Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to questions most frequently asked by, or about, our medical staff.

Q. How many active staff have privileges at Bethesda Hospital?

A. There are currently more than 600 medical staff members with privileges at Bethesda.

Q. Who may apply to the Medical Staff?

A. Medical doctors (MD and DO), podiatrists (DPM) and dentists (DDS and DMD). All others (such as nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, surgical assistants, etc.) are appointed to the Allied Health Professionals (AHP) staff and may not apply for membership to the Medical Staff.

Q. Does the same application fee apply to all applicants?

A. Yes. The fee for all medical staff applicants is $750, and the fee for all allied health applicants is $150. Applicants who plan to join an existing group may be able to make arrangements within that group for payment, but please understand that the Medical Staff Office does not coordinate such arrangements, and the applicant is ultimately responsible for the payment. Payment must be received before processing will begin. The application fee is non-refundable, so if for any reason your application is denied or you withdraw your application after paying the fee, you will not be entitled to a refund.

Q. How and when does the Credentials Committee meet?

A. The Credentials Committee meets on the first Tuesday of every month. Interviews will be held in the Flamingo Room on the Lower Level of Bethesda Hospital East. Applicants will wait in the Dolphin Room, which is across the hall from the Flamingo Room.

Q. How long does the application/credentialing process take?

A. It all depends on how rapidly we receive primary source information required in order to deem the application complete. (Credentialing Procedure Overview)

Once the application is received, it will normally take from 60-90 days to complete the application process. This depends upon the promptness of the responses to our inquiries regarding verification of credentials as well as professional references. If no response is received within fourteen (14) days, a second request for verification will be sent. If no response is received within fourteen (14) days of the second request, we will notify you of the incompleteness of your application. Please understand that delays can occur for a number of reasons. The more complete and accurate your application is, the better the chances are that it will be completed in a timely manner.

When your file is complete, an appointment will be arranged for a personal interview with the Credentials Committee. This appointment is not optional! Please make every effort to keep the scheduled appointment. Failure to do so WILL delay the final approval of your application.
After the Credentials Committee has taken action on your application, it will be forwarded to the Medical Executive Committee of the Medical Staff for action and subsequently will be forwarded to the Board of Directors for ratification and final action. A letter from the Office of the Vice-President of the Hospital will be sent to you regarding the final action on your application.

Q. What if I change my mind and wish to withdraw my application?

A. If you should choose to withdraw your application after submitting it to the Medical Staff Office, written notice must be given by the Applicant. Failure to do so may result in an adverse action being taken against you. The application fee will not be refunded.

Q. Can I get temporary privileges?

A. Temporary privileges can be considered for approval after being interviewed with the Credentials Committee, only when an applicant with a COMPLETE, CLEAN application is awaiting review and approval of the medical executive committee and the Board of Trustee.

Q. Once I'm on staff, will I have to pay any other fees?

A. There are no reappointment dues to pay once you are on staff. However, you will be required to pay annual medical staff dues of $150, and the fee for all allied health professional is $50.

Q. Am I required to attend any Medical Staff meetings?

A. Yes, the Bylaws require active staff members and provisional members to attend at least 50% of both the medical staff meetings and 50% of their respective department meetings. Failure to meet this obligation will result in the assessment of a fine at the end of the calendar year. These meetings are held twice a year in May and November with the departmental meetings preceding the Medical Staff meeting. It is necessary to sign into both meetings as they may be held in separate locations. Credit for attendance cannot be given unless both sign-up sheets contain your signature. There are no excused absences. Failure to comply with the meeting requirements prohibits conclusion of the provisional year for new members, requiring an extension of the provisional period.

Q. Am I required to become Board Certified once I am on staff?

A. Yes. Failure to become Board-certified in the specialty in which the member is practicing within sixty (60) months (5 years) following the date of appointment to the Medical Staff — plus any Board required practice time — will result in voluntary relinquishment of clinical privileges in that specialty without any further action (specifically, without a right to hearing or further review) on the part of the Medical Staff or the Board of Trustees.

How do I change my staff status (for example, I am currently on the Associate Staff and I want to transfer to the Courtesy Staff)?
You will need to send your request in writing to the Medical Staff President, in care of the Medical Staff Office.

Q. How do I go on LOA (leave of absence)?

A. A staff member who has successfully completed the provisional period of appointment shall be considered eligible to request a Leave of Absence.

A staff member may request a voluntary leave of absence from the staff of not less than six (6) weeks or more than one (1) year by submitting a written request to the Medical Executive Committee, which states the period of time for the leave and reason for the request.

Such leave of absence request may be granted at the discretion of the Medical Executive Committee for such reasons as but not limited to professional education, illness or military service and may be subject to such conditions or limitations as the Medical Executive Committee shall deem appropriate. During the period of a leave, the Staff Member's privileges and prerogatives shall not be exercised.

Q. Who needs to be notified of a change of address?

A. You will need to send your change of address in writing to the Medical Staff Office. It is important to keep both office and home addresses current.