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Program Administrator Timeline

A good general practice is to refer to and follow a timeline of tasks for activities and due dates that occur in Graduate Medical Education. The following timelines/documents will assist in providing a general overview of when tasks should be performed:

The timeline below is meant to be a guideline. Tasks, roles, and responsibilities will vary based on each site and program specialty.

Orientation & Onboarding

June – July

  • Complete regional, hospital and residency program orientation requirements.
  • Complete NCAL New Employee Orientation (NEO)*Mandatory*
  • Familiarize yourself with hospital, program and regional policies and procedures.
  • Meet with your program advisor/mentor to review, plan/outline your training curriculum to ensure you meet all program and specialty requirements.

California Medical License Application and/or Osteopathic Medical Board

Upon hire – June

  • Familiarize yourself with the California Medical Board (CMB) and/or Osteopathic Medical Board (OMB) requirements.
  • Begin gathering necessary documentation.
  • Confirm with residency program leadership before applying for Postgraduate Training License (PTL)
  • Monitor application status regularly

ACLS/BLS Certification


  • Ensure current Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) and Basic Life Support (BLS) certifications.
  • Varies by specialty, please confirm requirements with Residency Program Administrator.

USMLE Step 3 and/or COMLEX Level 3


  • Schedule and take the USMLE Step 3 or COMLEX Level 3 examination during PGY 1.
  • If scheduling a retake exam is needed, due so when allowed by the examination board.

Drug Enforcement Administration

Upon receipt of PTL

  • Confirm with residency program leadership before applying for DEA license

USMLE Step 3/COMLEX Level 3 Exam Completion


  • Schedule and pass the USMLE Step 3 and/or COMLEX Level 3 examination, if not already done.
  • Submit results to the California Medical Board and/or Osteopathic Medical Board.

Clinical Experience

  • Schedule a Formal Summative evaluation meeting with advisor/mentor.
  • Meet with your advisor/mentor to ensure compliance with residency program specialty requirements and board requirements.

California Medical License and/or Osteopathic Medical Board Application (Continued)

  • Complete and submit online via BreEZe the Physician & Surgeon’s License Application (upon passing USMLE Step 3/COMLEX Level 3 exam).
  • Monitor application status regularly

Residency Completion

  • Formal and Summative evaluation meeting with Program Director.
  • Meet with your program advisor/mentor to confirm you are on track for completion of all residency program and specialty requirements.
  • If pursuing fellowship training, ensure compliance with program requirements.
  • Ensure documentation of all required clinical experiences.

Board Certification


  • Review specialty board eligibility requirements and application for board certification (exam dates vary by specialty).

Physician & Surgeon’s License (P&S)


  • If applicable, apply for the permanent Physician & Surgeon’s (P&S) license in California.
  • Follow up with the California Medical License application monthly until license is obtained.

Note: Always refer to the most current guidelines and requirements from the California Medical Board, your specific residency program and specialty board to ensure accuracy and compliance.

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