Have an IMLC License? Start Working Faster

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 process works

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 board certified.

“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 color-coded map.  

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 weeks.

“One 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.”

Understanding Letters 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 Commission website. 

Ready to learn more about the IMLC or a locum tenens assignment with Staff Care?

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