Under New Jersey law, provisions relating to regulation of physicians are provided under N.J. Stat. § 45:9-1 through N.J. Stat. §45:9-27.9. Every applicant shall present a written application to the secretary of the board, at least 20 days before the commencement of the examination, together with satisfactory proof that s/he is a U.S. citizen of more than 21 years of age, and of good moral character[i]. A person who is not a citizen of the U.S. can also apply for a license if s/he has declared his/her intention to become such a citizen. Such a person shall be issued a temporary license[ii]. The applicant must also present a certificate of the Commissioner of Education of New Jersey showing evidence of academic education consisting of a 4 years’ course of study in an approved public or private high school, obtained prior to his/her admission to the professional college[iii].
All persons who are licensed to practice medicine and surgery shall be required on or before July 1 biennially to register on the form prescribed by the board and to pay a biennial registration fee[iv]. The license of any licensee, who fails to procure any biennial certificate of registration, shall be automatically suspended on July 1 and may be reinstated by the payment of all past due annual registration fees and an additional fee to cover cost of reinstatement. Any person who desires to retire from the practice of medicine and surgery, and during retirement to refrain from practicing under the terms of his/her license may be registered biennially, as a retired physician, without the payment of any registration fee[v].
In addition to other information required by the board on the biennial license renewal form, a physician shall list the address of all practice locations and the name of any other licensee directly associated with the practice; the name and address of each licensed health care facility and health maintenance organization with which the licensee has an affiliation and the nature of the affiliation; and the name and address of the practitioner’s medical malpractice insurer. Further, the practitioner shall notify the board in writing, within 21 days, of any changes, additions or deletions to the information so provided[vi].
An applicant shall also present proof demonstrating that in addition to, and subsequent to, obtaining the preliminary education specified in N.J. Stat. § 45:9-6., and prior to commencing his/her study in a professional institution, had completed a course in a college or school of arts and science accredited by an agency recognized by the board, the duration of such course to have been two years during which period s/he had earned no less than 60 credits, which credits include one three-credit course each in chemistry, physics and biology. It is to be noted that the board may waive these requirements if the applicant demonstrates that s/he has attained the substantial equivalent of these requirements through his/her post-secondary education, competency and achievements in the practice of medicine and surgery[vii].
The board shall require each licensee, as a condition for biennial registration, to complete 100 credits of continuing medical education, all of which shall be in Category I or Category II[viii].
The applicant must fulfill the following requirements for becoming eligible for licensure.
- Proof of a diploma from a legally incorporated professional school or college of the United States, Canada or other foreign country, approved by the board, or (b) a license conferring the full right to practice all of the branches of medicine and surgery in some foreign country;
- Further proof that, prior to the receipt of such diploma or license, the applicant had studied not less than 4 full school years, including four satisfactory courses of lectures of at least eight months each, consecutively or in four different calendar years, in some legally incorporated and registered American or foreign professional school or schools, college or colleges approved by the board, which courses shall have included a thorough and satisfactory course of instruction in medicine and surgery;
- The applicant, if s/he has graduated from a professional school or college after July 1, 1916 and before July 1, 2003, shall further prove after receiving such diploma or license, s/he has completed an internship acceptable to the board for at least one year in a hospital approved by the board, or in lieu thereof s/he has completed one year of post-graduate work acceptable to the board in a school or hospital approved by the board, unless required by regulation to complete additional post-graduate work; or
- The applicant, if s/he has graduated from a medical school after July 1, 2003, shall further prove to the board that, after receiving his/her diploma, s/he has completed and received academic credit for at least two years of post-graduate training in an accredited program and has signed a contract for a third year of post-graduate training in an accredited program, and that at least two years of that training are in the same field or would, when considered together, be credited toward the criteria for certification by a single specialty board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties or the American Osteopathic Association or another certification entity with comparable standards that is acceptable to the board.
- If an applicant for licensure has not engaged in practice for a period of more than five years, or the board’s review of the application establishes a basis for concluding that there may be clinical deficiencies in need of remediation, the board may require the applicant to successfully pass, an examination or an assessment of skills. If that examination or assessment identifies clinical deficiencies or educational needs, the board may require an applicant to successfully complete any educational training, or to submit to any supervision, monitoring as are necessary to assure that the applicant will practice with reasonable skill and safety[ix].
The examination fee for the first or initial examination is $ 100.00 and for every reexamination $ 50.00 for each section for which a reexamination is given[x]. If the applicant fails to pass the examination, s/he may be reexamined at the next regular examination. Upon successful completion of the examination the board, upon payment by the applicant to the treasurer of the board of a license fee of $ 150.00, shall certify and license said applicant to practice medicine and surgery in New Jersey[xi].
An applicant licensed in another state may, in the discretion of the board, be granted a license without further examination upon payment of a license fee of $ 150.00. However, such an applicant shall furnish proof that s/he can fulfill the licensing requirements for admission by examination[xii].
A non-citizen who had declared his/her intention to become a citizen shall have become entitled to a license valid for six years from the date of such declaration of intention. If such person fails to furnish evidence of his/her having actually become a citizen prior to the expiration of said six years, s/he shall have a further period of two years from the date of expiration of said six-year period within which to furnish evidence of his/her having actually become a citizen[xiii].
If the licensee moves into another county, s/he shall procure from the clerk of the country a certified copy of his/her registration and file the same with the clerk of the county to which s/he removes, on payment of a fee of one dollar. Upon each registry or re-registry, the registrant shall produce an affidavit that s/he is the person described in the license or registration copy[xiv].
Malpractice by physicians includes the practice of medicine and surgery without a license, practice of medicine and surgery under false or assumed name, or falsely impersonating another practitioner of a like or different name and aiding or assisting any person not regularly licensed to practice medicine and surgery in New Jersey. Persons who violate the provisions shall be liable for a penalty of two hundred dollars ($ 200.00), for the first offense[xv]. Every person practicing medicine and surgery under a firm name or as an employee of another shall cause his/her name to be conspicuously displayed and kept in a conspicuous place at the entrance of the place where such practice shall be conducted, and any person who shall neglect to cause his name to be displayed as herein required, shall be liable to a penalty of one hundred dollars ($ 100.00)[xvi].
The board has discretion to suspend a physician’s license if such physician engaged in conduct involving gross or repeated negligence, fraud or other professional misconduct adversely affecting the public health, safety or welfare[xvii]. The board shall provide the physician with an opportunity to submit relevant evidence in mitigation or, for good cause shown, an opportunity for oral argument. The board shall make a final determination as to discipline within 60 days of the date of mailing or personal service of the notice[xviii].
[i] N.J. Stat. § 45:9-6.
[iv] N.J. Stat. § 45:9-6.1.
[vi] N.J. Stat. § 45:9-19.7.
[vii] N.J. Stat. § 45:9-7.
[viii] N.J. Stat. § 45:9-7.1.
[ix] N.J. Stat. § 45:9-8.
[x] N.J. Stat. § 45:9-12.
[xii] N.J. Stat. § 45:9-13.
[xiii] N.J. Stat. § 45:9-14.
[xiv] N.J. Stat. § 45:9-17.
[xv] N.J. Stat. § 45:9-22.
[xvii] N.J. Stat. § 45:9-19.16a.