What are the different types of medical licenses?



In every country across the globe doctors, and other medical professionals, need to be properly licensed and registered in order to treat people.

This is a sensible and necessary precaution to prevent the harm that can be inflicted by unqualified medical personnel. Properly qualified professionals can cause issues but you can sue these for malpractice, this isn’t always the case for an unlicensed and unregistered ‘professional’.

But, did you know that you can actually check whether your medical professional is licensed and that there are actually different types of licenses?

You can verify the practitioner and teaching hospital at the same place that you can check the HCP aggregate spend reporting. That’s not all, the accumulation of data and the ease of storage ensures that you can verify virtually any fact regarding a specific practice or professional in a matter of minutes.

You can even use them to help resolve a dispute.

But, it does help to understand the different types of licenses on offer first:

The Medical Doctor


This is the type of doctor you probably see the most, they can offer you prescriptions, perform surgery, work with minor injuries, and even help with an array of neurological conditions.
To gain a medical doctor’s, (MD) license, the professional will need at least 4 years of undergraduate training before going to medical school. It’s possible to specialize and end up working in hospitals or private practice.

But, all MD’s must meet specified ethical and professional standards in order to retain their license.

The DO


A DO is a Doctor of Osteopathy. They need to have the same level of training as an MD and they can perform the same procedures and treatments. However, they have also specialized in the musculoskeletal and can perform more advanced diagnosis and treatment regarding muscular and joint issues.

This type of doctor will usually focus on a whole-body type approach to an issue, instead of dealing with just one issue.

Physician Assistant

The PA is well-qualified and can perform many of the tasks that an MD or DO can do. However, they will have slightly less training than either of the others and are not allowed to perform any surgery.
They are also not allowed to open practice by themselves as they must always operate under the supervision of an MD or DO.

State Board Licenses

Every state has its own rules regarding licensing, this can make it difficult to be certain that you’re going to get the same level of treatment in two different states.

You can verify the requirements of a state by visiting their website. This will tell you what criteria the medical professionals have to reach in order to be given a state license and practice medicine.
You may also find that some of these states have additional licenses that allow extra medical professionals to work alongside an MD or DO.

It’s worth taking a look at what requirements your state has, this will help to ensure you know you’re getting the best possible care.