Congratulations! You’ve passed the USMLE and you’re ready to apply for a state medical license. This said, where do you start? For both veteran and new doctors, the medical license process can seem overwhelming. Since every state has their own licensing board, this process can be even more difficult for locum tenens. Sure, travel physician jobs certainly have their perks, but it also means going through the licensure process multiple times. While the specific process will vary subtly between states, there are a few things that can help in all 50 states. Whether you are working towards a license for the first time, the fiftieth, or anywhere in between, consider these tips!
Guide to the Medical License Process
Confirm the Current Medical License Requirements
When first contacting your respective state licensing board, request some form of confirmation that their stated requirements are up to date. Although most of the information you find on their website should be accurate, it is always best to ensure that you fully understand what you need to do upfront. It is never fun to think you’ve completed your application only to discover that something is missing. By requesting written or verbal confirmation, you can avoid this frustrating situation. Plus, this can often help give you a better idea of how long the medical licensing process typically takes.
Submit an Updated CV
At the same time that you request confirmation of license requirements, provide the licensing board with your most up to date curriculum vitae. First and foremost, this can help to expedite the process by helping them find the information they need. However, this can also help by allowing the board to identify potential issues early on. Of course, in an ideal situation, there will be no issues with your resume. However, on the off chance that you still need to complete something additional you will be made aware early on rather than after months of waiting.
Sure, it may seem like that little mishap from years ago is no longer relevant and this may even be true. However, it will seem much more relevant if the state licensing board later discovers something that you failed to disclose. By cooperating fully and providing honest information to the best of your ability, you can avoid having a small issue become much bigger. Being honest extends beyond simply withholding information as well. The more helpful you can be along the medical license process in providing records and data, the quicker the board can approve you.
While we all wish that state licensing boards and hospital were always quick in the medical license process, personally reaching out can help move your application through more quickly. Gentle but assertive reminders that you are trying to work through this process fully and quickly often help. Each of the verifying bodies has a lot of other stuff going on as well. Checking in frequently provides additional motivation to expedite your application.
This is often the most difficult advice to follow. There is no denying that applying for a medical license can be tedious. This is especially true because there is little you can do after submitting an application. However, managing your expectations can help make the process feel more timely. From start to finish, this process often takes 2 months or more. Be prepared to wait and be as helpful as possible in the meantime!
Unfortunately, physicians must go through this extensive process every time they apply for a new medical license. However, the Federation of State Medical Boards has developed some tools to help make the process more efficient. Perhaps the most useful tools are the Federation Credentials Verification Service and the Uniform Application. The FCVS provides doctors with a specified location to compile records making them more easily accessible. The UA is a standardized application that can be sent to many different states. While not every state accepts the UA, 24 different state board do. It is important to recognize that this application must still be submitted to each board independently, though it allows doctors to use the same application more than once. Applying for a medical license may be stressful, but these tips can help you navigate the process! After securing your license, don’t forget to apply for great physician jobs in your state!