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17 Jun 2013

Common Medical Licensing Misconceptions – Part Two

FCVS, Healthcare Licensing, Physician Licensing, State Medical Board No Comments

Common Medical Licensing Misconceptions, Part Two

My current state license already verified my medical school and post graduate training. Can’t another state just get the results from them?


“Primary Source Verification” is a commonly misunderstood concept in the licensing and credentialing process.


Many applicants are unaware that their methodical information (exams, medical school and PGY training) must be primary source verified for each and every state licensing application, and most hospital or insurance credentialing applications stipulate this requirement as well.


In most cases, PS verifications must come directly from the verifying entity (i.e. – the registrar’s office at the medical school or from the PGY program) directly to the agency requesting the verification (i.e. – state medical board or hospital privileging office). The verification cannot be sent to the applicant or an outside agency (such as a licensing agent).  Most agencies do have soft copy agreements, which allow them to see a copy of the verification to ensure that it has been filled out correctly before being sent to the requesting agency, but the actual verification is sent directly to the requestor.


 Common sense dictates that, since this information will never change, an initial verification should suffice for all subsequent applications and in a perfect world this would be true.


 In 1997, however, a U.S. state licensing jurisdiction was sanctioned for accepting bribes for falsified documents to allow unqualified graduated to enter the state licensing pool through reciprocity. Since the arrests of several board members and a complete restructuring of the medical board, most remaining boards have written the PSV clause into their bylaws in order to protect themselves and their constituents from fraudulent verifications.


Although the PSV requirement can be cumbersome and time consuming, it has done its part to assist in improving the quality of care for patients in many underserved areas by weeding out health care providers who lacked adequate training in the past but slipped through the cracks due to an imperfect verification process.


So, as frustrating as the process can seem, it is required by every state agency for every applicant (don’t believe anyone who tells you they circumvented this process with a waiver or a favor- it isn’t that simple.  There are a few exceptions – call us to find out where.


My medical school no longer exists so getting verification is impossible. Can I still get a license?


Possibly- Your situation will vary depending on the state you are applying to and you unique situation.


American graduates should be able to get verifications for most state licensing boards, even if their medical school has closed.  


All medical schools or PGY training programs that close either forward their records to an affiliated program or the national clearinghouse for future verifications. Some states require forms that ask for a program director’s assessment of clinical skills and knowledge that won’t be available from the clearinghouse or an affiliate, so some applicants may run into delays with certain states since they will have to provide acceptable “proof” that there is no one available to clinically assess the applicant.   Please call Physician Licensing Service if you have questions about your individual situation.


If you are in international graduate applying for a license and your medical school has closed, it is still possible to get a license in certain state but you need to be aware of an extended timeframe for nearly every state application. The process is a bit different because there is a greater burden of proof to prove that the applicant has completely exhausted every avenue available in seeking verification before they can apply for a waiver of PSV for medical education. Not every state will extend a waiver and there is still no guarantee of the waiver being granted, but many states do understand these extenuating circumstances and will make necessary accommodations for qualifies applicants.



                                As always, please call the experts at Physician licensing Service for answers to questions about your individual situation.

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