Texas Medical Board to Require Physicians’ Fingerprints

TMB to Require Physicians’ FingerprintsThe Texas Medical Board (TMB) will resume using fingerprints of physicians for criminal background checks as part of the licensing process on Sept. 1. The fingerprinting will begin with the 4,000 physicians now applying for licenses in the state. After that, existing physicians will have to be fingerprinted when they apply to renew their licenses.

Joke’s on us: Texas Licenses renew yearly, so this esentially means this year.

…The price of fingerprinting is expected to be $48.95 through Oct. 1. After Oct. 1, the price is expected to drop to $44.20.The medical board previously required fingerprinting but eliminated the ink-based system in the late 1990s due to technical problems that delayed the licensure process. Electronic fingerprinting systems are more thorough and accurate and give the TMB instantaneous results, Dr. Patrick says. The DPS runs a national background check against FBI records to alert the medical board to any felonies or misdemeanors.

TMB has been using applicants’ names for background checks and running them against Texas criminal records. But that system doesn’t alert the medical board to past convictions in other states, he says.

“I suspect everyone would consider fingerprinting an imposition, but it’s something we’ve done before, and we now have the capability of doing it again in a less invasive way,” Dr. Patrick said. “If nurses are required to do it, then certainly doctors should be.”

It’s not the money, I have $44. It’s just that a) I had to submit fingerprints to the TMB when I originally applied for licensure in 1993, and b) I have another Texas State issued license that requires fingerprints. Is there some reason, other than the convenience of the TMB I should be re-fingerprinted?


  1. I got fingerprinted when I entered medical school, and can’t remember if I did again later for licenses.

    My wife and I adopted three children, one at a time, and every single time we had to get fingerprinted as we went through the process. Perhaps they ought to do that with biologic parents.

  2. scalpel says:

    I was wondering if my CHL prints would be good enough too. Probably not.

  3. i don’t practice there but know kentucky requires it too. do they fingerprint lawyers? congressmen? senators?

  4. One of my nursing school classmates is shy a finger due to an accident she had as a kid. She had a hell of a time getting her license renewed this last year; the Board kept returning her print-set with the note that it was incomplete. I think she ended up having to go to the local police station to be fingerprinted, complete with affadavit that yes, she was indeed missing the little finger of her right hand.

  5. 911-
    Michigan requires that lawyers be fingerprinted before licensure, and that has been true for more than 25 years.

  6. Crystal says:

    Texas requires fingerprints for licensure as a certified public accountant… but only once, not every year! Annual fingerprints for doctors seems quite excessive. What, hasn’t the legislature heard that fingerprints don’t change?

  7. Jim in Texas says:

    Of course everyone knows you docs are rich, right?

    Seems a bit excessive although I do know that the FBI charges the states $24 for criminal records check (it was free for decades, part of the cost of doing the federal government’s business.)

    If more and more government agencies, including toll authorities, charge for doing their jobs then what are our tax dollars for?