Over the last decade, you poured your blood, sweat, and tears into your medical school coursework and seemingly endless residency..
Now it’s time to fill out your application and submit it to the Arkansas Medical Board.
The license application itself is relatively straightforward and easy to complete. But gathering up the appropriate documents and forwarding to the Board will be the most tedious and time-consuming aspect.
If you follow the Board’s guidelines, you’ll have your license in four months or fewer!
So, are you ready to get your license in hand and officially begin practicing as a physician in the State of Arkansas?
Then keep reading to learn about the steps you’ll have to follow to get licensed with the Arkansas Medical Board.
What You’ll Need Before Applying
You’ve dedicated your entire adult life thus far to the training you need to become a physician in the health care world. You just can’t wait to send in your application and open shop.
But before you do:
Double-check to ensure that you meet the State of Arkansas’ requirements.
The last thing you want is to realize you’re missing an exam or the proper certifications after you send out your initial application.
Below, you’ll find the bare minimum you’ll need to get your medical license.
Training, Education, & More
Most universities will clearly lay out the pathway from year one in medical school to becoming licensed by the state medical board.
Hopefully, you’ve accomplished each milestone along your public health journey.
Most important would be your exam scores.
These must be sent over directly to the board members from the testing agency, with Arkansas accepting:
- State Examination (prior to 1975, only)
Passing the right exams is essential, but not as important as when you aced them. Arkansas requires applicants to pass all steps within three attempts.
To prove that you have experience in the practice of medicine, you’ll also need at least one year in an ACGME-approved internship or residency.
The Basic Requirements Toward Licensure
Medical school, postgraduate training, and passed exams are all essential to getting your Arkansas license. But in the State of Arkansas, there are a few pre-existing circumstances that may lead to automatic denial of your application.
To apply, you must:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Have good character and no prior unprofessional conduct
- Pass a background check
- Prove your identity
Each of these requirements is in place for one good reason. To protect the licensing board from the liability of approving unfit candidates.
Additional Steps for Foreign Applicants
For international medical graduates that earned a medical degree outside of the U.S. or Canada, expect a few bumps in the road.
Fortunately, you have a few options for how you meet the Board’s requirements, like:
- Three years experience in an ACGME-approved U.S. program
- Three years of training in a foreign country, one year of ACGME-approved training in the U.S., and ABMS certification
- One year experience in an ACGME-approved U.S. program and enrollment in an Arkansas-based post-graduate program
You’ll also need to present the Medical Board with a valid ECFMG certificate and pass the USMLE (just like U.S. applicants).
Registering for FCVS
FCVS (Federation Credentials Verification Service) will speed up your application process, especially if you plan to apply for your license in multiple states.
You’ll upload and save your credentials to the database.
FCVS will keep everything in your files, such as your birth certificate, exam scores, medical school transcripts, and more!
Then, pay the $375 fee ($170 for a physician assistant). Select “Arkansas” as one of your chosen medical boards, and it’ll deliver these documents to the Board for you.
This service can ensure the Medical Board receives your documents. And it’ll be fewer documents you have to copy and send to the licensing board with your application.
Related Reading: Steps to Get Licensed With the Texas Medical Board.
The Required Documents & Proof to Send With Your Application
You’re almost ready to fill out your license application and send it over to the Arkansas State Medical Board.
But it’s not quite that simple:
Here’s a quick look at the supplemental documents you’ll need to provide.
What Forms to Send to the Board
Within your application packet, you’ll find a seemingly endless stream of blank forms to complete and submit.
How you arrange the sending of these documents to the Arkansas State Medical Board depends on the specific form.
Take a look at the forms and proof you must provide and how to send them.
- Exam Scores (Request from the testing agency or upload to FCVS)
- ECFMG Status Report (For foreign applicants only, must send electronically)
- Medical School Transcript (Sent directly from your school)
- Medical Education Verification (Included form completed by your Dean)
- Postgraduate Training Verification (Included form filled out by your Program Director)
- Proof of Licenses Held Elsewhere in the United States (if applicable)
- Hospital Affiliation Verification (Included form completed by staff at any and all hospitals you’ve been affiliated with except for post-graduate training)
- Medical Employment Verification (Included form from all clinics or practices you’ve worked at in the last decade)
- Non-Medical Employment Verification (Included form filled out by past employers)
- Liability Insurance Verification (Included form completed by all insurance companies covering malpractice claims)
- Malpractice Claims (All within ten years or $500,000+ settlements)
You’ll find most of these forms in your initial application packet, go through them one-by-one to ensure completion of all.
You’ll also need to submit a copy of your driver’s license or passport.
According to Arkansas Law, you’ll have to authorize the adding of your information to the CCVS.
This is not optional in the State of Arkansas, as it helps streamline the credential verification process down the road (such as when you’re renewing your license).
Tips for Filling Out the Forms
You can’t get around supplying the Medical Board with the documents and forms in the previous section. But there are some ways to make the process more efficient.
There’s one thing you absolutely need to do with each form:
Look it over in-depth.
Most of the forms will use all-capital bright lettering to let you know which sections you fill out (usually I and II).
You’ll then hand the form over to the appropriate party (like your program director or former employers). They’ll complete their portion and then send the completed form directly to the Medical Board.
You can also check the online portal to see the progress of document submission along the way!
Other Ways to Submit Forms
You may be wary of sending your documents via the mail, especially if you’re including personal information like your SSN or residential address.
There are alternative ways to have your forms sent.
You can fax forms completed by hand to the ASMB at (501) 296-1972.
Or you can email forms to [email protected] Be sure to submit the forms in PDF form and paired with a subject line of ATTN: Licensing.
Postmark documents mailed to the Board to:
Arkansas State Medical Board
Attn: Licensure Department
1401 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 340
Little Rock, AR 72201
Beginning the Application Process
Using FCVS to send your credentials to the Board was simple. But when it comes to the actual application, you’ll have to rely on your trusty black or blue pen and paper.
An online version of the application isn’t available. And the Board doesn’t allow submission of applications by fax, so that shortcut isn’t an option either.
Here’s what you need to know about the application.
Tips for Filling Out Your Arkansas Medical Board Application
The nine-page application for your medical license will seem tedious because it is.
There are also guidelines you’ll have to follow, such as:
- Using a black or blue pen (dark)
- Recording all dates as MM/DD/YYYY
- Leaving no question unanswered (add “N/A” or “pending” when applicable)
- Avoiding stamped signatures
- Explaining all “Yes” answers via a written explanation
- Printing the application on one side of the paper (no double-sided prints)
Once you’ve gotten these concepts down pat, it’s time to start your app! Set aside an entire afternoon, as this one’s a long one!
What’s on the Application?
Fortunately, the application for medical licensure in Arkansas is rather straightforward.
The application will start with the basics.
For example, you’ll have to provide information like your phone number, social security number, legal name, and license you’re applying for (MD, DO).
You’ll then move onto the details of your education and training.
It will ask about the following:
- How many attempts it took to pass your exams
- Details on your postgraduate training program
- Your work history (must be explained, though it’s likely in your CV)
- Explanations for time gaps
- Medical schools you attended and when
- All malpractice claims (and settlements)
You’ll then proceed to Yes/No questions about your ability to fulfill physician duties. It may ask about things like prior disciplinary actions, past rejected licenses, struggles with drugs and alcohol post-21, and health conditions you have.
If you answer “Yes” to one or more questions, you must include additional paperwork explaining your answer.
Now, there may be times you’re unsure if you have to explain your answers or not. You should generally disclose all criminal charges from your past, even if they were expunged or you plead down.
Not including these charges may appear as if you’re dishonest. This can lead to an automatic rejection of your application.
Before Sending Your Application
Double-check to make sure you answered every single question and explained your answers in-depth.
Otherwise, you might have your application sent back to you incomplete.
Fill out Part V of the application, the Affidavit of Applicant, to promise that all information on your form is 100% true.
Sign this in front of a notary public and attach a photo of yourself taken in the last 60 days. This must be a passport-style photo from the shoulders up.
Sign your application.
Once you’ve sent your application through FedEx or UPS, you can visit the armedicalboard.org website to check its status.
While there, you can also see which documents have yet to be received.
Once your application is submitted, you’re well on your way to gaining approval from the State Board. You’ll finish out your application by undergoing a criminal background check.
This will run your prints through the FBI and Arkansas State database to verify your identity and conclude that you’re not a danger to yourself or future patients.
You have a choice between an ink card or Live Scan printing.
The fingerprinting process will cost you an additional $36 (plus an extra $15 for Live Scan) or more and add 4-6 weeks to the approval process.
Most importantly, let those at the fingerprinting facility know where to send the prints:
Arkansas State Medical Board
Attn: Licensure Department
1401 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 340
The Cost of a Medical License in Arkansas
To get licensed in Arkansas, you should expect to shell out a good chunk of money.
Here’s a glimpse at what you’ll owe along the way.
- $500 for application ($100 of which goes to the CCVS)
- $50 for a temporary license
- $36.25 for fingerprinting
- $15 extra for Live Scan fingerprinting
- $375 for FCVS
If you decide to use FCVS and opt for a temporary license, your grand total is $976.25. It’s pricey, but it’s worth it!
The Timeline of Getting Your License
You must submit all bits and pieces of your application (including the forms) within a year. Failure to do so will cause your application to be considered abandoned.
If all goes well, the Board will discuss your application at their next meeting.
However, it’s important to note they review applications on a first-come, first-serve basis. And you must include all your supporting documents before your application is looked at.
Your application should be approved in a few short months.
The major things that’ll add to this time frame are the FBI background check (which can take up to six weeks), and gathering the documents.
While there are no definitive ways to cut corners when getting licensed in Arkansas, there are a few things that can help speed up the process.
Here are a few tips to make this process as painless as possible:
- Use FCVS to streamline the sending of your documents to the Board.
- Send your application by mail via FedEx or UPS to guarantee delivery.
- Be sure to have your documents emailed in PDF form to avoid the firewall.
- Make sure you’ve answered all questions on your application in some way.
If you follow these tips to a “T,” then you should expect to have your Arkansas medical license in your hands within a few months!
If you are looking into getting licensed in a state you may have already signed a contract or you may be expecting or have received an employment offer. If so, we can get you access to a team of attorneys that have reviewed more physician contracts than any other law firm. Contact Physicians Thrive for a contract review now.
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