Medical Licensure in Multiple States Made Easy

January 10, 2018

Everything physicians need to know about the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact and how it can further their career.

Medical licensing used to be simple. Physicians would graduate from medical school and residency, find a job, get a license, and then stay there for the rest of their career. That's just not the case anymore. Now physicians are working more places and are more mobile than ever before. 

Some physicians find themselves working for healthcare groups that span state lines, others work locum tenens assignments throughout the country, some practice telemedicine, and others simply choose to take jobs in different states than where they first started practicing.

Any of these reasons could lead to the need for multiple state licenses. That's where the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) comes into play. The IMLC makes getting multiple medical licenses much easier than in the past.

Before the compact was established, each state would determine its requirements for medical licensing, which meant they were all different. The IMLC was established by local state medical boards in an effort to streamline this process. Participating states came together and agreed to accept each other's vetting processes for medical licenses.

Recently, we were working with a physician who worked in Wisconsin but wanted to take a locum tenens assignment in Minnesota. In the past, he would have had to go through Minnesota's normal medical licensing process, which usually takes around seven weeks. However, because both Wisconsin and Minnesota are IMLC-participating states, he was able to get his license in just 13 days.

There are currently 18 states currently participating in the IMLC: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Mississippi, Utah, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. More are on the way in 2018.

We recently hosted a webinar on the Compact with former IMLC Chairperson Dr. Jon Thomas. During the session, Dr. Thomas shared a bit of the history of the IMLC and how physicians can use it. He also outlined the qualifications for physicians to participate.

•Must have medical school accreditation, either LCME, COCA, or IMED

•Pass the USMLE or COMLEX-USA within three attempts

•Obtain GME accreditation by ACGME or AOA

•ABMS or AOA-BOS including time-unlimited certificates

•No prior convictions or criminal activity

•No history of licensure actions

•Clean DEA history

•No active investigations

•Must pass FBI Criminal Background Check

•Have a primary medical practice in one of the participating states

The licenses received are exactly the same as if you applied for the license directly with the state and provide the same privileges to practice medicine.

Since the IMLC began last April it has processed 297 applications and issued 384 licenses. This is a great benefit to not only the physicians who need the licenses but also to the patients they are able to serve.

For more details about the IMLC, visit www.imlcc.org.