It’s a painful process that every physician should be familiar with: the healthcare credentialing process and all the mind-numbing paperwork that goes with it. It's so very 19th century! Apply to a new institution, accept an offer—and a mountain of paperwork will quickly come your way to complete. The volume is staggering, thicker than a large novel. All the usual stuff: copies of certificates, work history, legal declarations….it goes on.
Of course, every healthcare institution has to be vigorous in their assessment of physicians and making sure they are fully qualified to deal with matters of life and death. But even with the modern technological revolution, we still haven't got any closer to streamlining this process.
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Nevertheless, there are proven ways doctors can really save a lot of time by staying organized:
- Scan in all your main documents such as copies of certificates and licenses, and save them to a named folder on your email. When any institution asks for them, they will usually allow you to send them by email. This is vastly quicker and better for the environment than printing and mailing copies every single time.
- Have a word document with other details such as your work history listed on it. You can either send this via email, print and attach it to your paperwork—or worst-case scenario, physically write it onto your forms (at least you don't have to use memory recall each time).
- Go through a service like FCVS (Federal Credentials Verification Service), which allows you to establish a portfolio of verified credentials, and then be able to quickly forward them on to any requesting entities such as State License Boards—bypassing the otherwise labor-intensive process. This is especially useful for foreign medical graduates.
Do not underestimate how much time you can save by doing the above things. Busy physicians don’t want to be spending hours and days on credentialing paperwork—way too much wasted time (and money). Be smart and have everything oven-ready next time you find your next great gig.
Suneel Dhand, MD is an internal medicine physician, author and speaker. He is the cofounder of DocsDox (www.DocsDox.com), a service that helps physicians find local moonlighting and per diem opportunities, bypassing the expensive middleman. Dhand can be reached at [email protected].