Tips for Your Medical Licensure Application

February 3, 2014
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medical licensing procedureAs the time for your transition from residency to practice approaches, it is important to begin your application for medical licensure in the state where you wish to practice. The process can be time-consuming and complex, but following these recommendations can shorten the duration of time it takes and help you avoid a stressful experience.

medical licensing procedureAs the time for your transition from residency to practice approaches, it is important to begin your application for medical licensure in the state where you wish to practice. The process can be time-consuming and complex, but following these recommendations can shorten the duration of time it takes and help you avoid a stressful experience.

PREPARE TO SUBMIT YOUR BEST APPLICATION

Before you begin, ensure that you’ve covered your bases and are preparing to submit the best application for your medical licensure. All applicants must submit proof of completion of all three steps of the USMLE, with very few exceptions; examinations such as the Federation Licensing Examination (FLEX) are accepted by some state medical licensure boards if they were taken before 1994.

An option that is available to applicants in 20 states is the Federation of State Medical Boards’ (FSMB) Uniform Application for Physician State Licensure (UA). The UA is a standardized application you fill out once and can use for the rest of your career. It contains two sections: a core section with information required by all boards in the U.S. and a state-specific addendum with particular information required by the respective state’s board.

Another helpful service you could avail of the the FSMB’s Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS), which is a complete list of credentials for physicians in its database. It provides a one-stop primary location for verifying an applicant’s skills, capabilities and experiences, and can help expedite the processing of your licensure application.

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR FIRST CONTACT

Your first contact with a state medical licensure board can set the foundation for the entire experience. Provide the board with your curriculum vitae at this time to give them the opportunity to evaluate your credentials and identify potential issues early on in the process. Further, ask them for a current copy of the state’s medical licensure requirements. This will ensure you are well-informed about everything you may be required to do or provide for a successful application.

Your first contact with the board is also an excellent time to inquire about average processing times for applications. Setting mutually understood expectations for the duration and complexity of the process can not only simplify it, but could also prevent any potential financial and professional issues you may face due to the premature closing of an employment agreement with a practice or a failure to meet the start date of your employment.

BE OPEN AND INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS

Honesty about your professional and educational background is essential in the application process. Be forthright with the board about potential issues and work with them to ensure they have all information about mitigating circumstances they would need in their consideration of your application. Being dishonest or misrepresentative about yourself can bring with it legal and professional consequences, including the denial of your license and/or further restrictions.

Another important action that could help your application is to be involved with the process. While it is crucial to make sure you’re not being excessive in contacting the board, it is prudent to reach out to the board every 3–4 weeks to inquire if they need any information for or assistance with your application.

Your application for medical licensure is a big step on the road to your dream career. It serves the purpose of not just enabling you to practice as a physician, but more importantly to ensure that the public receives only the best healthcare possible. Taking the appropriate steps and precautions in this process determines the course your professional career follows.

(medical licensing / shutterstock)

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