What Is Involved in the Medical Board Certification Process?

Post by: Eric Jones | Posted Date: September 18th, 2018 | Categories: Credentialing

Medical boards exist for nearly all health care professions and specialties. Physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, and medical assistants in all fields seek certifications from their boards in order to demonstrate their knowledge, advance in their careers, and increase patients’ confidence in their ability to provide high-quality care.

Each board sets and enforces its own certification rules, but each process shares a common set of steps, which are outlined below. Consulting with a Columbus, Ohio board certification attorney when they start preparing their certification applications can help health care providers understand the requirements they must meet and make it easier for them to collect all the forms they must submit. Minor oversights and omissions can completely derail applications, leading to avoidable delays or unwarranted rejections.

Documenting Education and Experience

In a post discussing medical credentialing services in Columbus, a Jones Law Group attorney explains that the first step toward becoming a board-certified medical professional involves verifying one’s education and training, confirming state licensure, and presenting a verifiable work history. Sending a resume or CV to the medical board will not suffice. Often, applicants are asked to send school transcripts, detailed reports on specialty rotations, and recommendations from former professors and supervisors.

Passing a Board Exam

Every medical board requires certification candidates to pass at least one exam of specialized knowledge. Certification candidates must pay to sit for board exams, and most boards make candidates who do not achieve a passing score wait a fixed period of time before they take the exam again.

The test usually follows the format of the United States Medical Licensing Examination, but it will be adapted to focus on the diagnostic, practical, and legal issues specific to the area of practice the board oversees. That is, an orthopedic surgeon will take a much different certification exam than an optometrist does, and an obstetrics nurse will take a much different certification exam than a radiologic technologist.

Completing Continuing Medical Education

Once a medical professional qualifies for certification, he or she must recertify every few years; 3-5 years is a typical recertification period. A principal qualification for recertification is completing a minimum number of hours of continuing medical education on topics relevant to the certified practitioner’s health care practice. Requiring CME ensures practitioners stay up to date on advances in patient care, legal requirements, and, often, insurance rules and business operations.

Addressing Complaints

Medical boards can revoke, suspend, or restrict certifications for violations of medical or professional ethics, illegal activity, or gross malpractice. Complaints about any of these issues can come from patients, colleagues, law enforcement officials, or regulators. A health care provider who learns that he or she is being investigated by a medical board has an undeniable right to seek advice and representation from a board certification attorney. That lawyer will work to ensure that his or her client receives due process.

To learn more about the medical credentialing services offered by the Jones Law Group in Columbus, Ohio, call (614) 545-9998 or connect with a certification lawyer online by completing this contact form.

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