Medical credentialing is a standard process for physicians. All physicians go through some type of credentialing process when they begin work at a new practice. Credentialing is used to assess physician knowledge, skills, and education. Physicians can earn additional credentials to demonstrate their expertise in a particular area. Those who provide vascular health care can earn a credential to become a Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation, or RPVI.
What is the RPVI Credential?
Physicians who earn an RPVI credential demonstrate expertise in vascular ultrasound interpretation. Vascular ultrasound is a type of imaging exam that uses high-frequency soundwaves to produce images and videos of the vascular system (veins, blood vessels, and blood flow). Physicians with an RPVI are certified to interpret these images and make a clinical diagnosis. The Alliance for Physician Certification and Advancement (APCA) offers RPVI credentialing.
The APCA is a companion council to the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). APCA provides international credentialing and aims to create global standards of physician excellence and high-quality patient care. According to the APCA, the RPVI credential “documents the highest standard in vascular ultrasound interpretation”. Physicians who earn this credential demonstrate advanced knowledge and a commitment to patient care and safety.
RPVI Credentialing Process
There are several steps to earning an RPVI credential with APCA. In order to earn the credential, applicants must take the Physicians’ Vascular Interpretation (PVI) examination. The exam assesses physicians’ knowledge and skills in vascular interpretation. There are prerequisites and an application to take the exam. Prerequisites include the following:
- Must be an MD, DO, or international equivalent.
- Must document (via a patient log) vascular interpretation experience with a minimum of 500 cases interpreted.
- Must provide letter from current employer or practice confirming experience.
The PVI exam consists of 185 questions and takes four hours to complete. Questions include images of vascular ultrasounds where applicants will be asked to mark the image correctly, and some questions are designed to simulate an interpretation workstation experience. Applicants who meet the prerequisites, submit the required documentation, and pass the exam will earn their RPVI credential.
The APCA offers preparation materials including a practice test, content outline, and description of question types. Study materials are also provided through APCA sister organizations such as the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, and the Society for Vascular Ultrasound.
Earning an RPVI credential can be a lengthy and complex process, but it is crucial to ensure that interpreting physicians are providing the highest quality vascular care. Mint Medical recognizes the importance of this and provides vascular interpretation services by RPVIs. Mint Medical also offers a full suite of end-to-end vascular imaging services. For more information, click here.
Guest Contributor: Jordan Galerkin
- Credentialing 101: What medical residents need to know. Murphy B. American Medical Association. https://www.ama-assn.org/medical-residents/transition-resident-attending/credentialing-101-what-medical-residents-need-know
- Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation Certification. The Alliance for Physician Certification and Advancement. https://www.apca.org/certifications-examinations/Registered-Physician-in-Vascular-Interpretation/
- Vision and Mission. The Alliance for Physician Certification and Advancement. https://www.apca.org/about-apca/vision-and-mission/