Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals, Inc.

Institutional Policy

Licensure, Resident Educational License and DEA Number Requirements for Housestaff


The purpose of this policy is to outline licensure, Resident Educational License and DEA number requirements for housestaff in Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospital, Inc. (MCWAH) programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. 


    All MCWAH housestaff are required to acquire and maintain proper medical licensure as outlined below:

  1. Housestaff must obtain a Wisconsin Resident Educational License (REL) by the start of their first year of graduate medical education (GME) training.
  2. Housestaff must pass the Step 2 CK and CS of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Level 2 CE and Level 2 PE of the COMLEX-USA of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) prior to the end of their first year of GME training. Failure to pass these examinations will result in non-promotion to the second year of training or non-renewal of the training agreement.
  3. Housestaff must pass Step 3 of the USMLE or of the COMLEX-USA within 6 months of successfully completing one year of GME training.
  4. Housestaff must possess an unrestricted Wisconsin medical license after 28 months of GME training. Failure to possess an unrestricted license may result in: non-promotion to the next level of training, unpaid leave of absence or non-renewal of the training agreement.
  5. Candidates accepted into a MCWAH fellowship program must have an unrestricted Wisconsin medical license prior to beginning training.
  6. Visiting housestaff who rotate in a MCWAH program must obtain either a Wisconsin Resident Education License or a full and unrestricted Wisconsin medical license and appropriate professional liability insurance prior to the start of the rotation.
  7. Housestaff must renew their REL or Wisconsin license prior to expiration.
  8. Licensed housestaff, with the exception of housestaff who are in specialties which do not order and administer controlled substances or who never write prescriptions, must also obtain a DEA number within three months of receiving their Wisconsin license and renew it prior to expiration while in a MCWAH training program.  All prescriptions for scheduled drugs must have the DEA number of a physician licensed in Wisconsin.  Most pharmacies in the community require a DEA number on all prescriptions. Non-licensed housestaff must have their prescriptions co-signed by a licensed physician with a DEA number.
  9. Wisconsin law requires licensed physicians to complete 30 hours of continuing medical education for biannual medical license re-registration. Participation in a program of graduate medical education for three continuous months satisfies this requirement. Verification of such participation will be provided if needed (Wis. Admin. Code § Med 13.04).
  10. Housestaff who do not have a current Resident Educational License (REL) or a current unrestricted Wisconsin medical license may not work.
  11. Exceptions to this policy can only be made by the Executive Director & Designated Institutional Official (DIO) of MCWAH upon recommendation of the program director.


Wisconsin Statute 448.04(1)bm

Wisconsin Statute 448.05

Wisconsin Administrative Code Med 5 

Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services Medical License Application Forms


Effective Date:


Revision History:

7/18/2011; 7/21/2014; 5/18/2015; 11/16/2015

Supersedes Policy:

Licensure Requirement Policy; Licensure, Temporary Educational Permit and DEA Number Requirements for Housestaff

Review Date:


Approved By:

Kenneth B. Simons, MD

Executive Director & DIO



Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-8296
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Page Updated 12/10/2015