Michigan Regulation of Physicians

In Michigan, provisions relating to the regulation of physicians are provided under MCLS § 333.17001 through MCLS § 333.170084.  MCLS § 333.17001 defines a physician as an individual licensed to engage in the practice of medicine.

Pursuant to MCLS § 333.17011, an individual cannot engage in the practice of medicine or practice as a physician’s assistant unless licensed or otherwise authorized by the Michigan  board of medicine.  S/he cannot engage in teaching or research that requires the practice of medicine unless the individual is licensed or otherwise authorized by this article.  The board may grant a license to an individual after reviewing the applicant’s record of practice, experience, and credentials and determining that the applicant is competent to practice medicine.  For individuals applying for licensure, the board will not impose requirements on graduates of medical schools located outside the U.S. or Canada that exceed the requirements imposed on graduates of medical schools located in the U.S. or Canada.[i]

A physician or an individual performing an act, task, or function under the delegatory authority of a physician shall not perform a partial-birth abortion, even if the abortion is otherwise permitted by law[ii].  However, a physician or an individual may perform a partial-birth abortion if the physician or other individual reasonably believes that performing the partial-birth abortion is necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury and that no other medical procedure will accomplish that purpose[iii].

Under MCLS § 333.17518, only an individual who is licensed as a physician can perform needle electromyography or interpret nerve conduction tests.  A physician cannot delegate the interpretation of nerve conduction tests to another individual unless that individual is licensed under this article to engage in the practice of medicine or osteopathic medicine and surgery.  A physician cannot delegate the performance of needle electromyography to another individual unless that individual is licensed under this article to engage in the practice of medicine or osteopathic medicine and surgery or that individual is otherwise authorized[iv].  However, a physician may delegate the performance of nerve conduction tests to a licensed or unlicensed individual who is otherwise qualified by education, training, or experience if those tests are conducted under the direct supervision of a physician.

MCLS § 333.17030 provides that a clinical academic limited license granted by the board for the practice of medicine should require that the individual practice only for an academic institution and under the supervision of one or more physicians fully licensed under this part.  A clinical academic limited license granted by the board for the practice of medicine is renewable annually, but an individual should not engage in the practice of medicine under one or more clinical academic limited licenses for more than five years.

An applicant, in addition to completing the requirements for the degree in medicine has to complete a period of postgraduate education to attain proficiency in the practice of the profession, as prescribed by the board in rules, as a condition for more than limited licensure.  The board may grant a full license to practice medicine to an applicant who has completed the requirements for a degree in medicine at a medical school located outside the U.S. or Canada if the applicant demonstrates to the board all of the following:

  • That the applicant has engaged in the practice of medicine for not less than 10 years after completing the requirements for a degree in medicine.
  • That the applicant has completed not less than 3 years of postgraduate clinical training in an institution that has an affiliation with a medical school that is listed in a directory of medical schools published by the world health organization as approved by the board.
  • That the applicant has achieved a score determined by the board to be a passing score on an initial medical licensure examination approved by the board.
  • That the applicant has safely and competently practiced medicine under a clinical academic limited license granted by the board under this article for one or more academic institutions located in Michigan for not less than the two years immediately preceding the date of application for a license under this subsection, during which time the applicant functioned not less than 800 hours per year in the observation and treatment of patients.

An applicant has to file with the board a written statement from each academic institution upon which the applicant relies.  The statement will indicate, at a minimum, that the applicant functioned for the academic institution in the observation and treatment of patients not less than 800 hours per year and that in so doing the applicant practiced medicine safely and competently[v].  A person who makes a written statement in good faith is not civilly or criminally liable for that statement[vi].

MCLS § 333.16146 provides that a board will grant a license or registration to an applicant meeting the requirements for the license or registration.

A board when granting licenses may:

  • Certify licensees in those health profession specialty fields within its scope of practice which are established in this article.
  • Reclassify licenses on the basis of a determination that the addition or removal of conditions or restrictions is appropriate.
  • Upon good cause, request that a licensee or registrant have a criminal history check conducted.

Pursuant to MCLS § 333.16174, an individual who is licensed or registered under this article shall meet all of the following requirements:

  • be 18 or more years of age.
  • be of good moral character.
  • have a specific education or experience in the health profession or in a health profession subfield or health profession specialty field of the health profession, or training equivalent, or both, as prescribed by this article or rules of a board necessary to promote safe and competent practice and informed consumer choice.
  • have a working knowledge of the English language as determined in accordance with minimum standards established for that purpose by the department.

In addition to the requirements, an applicant for licensure, registration, specialty certification, or a health profession specialty subfield license under this article should meet all of the following requirements:

  • Establish those disciplinary proceedings before a similar licensure, registration, or specialty licensure or specialty certification board of this or any other state, of the United States military, of the federal government, or of another country are not pending against the applicant.
  • Establish that if sanctions have been imposed against the applicant by a similar licensure, registration, or specialty licensure or specialty certification board of Michigan or any other state, of the U.S. military, of the federal government, or of another country based upon grounds that are substantially similar to those set forth or as determined by the board or task force to which the applicant applies, the sanctions are not in force at the time of application.
  • File with the board or task force a written, signed consent to the release of information regarding a disciplinary investigation involving the applicant conducted by a similar licensure, registration, or specialty licensure or specialty certification board of this or any other state, of the U.S. military, of the federal government, or of another country.

An applicant for initial licensure or registration should submit his/her fingerprints to the department of state police to have a criminal history check conducted and request that the department of state police forward his/her fingerprints to the federal bureau of investigation for a national criminal history check.  The department of state police will conduct a criminal history check and request the federal bureau of investigation to make a determination of the existence of any national criminal history pertaining to the applicant.  The department of state police will provide the department with a written report of the criminal history check if the criminal history check contains any criminal history record information.  The department of state police will forward the results of the federal bureau of investigation determination to the department within 30 days after the request is made.  The department will notify the board and the applicant in writing of the type of crime disclosed on the federal bureau of investigation determination without disclosing the details of the crime.  The department of state police may charge a reasonable fee to cover the cost of conducting the criminal history check.  The criminal history record information obtained will be used only for the purpose of evaluating an applicant’s qualifications for licensure or registration for which s/he has applied.[vii]

In addition, a member of the board should not disclose the report or its contents to any person who is not directly involved in evaluating the applicant’s qualifications for licensure or registration.  Information obtained is confidential and is not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, 1976 and should not be disclosed to any person except for any law enforcement purposes[viii].

An individual cannot make a false representation or impersonation or act as a proxy for another individual or allow or aid an individual to impersonate his/her in connection with an examination or application for licensure or registration or a request to be examined, licensed, or registered[ix].

[i] MCLS § 333.17011.

[ii] MCLS § 333.17016.

[iii] Id.

[iv] Id.

[v] MCLS § 333.17031.

[vi] Id.

[vii] MCLS § 333.16174.

[viii] Id.

[ix] MCLS § 333.16179.


Inside Michigan Regulation of Physicians