Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

243 CMR 2.02(11)

Summary Title

Volunteer Licenses: Physician


A physician can apply for a volunteer medical license in place of a full or a retired inactive license through the Board of Registration in Medicine. A physician holding a volunteer license can only practice at work sites approved by the Board and cannot accept compensation for their practice of medicine. A volunteer license is not required for a physician to volunteer their time.

Full Title

Initial Licensure for Graduates of Medical Schools in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico

Full Text

(11) Volunteer License. (a) Purpose. In order to encourage physician volunteerism and to serve the public health, the Board establishes a Volunteer License category. To qualify for a volunteer license, an applicant shall satisfy the prerequisites for a full initial license as set forth in 243 CMR 2.02(1), except for 243 CMR 2.02(1)(l). In satisfaction of 243 CMR 2.02(1)(k), the candidate shall pay a Volunteer License application fee, if one is established by the secretary of administration and finance pursuant to M.G.L. c. 7, ยง 3B. The Board may require that the applicant successfully pass a clinical skills assessment or other professional evaluation of clinical competency. The Volunteer License is chosen voluntarily by the applicant, and the Board shall not involuntarily impose this license status on an applicant or licensee. 1. Serving the Public Health. As part of the application for a volunteer license, a candidate shall submit the following information: a. A written statement from the applicant outlining the scope and duration of services to be provided by him or her; b. A written statement from the director of the applicant's proposed work site outlining the scope and duration of the applicant's responsibilities; and c. Evidence satisfactory to the Board that the volunteer physician's proposed work will serve the public interest. An example of work that serves the public interest is treating a medical population in need that may not otherwise have access to medical care. (b) Issuance of Volunteer License. An applicant who meets all of the requirements of 243 CMR 2.02(11) to the satisfaction of the Board will be granted a volunteer license and is entitled to a certificate of registration signed by the chair and the secretary of the Board. (c) Scope of Practice for Volunteer Status. A licensee engaged in volunteer practice may practice medicine only at work sites approved by the Board in conjunction with his or her license application, shall be subject to the same conditions and responsibilities as a full licensee, and may not accept compensation for his or her practice of medicine. A volunteer licensee must have the approval of the Board prior to changing any work sites. (d) Termination. A volunteer license issued in accordance with 243 CMR 2.02(11) may be renewed biennially. A volunteer license shall terminate automatically upon termination of the licensee's volunteer work or upon Board approval of a full license application. A volunteer licensee engaged in patient care is required to have professional malpractice liability insurance as in 243 CMR 2.02(1)(m). (e) Change in License Status. 1. From Retired to Volunteer License. A licensee holding a Retired inactive license may apply to the Board for a change of license status from Retired inactive status to a Volunteer active license. The licensee shall complete an application for a Volunteer license. If the licensee has been away from the clinical practice of medicine for two or more years, the Board may require the completion of a Board-approved clinical skills assessment program, physician supervision or monitoring, CPDs, medical education or other such requirements to assist the licensee in reentering the clinical practice of medicine. 2. From Full to Volunteer License. If a physician with a full license wishes to change his or her license category to a volunteer license, he or she may file a Request for a Change of License Category with the Board. Such a request may be made at the time of license renewal or anytime during the license term. 3. From Volunteer to Full License. A licensee holding a volunteer license may apply to the Board for a change of license status from a Volunteer license to a full license. The licensee shall complete an application for a full license and pay the difference between the volunteer license application fee and the full license application fee.