The first step in taking any certification exam, such as those in medical practice management, is to register. For the most part, registration is easy. Most associations have links on their Web sites that instantly upload registration forms. Those that do not have a direct link typically provide an email address or phone number for requesting registration information.

The registration forms are similar to any other form, requiring basic information such as name, address, contact information (phone and cell numbers and email address). Many medical practice management examinations will also require information pertaining to any experience or educational requirements. Accordingly, the registration form may request formal documentation of work experience or official university transcripts. Likewise, candidates for the Certificated Medical Manager (CMM) exam are required to have at least three years of medical practice work experience and the registration form requests some form of proof.

Obtaining documentation of work experience, particularly if the experience was from more than one workplace, and official university transcripts can take time. There may be delays in processing and mailing forms, so it is imperative that the registration process be started as early as possible. The certifying organizations will not let anyone sit for the exam without completed registration information.

Registration for most certification exams has an associated fee. This is true of all medical practice management certification examinations. The fee is designed to cover the costs of administering and scoring the exam. Many certification exam fees are quite high: typically in the range of $200 to $500. This fee does not include the cost of any test preparation materials such as practice tests. Some employers will pay the registration costs for its employees, reasoning that certification increases the status and proves the capabilities of their employees. However, many will only pay if you pass the exam or only pay the fee one time so subsequent attempts following a failure will not be covered. Check with your employer to determine their particular contribution plan. If you have to pay out of pocket for the exam, remember that it is money well spent. Certification will open doors to new opportunities and garner a higher salary than going without. Think of it as an investment in your future.

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