Speeding Up Your State License

July 30th, 2013 4 Min read Speeding Up Your State License Blog
Download PDF The road to a new state license can be hard to navigate. Detours caused by confusing paperwork and missing information and the toll of gathering material from several sources contribute to the difficulty. Planning ahead makes it easier to find your way. Find Out What You Need Because licensing requirements vary widely from state to state, it is wise to contact the licensing board of the state in which you are interested. If you graduated from a school outside the United States, pay careful attention to how your requirements differ from U.S. graduates. The Federation of State Medical Boards offers a convenient directory that will help you research what’s needed for each state. When you contact the licensing board, ask how long you should expect processing to take so you can determine a reasonable date to expect a license. Remember that the processing time the state gives you is generally a best-case scenario based on a complete, error-free submission. Gather the Required Information Over the years, expansion of provider networks, an evolving legal climate, and changes prompted by the “court of public opinion” have expanded the paper trail required to get a new license. Make an effort to collect all your information before you begin the process. Common must-haves include the following:
  • Proof of education and training
  • Documentation of USMLE (and FLEX where applicable) exam completion
  • Current CV
  • Fingerprint cards for the licensing state
  • Summary of derogatory information
  • References
If you are missing information because a school or employer is no longer in business, check the state’s guidelines for filing a waiver petition. More and more states accept or require use of the Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS). The FCVS acts as a safe and permanent place to store commonly referenced, primary-source credentials like those listed above. Physicians submit their information once, and then enjoy easy, time-saving access to their information for future use. The service also ensures that state medical boards receive your information verified directly from the source, eliminating any concern about fraudulent documentation. You can find out more about this service at http://www.fsmb.org/licensure/fcvs/. Be Proactive Be proactive by sharing any malpractice claims, disciplinary actions, or other derogatory information that may come to light. Thorough background checks are part of the process in every state, so be forthcoming at the outset of the process to minimize delays later. Verifications require direct communication between sources and the state board, but you can help move the process along by coordinating with your sources. Reasonable follow-through with your education and training institutions, past employers, and current active-license boards will help to ensure that verification requests on your behalf receive timely attention. Be Patient Once you have submitted all the necessary information, be patient while the state reviews your material. Frequent requests for updates, especially by phone, could have a negative impact. If the board pulls your application from the queue to answer a status request you make, your application could be returned to the bottom of the pile and have to make its way to the top again. The AMA recommends limiting your queries to a written request 30 days after you’ve submitted your materials if you have concerns about the progress of your license. Streamline the Process CompHealth offers a valuable, complimentary license assist service, which creates a swift, seamless experience for hires at its client partners. With years of experience working with state medical boards, the service focuses on the activities essential to delivering complete and accurate submissions. Many physicians have found it helps to expedite the process by hiring licensing services that offer similar advantages to coordinate the moving pieces. These services generally charge $500 to $800 in addition to the license and associated administrative fees, for which they provide expert handling and coordination. It’s All in the Details As long as you pay attention to state guidelines and provide complete information, the process need not be daunting. Pay meticulous attention to the details, fill in all the blanks, and be candid about any red flags in your past. Expect to pay a few fees along the road: application costs, verification fees, documentation, and shipping charges may apply. With a little patience, you’ll pull up to your new practice prepared to start a new adventure.