Faded Signatures: 4 Months to BC License.

They might think that I’ve misstated

Or perhaps I’m just overrated

This back-and-forth trial

For a license denial

Because the ink at the bottom has faded.

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  and fall included a funeral, a bicycle tour in Michigan, cherry picking in Iowa, a medical conference in Denver, and working Urgent Care in suburban Pennsylvania. Right now I’m in Virginia for the holiday.  Any patient information has been included with permission.

This afternoon I got a call from the British Columbia recruiting agency, and my learning continues.  As it turns out, they have plenty of docs trying to come in and get jobs in coastal BC. Any installation trying to get a locum tenens doctor has to do a great deal of documentation before they get approval, worse if that doc comes from another country.  The bureaucratic hoops seem insurmountable.  But when I told her I planned to go to the northern, interior part of BC her voice audibly brightened.  I might stand a chance, but, in all honesty she said, it will probably be at least 4 months.

I learned that each Canadian province has its own Electronic Medical Record system, and if I don’t get my BC license, Alberta might be easier.

And I explained I might have a problem getting a license.

Last night I received an email from the Canadian website where I’ve sent my credentials.  They want a better copy of my residency certificate.

After 4 years of medical school, a physician who wants to practice goes to post-graduate training, or residency.  Non-surgical specialty training generally runs 3 years, surgical specialties like cardio-thoracic or ophthalmology take 5 to 7.  At the end of my term in Casper, Wyoming, I received a paper certificate mounted on wood and protected by laminated plastic.

The Canadian agency in charge of vetting my credentials so they can be reviewed by other agencies said that they’d looked at the copy of my residency certificate, and they couldn’t read two of the three signatures at the bottom.

My email back to them noted that the certificate had been faded by exposure to fluorescent light for 26 years and sunlight for 23 of those years. The signatures weren’t very legible to start with, and I couldn’t do better than the professionally-made copy I’d sent.

In the 21st Century, due diligence demands verification of all credentials.  The hours of investigation easily justifies the Source Verification Request fee I’ve already paid.  They should not just take my word for it.

I still face the hurdle of poor documentation of my gynecologic training during residency.

But I have a tiger by the tail.  Every application I fill out asks if I’ve ever been denied a license or if I’ve ever withdrawn an application.  So far I’ve answered, in honesty, “no.”  Withdrawing an application reflects badly on me.  But license denial because of an illegible signature doesn’t.






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2 Responses to “Faded Signatures: 4 Months to BC License.”

  1. Charlie Hammond Says:

    Maybe you should just have them contact your former patients. I can’t think of a better recommendation than that.

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