2SSB 5846

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

C 329 L 19

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Concerning the integration of international medical graduates into Washington's health care delivery system.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Ways & Means (originally sponsored by Senators Saldaña, Hasegawa, Randall, Nguyen, Wilson, C., Keiser, Das, Cleveland and Dhingra).

Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care

Senate Committee on Ways & Means

House Committee on Health Care & Wellness

Background: The Washington Medical Commission (commission) regulates the licensure of physicians. The commission issues limited licenses and full licenses. Individuals eligible for a limited license include those entering residency training programs. To receive a full license, an applicant must have graduated from an accredited or approved medical school, passed all the steps of the United States Medical License Examination (USMLE) or the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada, completed at least two years of post-graduate training, have good moral character, and be physically and mentally capable of safely carrying on the practice of medicine. To receive a limited license, an applicant must meet the same requirements except they must have only passed USMLE Steps 1 and 2 and are not required to have completed at least two years of post-graduate training.

International medical graduates are individuals who graduated from a medical school outside the United States or Canada. In addition to the requirements for all applicants, international medical graduate applicants must also:

To obtain certification by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, an individual must have graduated from an institution registered in the International Medical Education Directory and have passed USMLE Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge, and Step 2 Clinical Skills.

Summary: Subject to the amounts appropriated, the International Medical Graduates (IMG) Work Group is established.

The Governor will appoint the following members to the work group:

The work group must develop strategies and recommendations for reducing barriers for IMGs to obtain residency positions in Washington, including preresidency training. The work group must also make recommendations on:

The Medical Quality Assurance Commission must provide staff support to the work group. The work group must submit a report of its recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature by December 1, 2019.

These provisions expire on June 30, 2020.

Votes on Final Passage:







(House amended)




(Senate concurred)


July 28, 2019