Physician Licensing, Career, and Practice

  • Nichole L. TaylorEmail author
  • Michelle Miller
  • Lisa M. Meeks


The exploration of a student’s future medical specialty begins on their first day of medical school. Medical students must acquire a solid fund of medical knowledge, prepare for high-stakes standardized tests (USMLE and COMLEX), select a medicine specialty or subspecialty, apply for residency, and match into a residency training program prior to graduation. Obtaining their full medical license and board certification requires extensive preparation, studying, a series of examinations throughout their training, and completion of their residency. A medical student with a disability will have other considerations when assessing specialty selection and may find it difficult to navigate this process on their own. Each specialty may demand very different strengths (precise procedural prowess, rapid processing of differential diagnoses, nonthreatening probing questions) that are impossible to gauge without adequate in-depth exposure. To aid with navigating, these transitions and decisions, disability resource professionals, career advisors, and speciality career counselors work together to ensure a “good fit” for the student/trainee with a disability. This chapter presents the processes for the student doctor to prepare for specialty selection, applying to residency, residency training selection, securing a residency training program, licensure, and safe practice.


EEOC Direct threat Employment Essential functions Board exams Licensure GME Residency Board certification USMLE COMLEX Mentorship introduction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nichole L. Taylor
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michelle Miller
    • 2
  • Lisa M. Meeks
    • 3
  1. 1.Assistant Dean of Student Affairs; Associate Professor Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA
  2. 2.Chair, Department of Legal Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, Quinnipiac UniversityHamdenUSA
  3. 3.Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Director Disability Education, The University of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA

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