The Texas Medical Board issues Physician-in-Training permits (PIT Permits) pursuant to Texas Medical Practice Act section 155.105 and Texas Medical Board rules found in the Texas Administrative Code under 22 TAC Section 9 Chapter 163. The PIT permit is required for graduates of a United States or Foreign Medical School who wish to pursue a residency or post-graduate fellowship in Texas who do not possess a Texas Medical License due to ineligibility or a pending application. Although the application for a Physician-in-Training permit is not as cumbersome, tedious or labor intensive as a full physician registration, medical doctors often find themselves needing to go before the Texas Medical Board’s Licensure Committee to explain their good professional character or clinical competence due to:
- Academic difficulties in medical school including poor performance or discipline as evidenced by the applicant’s academic transcript from the third or fourth year of medical school;
- Problems in a post-graduate residency program including failing grades, poor performance, or discipline by the medical faculty;
- Physician discipline from a medical staff, denial by a credentialing committee or other discipline by another state licensing board;
- Criminal convictions involving dishonesty, moral turpitude, controlled substances or alcohol;
- Mental illness which rises to the level of requiring the Applicant to demonstrate their ability to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety;
- Falsification of information on the Physician-in Training application;
- Malpractice claims, lawsuits and judgments
- Perceived statutory ineligibility.
Arguably, the most critical factor for physician applicants to be aware of is the need for complete and thorough honesty and candor as lying or falsification on the application is a basis for denial. The Texas Medical Board’s Licensure Division carefully scrutinizes each application and often sends lacking letters and requests for clarifying information to the applicant. During this process Board Staff accesses criminal information through the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as medical school and residency evaluations and performance assessments not readily available to the applicant. If a falsification issue arises when the file is reviewed by the Executive Director he may issue a letter or order denying the application. Denials that become final are reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) and become a part of the medical doctor’s permanent disciplinary history. If you are uncertain about whether or not to include information on your application it is prudent to err on the side of caution. Genuine disputes or personality differences between the applicant and medical school faculty or medical staff member can be successfully explained away, but a perceived effort to conceal information may mar your record indefinitely.
If you are a medical doctor applying for a Physician-in-Training Permit and are uncertain how to proceed with your application you should seek guidance from your training program and an experienced attorney. If your application for a PIT permit has been denied or you have been invited to appear before the Texas Medical Board’s Licensure Committee you are in need of effective legal representation immediately. Once the letter of denial is received the applicant has twenty days to act before it is made a part of their permanent disciplinary history at the NPDB. An initial presumption of ineligibility can be successfully overcome through good legal representation by an experienced lawyer who is familiar with the application process.