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Frequently Asked Questions

Methodist Education and Research Learner Information Network (MERLIN)

  1. Where do I apply for rotation at a Houston Methodist facility?
    • To apply, please go to www.houstonmethodist.org/apply and submit your application. You must use Google Chrome.
  2. What are the required MERLIN documents that must be uploaded for all learners?
    • Required documents to be uploaded are:
      • Immunization Records to include: current PPD/TB test results, current influenza vaccination (rotations between November 1st and March 31st only), Hepatitis B, MMR, Varicella, and TDap
      • Copy of personal health insurance card - We do not accept Harris Health Gold Card Insurance or Texas Women’s Hospital Well Woman’s Insurance.
      • Copy of driver’s license or passport
      • Background Check results or attestation letter
      • Drug screen results or attestation letter
  3. Where can I obtain an attestation letter?
    • The attestation letter must come from your institution’s student affairs office stating your background check and drug screen are clear.
    • Residents can obtain a letter from the institution’s GME office.
  4. What is required to be an Observer?
    • Houston Methodist offers two types of observership opportunities that include:
      • Observation for 5 consecutive days or less.
        • This experience is free of charge.
        • Please upload the required documents indicated by the red dot
      • Observation lasting more than 5 days up two months maximum.
        • The fee for this observership is $250.00.
        • Please upload the required documents indicated by the red dot.
      • The application must be completed four (4) weeks prior to your rotation start date.
  5. What is the status of my application?
    • The MERLIN system allows learners to inquire about the status of their application. The status can be obtained by logging into the system. Your application will appear as “in process” until it has been approved by the departments that must verify your information and dates of rotation. Once your application has been approved, you will receive a letter from your credentialing coordinator via email. To ensure that your application is approved in the most expeditious manner possible, please make sure to upload all required documents as soon as possible. It is suggested that all documents be submitted 3- 4 weeks prior to your start date, to ensure timely approval.
    • Green Dot = Approved Document
    • Yellow Dot = Pending Approval/Not Approved
    • Red Dot= No Document uploaded
  6. Im locked out of MERLIN. Who can help me?
    • If you get locked out of MERLIN us the the account recovery button in the log in page. If you still have an issue, please contact merlinsupport@houstonmethodist.org and they will be able to assist you.
  7. MERLIN continues to reject my password even though it meets the requirements (uppercase, lowercase, 6-16 characters, etc). Who can I contact?
    • Your password cannot contain your username or your email address or a portion of it. If you feel that you have selected a password that fits the criteria listed in the application, please contact merlinsupport@houstonmethodist.org.
  8. Can I fax, drop off, or e-mail the required documents to you?
    • We strive to ensure confidentiality and therefore, we do not accept paper or fax copies of any required documents. It is the student’s responsibility to upload the required documents to the MERLIN application.
  9. I'm having trouble uploading files.
    • There are specific guidelines in place that may give you an error when uploading files. Please make certain that you follow these guidelines.
      • Uploaded files may not exceed a file size of more than 5MB, each.
      • Remove special characters (hyphens, colons, commas, etc) from the file names, prior to uploading to MERLIN. Special characters in file names may cause a delay in processing your application.
  10. My school does not require me to obtain a drug screen. Where can I go to obtain a valid drug screen? How much will it cost me?
    • o Drug screens can be obtained at the Houston Methodist Wellness Center, located at 6445 Main Street, 23rd floor, at 713.441.5978. You must make an appointment and have the results sent to Trevor Burt and your assigned Credentialing Coordinator. The cost is $36. If you decide to go elsewhere to obtain the drug screen, please make sure you request a 5-10 panel urine drug screen and provide us with the results via MERLIN.
  11. My school does not require me to obtain a background check. Where can I go to get a background check? How much will it cost me? How long will it take before I get the results back?
    • To obtain a background check please go to www.castlebranch.comand use package code “et56”. If you have only lived in the United States, you should request this package for $99. However, if you have lived outside of the United States, you should request an international background check, which will likely have an additional cost associated with it. Once your results are ready, upload the document into your MERLIN application.
  12. I need a PPD (tuberculosis screening), influenza vaccine, or Hepatitis B vaccination series. Where can I go to obtain these requirements?
    • o To obtain any vaccinations or required health screenings, you should visit your primary care practitioner, clinic, local pharmacy, or the Houston Methodist Wellness Center by appointment only.
  13. Where can I get information about visa requirements?
    • To obtain information about a United States Visa, please visit the U.S. Department of State Website at travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html.
  14. When and where is my orientation?
    • Please contact your preceptor for information regarding your orientation.

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