So, you’ve found the perfect locums opportunity: It’s just the right assignment length, has an ideal caseload, offers excellent pay, is part of an exciting network, and is with a locums agency you trust.
There must be a catch! Oh, yes, there it is: The assignment is on the other side of the U.S., and while it looks like a rewarding opportunity and a welcome adventure, you’re not licensed to practice in that state. You decide it’s not worth the hassle or time to pursue licensure across state lines, and you move on to opportunities that (although less compelling) are easier to access and closer to home.
The IMLC, or Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, can make life much easier for physicians who want to practice across state lines – in person or via telemedicine.
What Is the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact?
The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is an agreement among states that streamlines the licensing application process. Physicians licensed in one of the IMLC States of Principal Licensure (SPL) can complete just one application versus having to apply for a medical license in each state in which they’d like to practice. This means the licensure process can take days rather than months.
The IMLC is not an interstate license but an agreement among states to accept the same application for different state licenses. So, physicians who obtain licensure through the IMLC will receive separate licenses from each state in which they wish to practice without having to apply multiple times.
Which States Participate in the IMLC?
More than half of U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Guam currently participate in the IMLC, and other states are working on passing legislation to join.
Current IMLC member states include:
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
All of these states (except for OK and VT) are States of Principal Licensure (SPL) in the IMLC. Physicians licensed in these states can apply for licensure in any of the other states in the compact. Oklahoma and Vermont are not states of principle licensure, so physicians cannot enter the compact using their OK or VT license. However, they can get licensed in OK or VT by entering the IMLC through another SPL state
Other states are working on legislation to join the IMLC, including Delaware, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and the District of Columbia.
Why Is the IMLC so Beneficial?
The IMLC benefits all parties involved – patients, providers, facilities, staffing agencies, regulatory entities, and the general public. The many benefits, aims and accomplishments of the agreement include:
- Increasing access to care for all patients, including those in underserved and rural areas
- Expanding the availability of medical specialists, telemedicine and other medical technologies
- Streamlining the licensing process, making it easier for physicians to practice in multiple states
- Saving physicians the time and expense of dealing with multiple state medical boards
- Strengthening public protection by sharing investigative and disciplinary information
- Helping address the physician shortage, especially in harder-to-fill locations
- Making it easier for staffing agencies to place physicians in positions and locums assignments nationwide
How Can Physicians Use the IMLC?
Physicians who want to use the IMLC to practice medicine in other states can apply through the IMLC website. The IMLC outlines 10 steps physicians must take to gain licensure through the IMLC:
- Confirm you are eligible.
- Start the application process online.
- Choose a State of Principal License (SPL).
- Pay the application fee of $700.00.
- Complete the application form.
- Complete mandatory fingerprinting and receive approval or denial.
- Pay state-license fees.
- E-sign to complete transactions.
- Receive your licenses from the state medical boards (usually within just a few days).
- Provide any additional information requested.
How the IMLC Benefits Locums
The compact is particularly helpful for physicians who want to pursue locums assignments across state lines. It opens many opportunities for those who want to see the country, gain experience from facilities across the nation, expand their professional network, and access patients in remote areas. Physicians can apply for licenses in any or all IMLC states (all at once) and receive licensure in just days (rather than months) without navigating multiple state licensing entities! Locums agencies love the IMLC because they can expand offerings, giving physicians a greater choice of assignments and facilities an improved pool of providers.
If you’re interested in how the IMLC can open doors across the nation for you, speak with one of our expert locums recruiters today.