By Melissa Wirkus Hagstrom, contributor Oct 26, 2020
Do you already have an IMLC license, or are you interested in
applying for one?
Either way, an Interstate
Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) license can
get you on the road quickly to practicing medicine in multiple states as a locum tenens provider.
How the IMLC licensing
According to Marschall S. Smith, executive director of the Interstate Medical
Licensing Compact Commission, the group started processing applications and
issuing IMLC licenses in 2017.
“Physicians fill out one online application to apply for a
license in multiple states,” Smith explained. “The reason we are able to
expedite the process is that we are leveraging the license that the physician
currently has in one of our member states. And when the member state issued
that license, they did all of the primary source verification that is necessary
for the majority of the application.”
He noted that the physician’s principal state of licensure has
already made sure that they went to a medical school that is approved, that
they have passed all of their tests within three attempts and that they are
“The member board already has that information and they already
verified it from the primary source. From there, they pull the criminal
background check and pull a disciplinary report to make sure it’s already
valid. That, in a nutshell, is how we are able to expedite the process and how
physicians can leverage licenses that they currently hold to get into this
process easier,” Smith said.
Not sure if your state participates? See the full list of states that are part of the
Interstate Medical Licensure Compact license, including a
Get to work faster with
an IMLC license
The expedited IMLC licensing process can allow you to start
working a locum tenens assignment faster than ever before.
Every year, the IMLC Commission (IMLCC) releases information
regarding the number of days it takes to process applications. “The average
length of time for all of the applications that were in our study is that it
takes about 57 days on average -- from the initial application all the way
through to the license being issued. It’s important to note that between
one-third and one-half of the licenses take about 20 to 21 days.”
This quick turnaround allows locum tenens providers the
opportunity to start working quickly in a state that they weren’t previously
licensed in. In some cases, providers can get their licenses in less than three
of the biggest things that we’ve found that impacts the number of days is the
physician’s fingerprint-based background check which requires a trip to the
police station and then getting all of that information to the board,”
Marschall said. “Even though we are increasing the number of applications we
are processing, we’ve been able to keep that number pretty constant.”
of Qualification (LOQs) to expedite licenses
Physicians apply through the Compact to receive a Letter of Qualification (LOQ)
from a State of Principal License (SPL). Physicians cannot obtain licenses
through the IMLC unless they have an SPL and are issued an LOQ.
“One of the features that a lot of the physicians use in our
process is the LOQ,” Smith explained, adding, “Once they receive it, that LOQ
is the key to getting licensed in the other states. And that Letter of
Qualification is good for 365 days. Once the physician fills out their initial
application, does their initial request for licenses and has all of that in
place, say two or three months later, they have a patient now located in Iowa
and the need to get licensed in Iowa, they can use that Letter of Qualification
to get that license in 7-15 days. It allows that sort of flexibility to rapidly
get licenses in other states.”
This process is extremely beneficial for locum tenens providers
who may be presented with an outstanding assignment opportunity in a state in
which they aren’t currently licensed.
For more information, visit the IMLC
Ready to learn more about the IMLC or a locum tenens assignment
with Staff Care?
Contact us today