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 What Do I Need To Know About State Medical Licensure?

There are several key issues: verification, malpractice documentation, state-level Controlled Substance Registration (CSR) requirements, interviews, follow-ups and time.

State medical Boards vary in their efficiency. In many states the licensure process takes six months or more—with perfect documentation. If you practiced medicine at multiple locations, Boards will require that you verify privileges at each location through standards forms. All verifications must come directly from the site and thus extensive follow-up is sometimes necessary.

Even the most common residency experiences may delay state licensure and a new physician's entry into professional practice:

Say a physician practiced at multiple locations. State medical Boards require a verification of privileges from each location.

Often in the hectic pace of residency and post-graduate training, physicians overlook the importance of documentation. Many states require prime source verification in addition to copies of training certificates.

The practice of videoconferencing, telemedicine or even interstate phone consultation may require licensure in distant states.

Third-party references and verifications typically require several follow-up calls to assure prompt action—some Boards void applications sitting incomplete for 60 days.

Many physicians fail to retain the most basic malpractice documentation, such as names and contact numbers of colleagues, administrators and lawyers.

If named in a malpractice action, Boards require extensive documentation. Unfortunately, many residents are named without their knowledge. Thus it is important to retain names and contact information of all supervising physicians.

Keep deadlines in mind as well. Some states void incomplete applications, including those containing errors. Other steps, such as CSRs and interviews, also vary from state to state. The cost of license applications may also come as a shock.

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