The Office of Graduate Medical Education is the primary liaison for house staff with the State of Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) for medical licensing. House staff may not engage in medical practice prior to receiving appropriate licensure and all forms, visas or other permits as may be required by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. It is the responsibility of the house staff to obtain and maintain, at their own expense, medical licensure in the State of Illinois. 

House staff are required to hold either a temporary (training) or permanent unrestricted license. House staff are eligible to obtain a permanent license after passing USMLE steps 1, 2, and 3 and successful completion of 24 months training in an approved program, among other requirements. House staff who do not qualify for a permanent licensure must apply for a temporary license.

Support for the licensure application process is provided by the Rush Office of GME. For information, contact Thi Tran in the GME Office, located in suite 403 in the Armour Academic Center. 

Important Licensure Information
  • Unlicensed house staff will not be able to begin training on time. They will not receive a paycheck or benefits until their license is issued.
  • The initial licensing process can be lengthy —  allow at least 90 days for processing the application.
  • In order for your applications to be processed, ALL REQUIRED SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION MUST BE SUBMITTED with the application and required fee unless otherwise directed in the instructions. Please refer to the instructional checklists below for the complete licensing process.

Temporary Medical Licenses

You must apply for a temporary license (code #125) if you have fewer than 24 months of U.S. or Canadian training in an approved program. The temporary license is the property of Rush University Medical Center and will be issued in your name and the program in which you are designated to start. It is issued for up to three years from your start date but may be extended for longer training programs.

Transfer or Extension of Temporary Medical Licenses

If you hold an Illinois temporary license (code #125) from another Illinois institution, you must transfer it to Rush University Medical Center. You will need to apply for a license extension if your temporary license expires before you complete your residency program. The temporary license extension and transfer application must be submitted on paper. This application cannot be submitted on-line.

  • Instructions
  • Required supplemental documents include: CCA, PH, CA-MED
  • CA-MED forms are to be signed by your program director and sealed by the GME Office. Please coordinate with your program administrator to have the CA-MED form completed, signed, sealed, and sent to you to include in your application. Your program must also include a letter from your program director requesting an extension. Programs can use this template to be printed on letterhead.
  • Please send the completed application and supplemental documents to Thi Tran in the GME Office to submit to the IDFPR.

Limited Temporary Licenses

Please visit the For Visiting Physicians page to learn more.

Permanent Medical Licenses

House staff are eligible to obtain a permanent license (code #036) after passing all three U.S. Medical Licensing Examination or Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination steps and successfully completing 24 months of training in an approved program. We recommend that all fellows obtain a permanent license. You must apply for and obtain your own license and send a copy to both the GME Office and your program coordinator/director prior to starting.

IMPORTANT: The permanent license is on a three-year cycle not tied to the issue date. All permanent licenses will expire July 31, 2023. 


A temporary training license (code 035) is issued only to those accepted or appointed to a residency or preceptorship position approved by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education of the American Podiatric Medical Association. The temporary podiatry license will expire three years from the beginning date of the program or from the date of issuance if later than the beginning date of the program. The temporary podiatry license will expire three years from the beginning date of the program or from the date of issuance if later than the beginning date of the program.

A permanent podiatric license (code # 016) requires one completed year of postgraduate training and expires on January 31 of each odd-numbered year.

Controlled Substance Licenses

For permanent license applicants/holders only

If you practice in Illinois locations where controlled drugs are stored, you must acquire controlled substance registrations for each practice location. (For Rush, please use the GME address. The license will be emailed to you from the IDFPR.) The controlled substance, or CS, license (code #336) will not be issued until a permanent license is issued; it expires at the same time as the permanent license. The CS license is a prerequisite for a federal controlled substance or Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration. If you have a DEA license from another state, you must obtain an Illinois controlled substance license to use your DEA in this state.

DEA substance registration

For permanent license applicants/holders only

Visit the Drug Enforcement Administration website for the new applicants online registration. Please read the website’s information carefully and have requested information available before applying. For those with a permanent license, the controlled substance license is a prerequisite for a federal DEA license. The CS is geographically based. You will need one for each site/hospital. The license is necessary only if your program requires a DEA license. Contact your program to determine need. While you are enrolled in a training program, you may use Rush’s DEA number followed by a hyphen and your physician ID number. For the Rush DEA license number, contact GME.

Licensing Contact

Thi Tran
Graduate Medical Education
600 S. Paulina, Suite 403 AAC
Chicago, IL 60612