Physicians May be Limiting Themselves

Physicians who have not completed an ACGME accredited residency training program may be holding themselves back. Many foreign trained physicians have bypassed these residency programs, and instead have been completing multiple fellowship training programs.

According to Pinnacle Health Group Vice President of Training and Recruiting, Craig Fowler, the choice to skip these residencies is hindering these physicians in their practice options. “Whether their motivation for skipping these ACGME residencies is due to limited residency slots or the doctor not wanting to complete another time consuming residency, these physicians are limiting their options tremendously,” Fowler said.

Without the completion of an ACGME residency training program, these physicians are forced to jump through hoops to even become board eligible. These physicians can eventually become board eligible if they satisfy extra requirements, such as years of medical teaching.

“There have been some cases I’ve seen doctors who have completed three years of fellowship training without completing an ACGME residency. In most instances, when a hospital is searching to fill a need, they are looking for a physician who is either board eligible or board certified in their specialty.” Fowler said. “These physicians may come through with outstanding fellowship training and credentials, but without the completion of an ACGME residency program to their name, most hospitals won’t look at them due to credentialing.”

Pinnacle Health Group’s Senior Vice President of Recruiting, Rob Rector has come across quite a few of these physicians when sourcing for opportunities. “If these doctors aren’t board eligible, most hospitals won’t even consider them for their needs.” Rector said. “If I could give any advice to these doctors coming over, it would be instead of completing multiple fellowships, just do a short ACGME residency to satisfy the requirements to become board eligible.”

A lack of board eligibility simply equates to a lack of options when searching for practice opportunities. These physicians are limited to less desirable opportunities in very remote areas, urban inner-city areas, Veteran Association hospitals, correctional facilities, and Indian Health Service Facilities among others. A physician without board eligibility or board certification, on paper, hurts his or her marketability with both patients and prospective employers.

From a hospital’s perspective, a board eligible or board certified doctor is going to appeal more to both the prospective patients, and prospective health insurance providers. Having board eligible and board certified physicians will help in becoming an in-network provider with most health insurance companies. The insurance companies will see board eligibility and board certification as a higher quality care, thus making it a more attractive prospect to add these providers into their network.

On the other side of the coin, having board eligible and board certified doctors in their network will help the health insurance providers to become more attractive to potential customers. The more attractive the physicians, the more attractive their insurance plans will be to corporations and individuals alike. It’s a full-circle involving the hospital, the health insurance provider, and the customers.

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