The FCVS… What you need to know.

In 1996, the Federation of State Medical Boards established the Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS) in an effort to provide state medical boards, hospitals, and other healthcare entities with verified, primary source record of a physician’s core medical credentials. This repository allows a physician to establish a confidential, lifetime professional portfolio with the FCVS which can be forwarded to any entity that has established an agreement with the FCVS.

Establishing a profile with the FCVS…

The process:

In order to establish a core-credentials profile with the FCVS, a physician must submit an application and provide proof of identity in the form of a certified birth certificate or original passport. American graduates must also provide a copy of their medical diploma and training certificates. International graduates are required to submit a copy of their medical diploma, transcripts/mark sheets, ECFMG certificate, compulsory training certificate, and US training certificates. Affidavits, authorization forms, and release forms (some requiring a photo and notary) are required of all FCVS users.

How much:

The FCVS charges a base fee of $350 with an additional $50 fee for physician applications not submitted online. The FCVS will also collect for fees incurred when requesting examination transcripts, ECFMG certification, and other miscellaneous verifications. Additional profiles sent at the same time as an initial profile are $65 each.

To retrieve your FCVS profile once it has been established, a physician will incur a subsequent profile base fee of $95 and will again pay the surcharges associated with the collection of examination transcripts, ECFMG certification, and other miscellaneous verification fees.

How long:

Apply at least six months in advance.

The time it takes for the FCVS to establish a physician’s core credentials profile varies and is largely dependent on the response time of the credentials holders from which the information is being requested. Applicants can also experience severe delays in the event that the FCVS becomes inundated with profile requests. We recommend to our clients that they apply to the FCVS at least six months in advance of when the profile is needed.

What the FCVS verifies…

The FCVS will collect and store the following items in a centralized repository:

  • Identity
  • Medical education
  • Postgraduate training Medical Licensure Group handles
  • Licensure examination history
  • ECFMG (if applicable)
  • FSMB board action data bank report

What the FCVS does not cover:

Most state medical boards require extensive documentation of a physician applicant’s professional history. The FCVS collects and stores only a physician’s core credentials. Direct-source verification of the following items is commonly required by medical boards as part of the application process and will NOT be collected by the FCVS:

Medical Licensure Group handles ALL domestic credentials verifications – not just a select few.

  • Letters of good standing from other state boards
  • Professional letters of recommendation
  • Specialty board certification verification letter
  • Society membership verification letter
  • Military discharge papers (DD-214)
  • DEA verification
  • AMA/AOA profile
  • NPDB/HIPDB profile
  • Employment verification
  • Hospital staff verification
  • Malpractice insurance verification & claims history report
  • Malpractice claim documentation

How MLG works with the FCVS:

MLG is not in competition with the FCVS. We help our clients recognize when the FCVS must be used, when it should be used and when it can be counterproductive to your licensure needs. When the need to utilize the FCVS arises during the licensure process, we aid our clients by delivering all the necessary paperwork to the FCVS to get the ball rolling. When possible, MLG collaborates with the FCVS to assist in their follow-up efforts to best serve our clients needs.

When you should use the FCVS:

The following states require applicants to utilize the FCVS to verify core medical credentials:

  • Kentucky
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina (IMG only)
  • South Carolina
  • Louisiana
  • New York (IMG only)
  • Ohio
  • Utah
  • Maine
  • Nevada (DO only)
  • Rhode Island
  • Wyoming

We also recommend that our international medical school graduates consider establishing a profile with the FCVS if obtaining direct verification from the medical school proves challenging. Having the FCVS serve as a lifetime repository of your medical education records is beneficial.

The cons:

  • Establishing a profile with the FCVS adds extra time and cost to an already arduous medical licensure process.
  • There are fees assessed each time you want to retrieve your profile.
  • Even in states where the FCVS profile is a mandatory licensure requirement, applicants are still made to provide direct-source verification of other credentials – Refer to the section above entitled “What the FCVS does not cover”.
  • In the event the FCVS is unable to obtain international medical school records, the burden of obtaining direct verification for the state medical board falls to the applicant.
  • Even with a complete FCVS profile, some medical boards will still require state-specific medical education verification forms to be completed by your medical school.

The FCVS’ success rate at retrieving medical school records makes it a worthwhile endeavor for international medical school graduates, despite the risks involved. For American or Canadian graduates applying to a state that does not require the FCVS profile save yourself the time, money and headache - bypass the FCVS altogether. Medical Licensure Group can serve the same function as the FCVS, plus provide a more comprehensive state licensure experience.

Want more information? Check out the FCVS’ website at www.fsmb.org or contact our office for more information.

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