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Public Health License

A Public Health license is a limited license that allows physicians to practice Public Health medicine.  "Public health medicine," means professional managerial, administrative, or supervisory activities related to public health or the practice of medicine on behalf of and as defined by a governmental entity serving as a public health agency or institution.

Public health medicine includes:

  • prescriptive authority for public health purposes,

  • preventive interventions,

  • diagnosis and treatment of communicable and vaccine preventable diseases,

  • pharmacological interventions for smoking cessation and contraception, and

  • other clinical preventive medicine interventions such as those to prevent obesity and diabetes.

The holder of a Public Health License is subject to the Medical Practice Act and the same Rules of the board as a person holding a full Texas medical license, which includes paying the same fees and meeting all other requirements (such as CME) for issuance and renewal of the license as a person holding a full Texas medical license.

Before You Apply

Individuals considering applying for a public health medicine license should use the links to the left to for more information about eligibility, the application process, and the required documentation and fees the before submitting their applications.  

Eligibility Exceptions

The application has the same eligibility requirements as a full Texas medical license; except that an applicant for a Public Health license

  • does not have to prove that he or she has been engaged in the active practice of medicine. must be employed by or under contract with a governmental entity serving as a public health agency or institution;
  • the application must be endorsed by a physician affiliated with the governmental entity or the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Use of Public Health License to Meet Other License Type Requirements

Any clinical medicine performed under a Public Health license may not be used to satisfy the active practice of medicine requirements for full licensure.

Please note that Texas has a two-step application process – screening and licensing.  During screening, the applicant’s documents are collected and the applicant will be updated as to which documents have been received and are missing through the Licensure Inquiry System of Texas (LIST).  Only after all the documents have been received is the application considered complete and the licensing step may begin.  During licensing, a licensure analyst will review and verify all the information contained in the application and the supporting documentation.  More information will be requested by a licensure analyst if the previously submitted documentation is not complete and/or contains errors. 


Apply online using the link to the left. On the application, when asked for “Application Type”, select “Public Health License”.  This selection will ensure you are only asked to provide information relevant to this license type. Depending on your answers, some of the questions on the application will require you to download a supplemental form and submit it.  Some of the forms must be sent to a third party, such as your medical school or liability carrier.  Applicants must also take and pass the Jurisprudence Exam and submit their fingerprints for state and national criminal history background checks. More information can be found using the links under Apply at the left.

Your application will not be processed until all supplemental information is received.  

Although the TMB is legislatively mandated to process all physician licensure applications in an average of 51 days, individual application processing time will vary based on the complexity of the application. The processing time clock begins when the applicant has submitted all initial documents and has moved to the second step.  Factors that increase the processing time are answering “yes” to any of the Professionalism questions on the application, or graduation from a medical school not listed on the Substantial Equivalence List. Currently staff issues licenses twice a month.  The schedule can be found using the License Issue Dates link to the left.

Licensure Inquiry System of Texas (LIST)

LIST is an online communication system for messages to and from the Board and physician applicants regarding application requirements.  Applicants should receive an email with their LIST username and password the first working day after they apply.  The link to the left can be used to access LIST.  LIST will provide the list of supplemental forms or other items an applicant is expected to submit or complete based on their application as well as tracks when those items have been received by the Board.


Want to get your application processed quickly?

Submit your questions one time, using LIST. Applicants who both call and submit LIST messages, or submit multiple LIST messages when they don’t get an immediate response, delay staff response time and increase application processing time. All LIST questions will be answered by staff in the order received. Please allow 3-5 business days for a response.