Physicians don’t often have more than one active state license at a time, but when assignments come up in another state where they’d like to apply, the task of getting a license in that state can be daunting. Until now. If a physician wants a new way to grow their career, the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) is their ticket to success. Launched in 2017, the expanding IMLC is an initiative designed to expedite state medical licensure for physicians to practice in multiple states.
The IMLC is great for physician recruiters who are looking for candidates to cross state lines, too. Here’s what recruiters should to know about the compact.
In past years, physicians who wanted to treat patients across state lines had to apply through a separate, time-consuming processes – and some state medical or osteopathic boards limited or prevented the expansion of services such as telemedicine. The IMLC makes it easier for experienced physicians with positive practice histories to apply and receive licenses in states they’re not currently licensed in. The IMLC estimates that 80 percent of physicians meet the interstate licensure criteria.
How does the licensure process work?
- Eligible physicians can designate a member state as the state of principal license.
- The state of principal license provides credentials and verification for the physician’s eligibility to the IMLC commission via a letter of qualification (LOQ).
- The physicians then select the states in which they wish to hold a medical license.
- The commission transmits the LOQ and fees to the additional state boards.
- Upon receipt of the physician’s information and fees, the state medical boards will grant the additional licenses.
What states are participating in the IMLC?
As of June 3, 2019, the IMLC includes, in different stages of implementation, 29 states, the District of Columbia, and the Territory of Guam. Additional states are expected to join shortly.
The 20 states currently issuing Letters of Qualification (LOQ) as a physician’s State of Principal Licensure (SPL) include: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Minnesota is an IMLC member state and offers expedited licensing for LOQ holders but is not currently processing applications as an SPL.
Eight additional states have agreed to the IMLC terms, but implementation is currently only in process: Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. territory of Guam.
Florida and South Carolina are poised to join the compact in the near future.
Requirements for eligibility
You can learn the full details of eligibility requirements for the compact here, but here’s an initial summary:
A physician must hold a full, unrestricted medical license in a Compact Member State that are available to serve as an SPL (you can view the map of states at imlcc.org)
AND at least one of the below criteria must apply:
- A physician’s primary residence is in the SPL (State of Principal Licensure)
- At least 25% of the physician’s practice of medicine occurs in the SPL
- The physician’s employer is located in the SPL
- Physicians use the SPL as their state of residence for U.S. federal income tax purposes
Does it cost?
The application fee is $700.00 plus the cost of a license(s) selected to practice. If a physician wants to select more states (after their first state selection) there is a $100.00 handling fee. All fees are non-refundable per IMLCC rules. You’ll find all state member boards here.
Benefits for physicians
For physicians who practice near state lines or in metropolitan areas that include more than one state, the IMLC will benefit them tremendously. Locum tenens physicians and physicians who provide telemedicine services to patients in other states will benefit as well.
Benefits for patients
The IMLC is great news for patients, too. It strengthens safety by facilitating state medical board sharing of investigative and disciplinary information they couldn’t share before now. The IMLC may also help alleviate physician shortage in rural and underserved areas.
Are you recruiting physicians across state lines? If you’re using Doximity Talent Finder to recruit, you can use our multiple state license filter to search for physicians with more than one state license. You can even search for physicians within a certain mile radius of a zip code! If you’re not using Doximity Talent Finder, sign up for a free demo and learn how to fill your pipeline with great physician candidates.