Working On My Canadian License


They have no reason to trust,

To verify is certainly just

They’ll get verification

For each certification

And fill out the forms, well, I must.

Synopsis: I’m a Family Practitioner from Sioux City, Iowa. In 2010 I danced back from the brink of burnout, and honoring a 1 year non-compete clause, travelled and worked in out-of-the-way places in Alaska, Nebraska, Iowa, and New Zealand. After three years working with a Community Health Center, I am back having adventures in temporary positions until they have an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system I can get along with. I spent the winter in Nome, Alaska, followed by assignments in rural Iowa. This summer included a funeral, a bicycle tour in Michigan, cherry picking in Iowa, a medical conference in Denver, two weeks a month working Urgent Care in suburban Pennsylvania. Any patient information has been included with permission.

After a surprise two-day stint in Pennsylvania, I returned home.  I had a good conversation with a doctor in southern Alaska; I had signed up for a couple of weeks but hadn’t had a phone interview.  At the end of the call, I decided that the frequency of major trauma and cardiac arrests would put the assignment outside my skill set.

I discovered to my horror later in the day that my Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) certification had lapsed 6 months ago, and, without that credential, I couldn’t have accepted the job.

I got on the net and the phone and I located a course in Kansas City, with one opening.  I took it, but, strangely, I’ll have to pay by check.

I also worked on my Canadian application.

I have three web accounts going: one with the British Columbia agency that can put me in touch with facilities needing my services; one which serves as a depot for my credentials; and one responsible for a BC license.

The third account assigned me a user name consisting of a 12 digit number.

I have had to upload a copy of my medical school diploma, my Iowa license, my residency certificate, my board certificate from the American Board of Family Medicine, and certified copies of my passport, along with recent photographs.  Each professional credential required a face sheet and the payment for a Source Verification Request.

Two weeks ago I sent a packet with those papers.  But copying outsized documents like medical school diplomas and board certificates and residency certificates leaves things out, they said, and I would have to resubmit.  Along with the face sheets.  But I could do so electronically.

Confused by parts of the websites, I call frequently.  I talk to polite, professional, helpful, knowledgeable people.  They admit that some parts of the process don’t make sense, and they help me through it.

In the 21st Century, they shouldn’t trust anything I say nor any of my documents; I understand the Source Verification Request business.  I look forward to the time when I can just send my CV and pay an investigation fee.

And I’m not complaining.

My most recent US state license involved my submitting the same information electronically 4 times and by registered mail 3 times.  And the people I dealt with on the phone weren’t nearly as polite as the Canadians.

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