Updated MSMS Resources on Licensing Requirements for Physicians and Osteopathic Physicians


MSMS has updated its resources on licensing requirements for physicians and osteopathic physicians. The changes include the addition of three hours of implicit bias and changes to the area of ​​pain and symptom management to include one hour of prescription for controlled substances.

A summary of the changes includes:

Implicit bias – A minimum of 3 hours every 3 years license renewal cycle. New licensees need 2 hours in the 5 years immediately preceding.

Renewals in January 2022 do not require any training; renewals in 2023 require 1 hour; renewals in 2024 require 2 hours; renewals in 2025 require 3 hours. Then each 3-year renewal cycle should yield 3 hours. (All hours after June 2021 can be used for license renewal after 2022.)

Training should include strategies to reduce disparities in access to and delivery of health services and the administration of implicit bias assessments before and after testing. Acceptable training modalities are a teleconference or webinar that allows for synchronous live interaction, a live presentation or an interactive online instruction. Only recorded or archived content is not allowed, a live component is required.

The content of the training should include, but not be limited to, one or more of the following topics:

  • Information on implicit prejudices, equitable access to health care, in the service of a population, diversity and inclusion initiatives and cultural sensitivity.
  • Strategies for addressing the negative impact of implicit bias by recognizing and understanding how it affects perception, judgment, and actions that may result inequitable decision-making, inability to communicate effectively and barriers and disparities in access and delivery of health services.
  • The historical basis and current consequences of implicit biases based on a the characteristics of the individual.
  • Discussion of current research on implicit biases in accessing and providing health services.

Pain and Symptom Management Education – A minimum of 3 hours of continuing education every 3 years license renewal cycle. At least 1 of 3 hours must include the prescription of controlled substances.

Live, archived programming of all currently required content is available at www.msms.org/education. Courses meeting the implicit bias requirement starting in June 2022 will begin in the first quarter of 2022. Please note that the first reporting period for implicit bias will be for physicians renewing their license in 2023.

The new resources can be downloaded here:

Medical doctor license requirements
Requirements relating to the license to practice of osteopathic physicians (DO)


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