Well done! You’ve passed the United States Medical Licensing Examination [USMLE], and you’re ready to get that state medical license, but where do you start? Obtaining a medical license may seem overwhelming, both veteran and new doctors can attest to this. Since each state has its own licensing board, the process can even be more difficult for physicians who seek to practice medicine in more than one state. This could mean that you have to go through the licensure process multiple times.
The American Medical Association recommends these 5 licensure tips to ease the process of medical licensing:
1. Confirm Current Medical License Requirements
When you first inquire from your respective state licensing board, make sure to ask for an updated list of medical board requirements. Although this kind of information can easily be found from their website, it’s still best to ensure that you’re preparing the right requirements and you understand what you need to do upfront.
It’s frustrating when you thought you have completed acquiring all the necessary documents only to know on the day you’re submitting your requirements that you lack one essential record. By confirming via email, phone call or personal visit, you can avoid ending up in an upsetting situation. You may also ask them about the average processing time so you can plant out well how you’ll manage if ever you encounter problems throughout the process.
2. Send an Updated CV
Don’t forget to provide your resume or curriculum vitae [CV) to the licensing board at the time you confirm the license requirements. This is for the medical licensing board to review it and inform you beforehand if there are potential problems that you have to attend to first prior to your medical licensure application. Moreover, this can also help expedite the process by assisting the board in finding the information they need.
3. Disclose All Important Information
On filling up your application form, be honest and disclose all information to the medical board including derogatory information on your career that happened years ago. A little mishap in the past may not be relevant anymore, but it might cause big trouble later on if the licensing board found out that you failed to disclose them an important detail.
The more cooperative you are in disclosing honest information and providing complete records and data for the medical license processing, the better and the quicker the board can approve your application.
4. Follow Up to Expedite the Process
Sure, you can guarantee that the licensing board, medical institutions, and hospitals will be able to process your documents, but if you’re running out of time and want to make things done quickly, you may contact and follow up your request for records. Checking for updates may provide additional motivation to expedite your application process. You may write a letter to the institution after a month of your initial request, but remember to avoid frequent phone calls.
5. Be Patient
The overall process of obtaining a medical license can be challenging and tedious. After you have submitted your application, there’s nothing much you can do but to wait and hope that you’ll get that license problem-free in 60 days at least.
Also, expect delays to happen. The licensing board needs to evaluate the documents from all applicants carefully. During the peak period of medical licensure applications, usually from April to September, the processing time is most likely to get delayed due to the increase in the number of physicians seeking to obtain a license. Moreover, physicians who earned a medical degree outside the United States should anticipate a longer processing period.
All physicians must go through this extensive process whenever they want to obtain or renew a medical license. Fortunately, the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States developed tools to make the process more efficient.
One of the most useful tools created is the Federation Credentials Verification Service [FCVS). The FCVS allows physicians to compile all their records and documents in a specified location so that they’ll be readily available and accessible when you need them.
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