From the time you first began your application to attend a biomedical science program up until this point your career, it may feel as though filling out tedious paperwork is a requirement for practicing medicine; and in a way, it is. Afterall, in order to practice, you not only have to apply for open positions and hospital credentials but for state medical licenses as well. If you’re about to finish your residency or fellowship program, it’s possible that you have yet to endure the tedious and time consuming process that is applying for a medical license with a state board.
As though this task weren’t daunting enough on its own, if you’re relocating for a position in another state, chances are that you also have a mountain of other forms and applications to complete on behalf of your family; from school enrollment forms for each child, to online requests to set up utilities in your new home. It can all be overwhelming, to say the least.
Fortunately, there are many tools and resources available to physicians that can help alleviate the intensity of applying for your state medical license.
Utilize the Federation Credentials Verification System (FCVS)
Most, if not all, state medical boards will require copies of your medical school diploma, your examination history (such as scores and dates taken), certificates of completion for all of your post-graduate trainings, and other various documents that you know you have somewhere but are likely packed away in a box that’s sitting in the far corner of a storage unit you rent.
A subsidiary of the Federation of State Medical Boards, the FCVS is a document and data collection outfit that holds a variety of your very important and sensitive credentials and then seamlessly hands them over to the state medical boards for which you’re applying to. In most cases, the FCVS is able to obtain copies of all of the necessary documents that many state boards require as part of your application. Provided the state medical board you’re applying to accepts the FCVS profile, this is a great option for physicians. While you will still have to answer several questions and upload a few documents and forms to the FCVS, overall the service takes a lot of the hassles out of the application process and is well worth the cost. Generally, you can expect to pay around $375 for up to two profiles with the FCVS.
Apply using the Uniform Application
Another product of the Federation of State Medical Boards, the Uniform Application is aimed at making the process of applying for a medical license more convenient and can be especially useful for physicians applying to multiple state boards. When used with the FCVS, the application process is even more simplified as the UA will automatically pull in the information you already entered on the FCVS. It is imperative, however, that you still thoroughly read the state medical board’s application requirements as sometimes the board may ask you to provide more information than what the standardized UA asks of you. In example, the state may ask you to provide a chronology of events from the time you graduated high school whereas the UA will only ask you to provide such from the time you graduated medical school. Failing to input this information in the UA would result in a delay on your application.
Unfortunately not every state accepts the UA, however, you can easily determine this by visiting the website for the FSMB or for the state medical board.
Outsource your application with a physician agency
While the FCVS and the UA are certainly helpful tools in simplifying the state licensing process, neither negates the fact that you will still have a full plate of other requirements to satisfy. Not only will you need to research and understand the individual requirements thoroughly for each state you’re applying to, but there will still be other items you’ll have to obtain from third parties; for example, if you’ve ever been licensed in another state, you’ll have to request a license verification certificate and depending on the state, this could be another tedious step in the application process. Furthermore, you may have to obtain verifications for all of your hospital privileges; which means spending precious time on the phone to track down the appropriate person at the physician services office for each hospital. Not to mention, if the state boards you’re applying to don’t accept the FCVS or UA, then you’ll have to complete numerous pages of a paper application as well.
Outsourcing with a trusted party such as Lauth O’Neill Physician Agency is the ultimate way to alleviate the hassle of applying for a state medical license. We take the worry out of whether all of your application requirements have been met by thoroughly researching what each individual state board needs, and we work to satisfy all of the requirements on your behalf. We communicate directly with you to gather pertinent information upfront so that you can carry on with your busy day of seeing patients and helping with homework, not answering tedious questions; and we follow up on your behalf to satisfy outstanding items once your application has been submitted. Although you may have to send off a few documents on your own due to notary requirements, it’s nothing in comparison to all that you’d have to do if you were going at it on your own.
Applying for a state medical license is an intense process, but by utilizing any one of these three resources, you can alleviate some of the hassle and be on your way to focusing on what really matters to you- practicing medicine and being attentive to your family.