be Category II for the two year period prior to renewal. This means those categories of medical education courses recognized by the American Medical Association, the American Osteopathic Association, the American Podiatric Medical Association, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education or other comparable organizations recognized by the board.

    The board may, in its discretion, waive requirements for continuing medical education on an individual basis for reasons of hardship such as illness or disability, retirement of license, or other good cause. A waiver shall apply only to the current biennial renewal period at the time of board issuance.

    The CME Requirement applies to all doctors and podiatrists who hold active full fee or reduced fee (retired-paid) licenses, whether or not they are in active practice in New Jersey.

  5. What does a doctor need to do if he/she is closing his/her practice?

    If a licensee ceases to engage in practice, or it is anticipated that he/she will remain out of practice for more than three months, the licensee shall:

    • Establish a procedure by which patients can obtain a copy of his/her patient records or have them transferred to another practitioner. A licensee CANNOT charge a patient for a copy of the records when the records will be sued (should be used) for purposes of continuing treatment or care.
    • Publish a notice and the established procedure for the obtaining of records in a newspaper of general circulation at least once a month for the first three months after the practice closes and forward a copy to the Board.
    • Make reasonable efforts to directly notify patients treated within the prior six months letting the patients know about the manner in which the patient can obtain copies of his/her records.
  6. How long will the investigation take?
    The Board cannot predict how long an investigation will take because each case has many variables. Each matter received by the Board is investigated thoroughly and on its own merits. Some cases are clear and involve a limited number of circumstances and, upon assignment, can be completed quickly. Others are more complicated and may take longer periods of time. The Board will do its best to process the complaint as quickly as it can, while still maintaining an appropriate investigation. When the Board has reached a final decision, both parties will be informed in writing of the outcome of the Board's investigation.
  7. If requested by a patient, do I have to provide the medical records?
    In most instances, the patient has a right to receive a copy of his or her medical records, not the original. Although most patients assume that the records belong to the patient, the Board requires that the physician to maintain the original to ensure that the patient's medical history is available to any subsequent treating physician or health care provider. Copies may be given to the patient, another doctor, an attorney, insurance company or another family member if the patient expressly authorizes it. If a patient is deceased, the duly appointed executor or administrator of the estate may obtain copies also. Medical records cannot be released to a spouse, family member, attorney or any other person unless the patient gives his/her express consent to release them to that specific person.
  8. Can a doctor charge a patient for copies of the medical records?

    The Doctor may charge the patient to copy the records, which cannot be greater than $1.00 per page or $100.00 for the entire record, whichever is less. If the record is less than 10 pages, the doctor may charge $10. A "service fee" may not be charged apart from these amounts. Charges for copies of x-rays and other documents which cannot be reproduced by ordinary photocopying machines are to be charged at the actual costs to reproduce them.

    The Doctor has 30 days after he/she receives a written request from the patient. If the patient had provided a set of records from the patient's previous Doctor, the patient has a right to have these included as part of the entire medical record. Physicians may not refuse to release a copy of a patient's medical record if they are needed for on going treatment if the patient owes money for the medical services the physician provided. The physician, however, can hold the record until the patient pays for the costs to reproduce the record.

    Exceptions to the above rule: 1. If a patient is sent to you by an insurance company or is an employee scheduled for an examination, the above does not apply. In order to obtain a copy of the records or reports from these types of examinations, the patient must contact his/her employer or the insurance company that sent the patient to you for the examination to receive a copy; 2. You may not charge for release of the record if you have terminated the patient from your practice; 3. You may not charge for the record if you are closing your office for three months or more, and 4. You may not charge for the record if a physician member of your practice relocates and the patient chooses to move to that physician's new practice.

  9. How long must a doctor keep copies of a patient's medical records?
    A doctor has to keep a patient's medical records for seven years. After that, the physician can destroy them. There is no requirement in the law that requires the physician to notify a patient prior to destroying the records. A doctor may wish to contact his/her malpractice carrier to determine if the carrier has a different requirement and in particular, if there are different requirements for pediatric patients.
  10. Can a doctor discharge a patient from his/her practice?

    As long as the patient is not being treated under circumstances where his/her life or health may be threatened or compromised unless timely medical care is given, the doctor may terminate the relationship. The doctor must notify the patient, in writing, that he/she will no longer provide care after a date certain, which cannot be less than thirty days prior to the termination date. This letter must be sent by certified mail, or other proof of delivery method return receipt requested. The doctor, however, is obligated to provide all necessary emergency care and services, including providing necessary prescriptions, until the date of termination. If requested by the patient, the doctor must make reasonable efforts to assist the patient in finding another provider and provide for the orderly transfer of the medical records. You may not charge for the copying and/or transfer of the patient's medical records.

  11. Is a doctor required to provide his/her patients with a chaperone during an examination?
    In an office setting, a doctor is required to provide notice to the patient that he/she has a right to a chaperone present whenever a breast and pelvic examination of females or during genitalia and rectal examinations of both male and females. If the proposed chaperone is not acceptable to the patient, the patient may refuse and the doctor is not obligated to provide further care. Also, if the doctor desires to have a chaperone present and the patient refuses, the doctor is not obligated to provide further treatment. If care is not provided, the doctor, however, must discuss with the patient the risks of not receiving further care.
  12. How can I obtain a verification of my license to another state?

    Mail your written request to:

    State Board of Medical Examiners
    Document Management Unit
    P.O. Box 183
    Trenton, NJ 08625

    Include a $50.00 certified check or money order payable to State of NJ, BME. Include your full name and license number with the name and address of the agency to which you request the verification be sent.

  13. How does a doctor obtain a duplicate of his/her license registration certificate?

    You can send in a request in writing to:

    P.O. Box 183
    State Board of Medical Examiners
    140 East Front Street
    Trenton, New Jersey 08625

    In your letter, please include you license number and state that you are requesting a duplicate registration certificate. You also must send in a fee in the amount of $50.00 and your check/certified money order should be made payable to the "New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners".

  14. I recently got married and would like to change my name with the Board and on my license certificate?

    Name changes must be reported to the Board in writing. Please send a copy of the legal document to:

    State Board of Medical Examiners
    140 East Front Street
    Trenton, New Jersey 08625

    On the copy, please print your license number, your former name and your married name. You must include the fee of $50.00 (certified check/ money order) made payable to the "New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners". You will be mailed a license certificate with your new name.

  15. Must physicians retired from practice comply with CME requirements?

    The need to comply with the CME requirements is determined by the kind of New Jersey license that you hold  not by the status of your practice or retirement situation.

    Physicians who hold licenses that are no fee are exempt from the CME requirement. These licenses are titled Retired and Inactive. Holders of these licenses can not practice medicine or order prescriptions in New Jersey. If doctors holding these licenses wish to regain active license status in New Jersey they will have to demonstrate compliance with the CME required during their period of inactivity. Retired physicians who maintain a reduced fee active license (not a retired license) retain the ability to order prescriptions and to practice and are required to comply with the CME requirement.

    The retired active, reduced fee license is available to doctors 65 years or older allows the practice of medicine and prescription writing without HMO or hospital affiliation.

    Holders of retired-active, reduced fee licenses are required to comply with CME requirements whether or not they are actively practicing in the State.

  16. Can doctors get extensions or waivers of the CME requirement?
    A physician may request an Extension or Waiver of the CME requirement for the current cycle only. Extensions/waivers are granted in individual cases after objective material submitted confidentially to the Board substantiates a hardship situation, such as severe illness, disability or military service. The request for extension or waiver must be made to the Board in writing, certified mail, return receipt requested at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the biennial renewal period. You will be notified by mail of the results of your extension/waiver request within 60 days of receipt of the request and supporting material. The extension or waiver applies to one cycle only and re-application is required to receive extension or waiver for a subsequent biennial cycle.
  17. Is there an exception to CME requirements for Initial licensees who are recent graduates of accredited medical education training programs?

    Physicians and Podiatrists receiving their Initial License in New Jersey who have completed accredited graduate medical education programs within 12 months prior to licensure are exempt from the CME requirement for the Initial biennial period of licensure only. Examples of applicable dates/ situations follows.

    Physicians and Podiatrists participating in accredited graduate medical education programs who are renewing their license, i.e. they are beyond their initial licensure cycle, do not have an exemption.  These doctors are credited CME for their full time participation in the training program in accordance with policies of the AMA-PRA, AOA and COPME. 

  18. Does the Board lessen the CME requirement if a license has not been active for the entire two year license cycle?
    CME hour requirements are not prorated. If a licensee must comply with the CME requirement for biennial registration the total hourly requirements apply.
  19. What about the Cultural Competency Education requirement?
    Detailed information and guidance regarding the Cultural Competency Regulation can be found in
  20. Where may I find the NJ Universal Credentialing Form or the NJ Physician Recredentialing Application Form?
    You may find the forms on the Department of Banking and Insurance website.

Last Modified: 2/10/2016 7:19 AM