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AGO 1956 No. 241 - April 05, 1956
AGO Opinion Header Image
Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

DIRECTOR OF LICENSES ‑- BASIC SCIENCE EXAMINATIONS ‑- RECIPROCITY ‑- HEALING ARTS.

 1. A basic science reciprocity certificate of proficiency may not be denied for the single reason that the applicant has previously failed a basic science examination in the state of Washington. 

2. Neither the charge or conviction in another state of a misdemeanor, constitutes a valid ground for refusing a reciprocity certificate in the basic sciences if the applicant is otherwise qualified. 

3. The director of licenses of the state of Washington is not bound to grant to all applicants from the state of Iowa who have qualified for a basic science certificate in that state, a certificate in this state except where the certificate in the state of Iowa was acquired by passing an examination conducted by the basic science board of examiners.

                                                                  - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                                    April 5, 1956 

Honorable Andrew Winberg
State Senator
Twenty-first District
110 West Third Street
Aberdeen, Washington

Honorable Harry S. Elway, Jr.
State Representative
Twenty-first District
3026 Sumner Avenue
Hoquiam, Washington

 [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

Honorable Elmer Huhta
State Representative
Twenty-first District
334 Karr Avenue
Hoquiam, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 55-57 No. 241

 Gentlemen:

             By letter previously acknowledged you have submitted to this office for opinion three questions as follows:

             1. When an applicant applies for a Washington basic science certificate by reciprocity, having a valid basic science certificate from a state whose requirements are equal to those of the state of Washington, does the Washington state director of licenses or the Washington state basic science examining committee have the right, under chapter 43.74 RCW, as amended by chapter 192, Laws of 1955, to withhold a reciprocal basic science certificate from such an applicant on the grounds that such applicant has previously taken a Washington state basic science examination?

             2. When an applicant applies for a Washington basic science certificate by reciprocity, having a valid basic science certificate from a state whose requirements are equal to those of the state of Washington, does the Washington state director of licenses, or the basic science examining committee have the right, under chapter 43.74 RCW, as amended by chapter 192, Laws of 1955, to withhold a reciprocal basic science certificate from such an applicant on the grounds that such applicant has previously been charged with the misdemeanor of practicing one of the healing arts without a license?

             3. When the Washington state director of licenses has, pursuant to chapter 43.74 RCW, as amended by chapter 192, Laws of 1955, issued a Washington state basic science certificate by reciprocity to one applicant presenting an Iowa basic science certificate, does the Washington state director of licenses have the right to refuse to grant other similar Iowa applicants a Washington reciprocal basic science certificate?

              [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            The answer to question No. 1 is no; the answer to question No. 2 is no; and the answer to question No. 3 is a conditional yes, as explained in the analysis.

                                                                      ANALYSIS

             1. There is no provision in the basic science law (chapter 43.74 RCW) that makes an applicant ineligible to take the basic science examination merely because he has failed to pass a previous basic science examination.  You do not state in your question that the applicant failed; however, we assume that he did for the reason that if the applicant had passed a basic science examination in this state he would have no occasion to apply for such a certificate under the reciprocity provisions of the law.

             There being no provision of law to the contrary, it is our opinion that an applicant might take a basic science examination in this state and fail, and later qualify to take a second examination.  We can see no valid reason in law why, having failed to pass an examination in this state, if he subsequently passed a basic science examination in another state, the requirements of whose laws are equal to ours, he should not qualify under our reciprocity statute.

             2. The answer to question No. 2 as it is submitted would be no, since the form of the question applies only to an applicant who has been previously charged with a misdemeanor.  We are doubtful that even a conviction on the misdemeanor charge of practicing one of the healing arts without a license would be sufficient grounds for denying a reciprocity certificate in the basic sciences.  Our statute, RCW 43.74.065 (1955 Supp.), provides that

             "(1) The director may revoke any certificate granted under this chapter on mistake of material fact, or by reason of fraudulent misrepresentation of fact, or when the holder is convicted of a felony: . . ."

             It appears logical to us that a reciprocity certificate in the basic sciences would properly be denied only upon one of the grounds for which such certificate could be revoked, and conviction of a misdemeanor  [[Orig. Op. Page 4]] is not such a ground.

             3. This question requires a comparison of the laws of the state of Washington with the laws of the state of Iowa.  RCW 43.74.010 (1955 Supp.) provides in part:

             "There shall be a committee of six members learned respectively in the basic sciences to conduct and assist in conducting basic science examinations of all persons applying for licenses or certificates to practice medicine and surgery, osteopathy, osteopathy and surgery, chiropractic, chiropody, or drugless therapeutics."

             RCW 43.74.040 (1955 Supp.) provides as follows:

             "Any person desiring to apply to the director for a license to practice medicine and surgery, osteopathy, osteopathy and surgery, chiropractic, chiropody, or drugless therapeutics shall first present to the director his credentials required by law evidencing his qualifications to be admitted to license,or to take the examination prerequisite to securing a certificate or license, and if they are found satisfactory and the applicant is eligible to examination the director shall issue to such applicant a certificate giving the name of the applicant and certifying that he is entitled to take the preliminary examination provided for in this chapter . . ."  (Emphasis supplied.)

             It appears from the wording of the provisions of law just quoted that independent basic science examinations are not given in this state.  They are given only as a prerequisite to and in connection with the taking of an examination in one of the healing arts.  From our study of the Iowa law it appears that in that state basic science examinations are given independently of an application for a license or certificate to practice one of the healing arts.

            [[Orig. Op. Page 5]]

            Moreover, there are three methods by which an applicant may obtain a certificate of proficiency in the basic sciences in the state of Iowa:  The first is by examination as provided in Title 8, section 146.16.  The second is found in Title 8, section 146.20, which provides that the examination may be waived if the applicant presents a certificate of proficiency from another state whose laws are as comprehensive and as exhaustive as the requirements of the Iowa law.  This statute, while not identical, is very similar to our own reciprocity statute.  The third method by which an applicant may obtain a certificate of proficiency is by presenting evidence that he is a graduate of an approved school.

             Thus it appears that an applicant for a basic science certificate in this state might present one of three different types of certificates of proficiency issued in the state of Iowa.

             The second and third methods of obtaining a certificate of proficiency in the basic sciences in the state of Iowa are, in our opinion, neither comparable nor equal to any provision of the laws of the state of Washington, for RCW 43.74.035 (1955 Supp.) provides, in subparagraph (1) (a) thereof:

             "(1) The director shall waive the examination in the basic sciences when satisfactory proof is submitted to him showing that:

             "(a) The applicant has passed an examination in the basic sciencesbefore examiners in basic sciences in those states which have a basic science act."  (Emphasis supplied.)

             In answering question No. 3 as directly as possible, therefore, it is our conclusion that if the applicant presented a certificate showing that he had passed an examination in the basic sciences before examiners in basic science in the state of Iowa, he would be entitled to a basic science certificate under the provisions of our law.  If, on the other hand, he presented a certificate from the state of Iowa showing merely  [[Orig. Op. Page 6]] that he had been granted a reciprocity certificate or was a graduate of an approved school he could not qualify under our law.  Therefore, the fact that one applicant from the state of Iowa had been granted a basic science certificate in this state does not set any precedent of a compelling nature.  The director of licenses of the state of Washington might properly issue a reciprocity certificate to one applicant from the state of Iowa and deny certificates to other applicants, depending on the type of certificate presented by each applicant.

             In the hope that it will be helpful we are enclosing herewith a copy of an opinion of this office (AGO 55-57 No. 178) [[to Della Urquhart, Department of Licenses]]issued December 21, 1955. opinion of this office (AGO 55-57 No. 178) issued December 21, 1955.

             We trust that the foregoing analysis will be helpful to you.

 Very truly yours,
DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General

ROY C. FOX
Assistant Attorney General

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