Okay, here's how it goes -
First you get this huge packet, maybe 70-100 pages of...who knows what. A piece of paper for everything...completely unnecessary and purely a hospital CYA. Read, sign, read, sign. They ask for accompanying documents, such as a CV, copies of your medical license, DEA, ACLS, PALS, board certification, diplomas, health clearance, etc.
There's a credentialing fee...which is a crock of shit. Aren't these people paid by the hospital to do this job? Why am I being charged a fee? Are other people charged a fee to apply for a job? The nurses....the techs? Everyone wants to be 'treated equal', yes? Where am I supposed to get this fee money? I have no money, hence the application for a *job*!! The fees range from $200 to over $500. Then, you want *me* to gather all the information....and pay the fee to boot?!! If I pay the fee....seems only right that you gather the information. Isn't that what I'm paying for?
The application - requires the standard info like name, address, etc. Then they ask for work history, educational history, and references. It's all on the CV. But they write "do not write see CV". Why not?!! Why ask for the damn thing? My CV has my work history, my references, contact info....all the basic stuff.
Then they ask you *again* (as if to catch you in a lie...as if you're that stupid), your work history....just to be sure there are no gaps. What they really want to know is if you've ever been committed to a psych hospital, or drug rehab...or otherwise MIA due to being "weak" or "crazy." It would be much easier to just write "I have never had a problem with drugs/alcohol, nor am I crazy" than to do this song and dance, that in the end proves nothing.
There's a sedation packet with a quiz...because this makes you "safe" to administer sedatives (can you feel the sarcasm?)
There's a core privileges packet, where you request which privileges you'd like. What the hell? I would like to do everything I'm trained to do, please. ACGME doesn't accredit residency programs, and ABEM doesn't allow one to graduate from a residency program, without showing competence with basic EM tasks. So, by being a graduate of an approved EM training program, I shouldn't have to pseudo-justify my competence in basic shit....like sedation, and ultrasound. Nor should I have to request privileges one by one. Even if I've never done a cric....I need permission to do one if needed. And if you tell me "no", how can I do my job? So...this packet could be eliminated if I'm an ER doc asking for ER privileges only.
Then there's a background check. Makes me wonder what is the Medical Board for, and why do I pay them almost $700 every other year if they can't vouch for me, and their 'blessing' isn't enough to practice medicine in my state's hospitals. It's insulting, and unnecessary.
References - are a joke. I give you 3 doctors....of the 100+ I know. So, what does that prove? Not that I'm a good doctor. Even the worst docs can find/pay 3 people to fill out a form. Then they call these 'references' (over and over and over again) and ask stuff like "would you say she's competent at LPs?" As if they'd know. They are not standing over me...ever...watching my LPs. ER docs don't stand over each other, and honestly have no idea what our colleague is doing 99% of the time.
Then there's the residency verification. Again, board certified should be sufficient to demonstrate my competence in my area of specialty. So why go thru contacting my residency program...and how long do they do that? I mean, my program director is an old guy already...
Then contacting every employer? I don't understand this either. Obviously, by the questions that are asked of them, there is that concern (again) of drug/alcohol use, and mental health issues. It's not like they're interested in "was she a good person....did she work hard?" Nope, the hospital doesn't care about that (the Group might, but they don't contact all prior employers). It's a CYA thing, again...no real value. Again, if I'm okay with the medical board, and my professional organization....board certified and a clean record (which is public and could easily be obtained by the medical office staff , which may begin to justify that $500 fee)...I should be okay to work (from the hospital's point of view).
I thought was ahead of the curve by saving all of my 'important documents' (LoR, malpractice certificates, employment letters, board scores, etc). Not. Get this...the information has to be "primary source information." This means, *they* have to contact someone other than you to get this information. (yep, crazy, I know). But, if they are unable to contact these people (people such as secretaries of departments to "confirm" you actually worked there, and weren't in rehab), they blame you: "I couldn't contact Doctor's Office up the street so we can't verify your credentials." Okay. I know I worked there. You're the one who wants "first hand proof." What the f*ck do you want me to do? You offer up the letter of recommendation from the medical director of that clinic. "Oh it's not addressed to us specifically....and we need to talk to him directly." Seems to me my letter is far more reliable than whomever you happen to get on the other end of the phone. Besides, I think he's probably dead by now....
Then there's the medical malpractice questionnaire. "Please list all of your malpractice carriers for the last 10 years." WTF? I could understand asking about any pending lawsuits...but even that doesn't concern the new job...until the outcome is known. We need a HIPAA for malpractice insurance companies (to protect us from the sharing of sensitive information which would be used to exclude us from being insurable. Afterall, isn't that the original intent of HIPAA? But we've allowed it to go as far as preventing us to obtain vital medical information from the PMD of our comatose patient...who cannot, and I repeat (to the person in charge of the pencils) *cannot* for the love of God, sign a authorization to release medical records right now!!) But I digress.
We have been successful in eliminating the ACLS/PALS/ATLS requirement for board certified ER docs. I mean, what the hell? I'm board certified as an emergency specialist, and you want a little red/white card saying I can complete an online open-book quiz...is that supposed to prove something?
Then they ask for your passport, social security card, drivers license, shoe size...and a strand of hair for DNA testing!!
The process takes a few hours of actual work time to complete...and that's if you have everything readily available at home. It's ridiculous!!
I'm all for interventions that contribute to actual improvement of safety or security. But many of these hoops are akin to the prohibition of lotion and chapstick on airplanes. It's just a hurdle that penalizes "good" people, and does nothing to increase safety or security. It serves to increase the cost of healthcare, and aggravates those of us who are on the front line.
I say, ACEP or AAEM should help us lowly grunt docs streamline this process. Maybe help us implement policies that will allow ABEM to be enough certification of our training and ability by virtue of being board certified. Our medmal should be private. The Medical Board issuance of a license should be sufficient to practice medicine in any hospital in the state. If I have a drug/alcohol problem that's significant to prevent secrecy, the Medical Board should know about it, and my licensure should be adjusted accordingly (understandably the Medical Board needs to be held accountable, which currently they are not). A CV should be sufficient to explain our professional lives (afterall, it's not like I'm writing something 'different' on the application. It's not more 'sacred' or 'accurate' because I write it twice...just more believable). And a 'central databank' would be excellent. One that could be referenced, and taken to be accurate by 'all the bullshit people who interfere with healthcare' (i.e. joint commissions, CMS, etc).