What Is the IMLC and How Does It Benefit Doctors?

The skills and experience of physicians are needed in healthcare settings throughout the United States, especially during this time of the global coronavirus pandemic. Physicians are being called to cross state lines for in-person care, and to practice telemedicine, which brings medical licensing issues to the forefront. 

Thankfully, the ever-expanding Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) is helping to streamline licensing for multiple states and increase access to care.

The IMLC: What it is and how it works

The IMLC is an agreement among participating U.S. states to provide a voluntary, expedited pathway to multistate licensure for physicians who qualify.

“The mission of the Compact is to increase access to health care – particularly for patients in underserved or rural areas,” according to the IMLC website. “The Compact makes it possible to extend the reach of physicians, improve access to medical specialists, and leverage the use of new medical technologies, such as telemedicine.”

The Compact also strengthens public protection by enhancing the ability of states to share investigative and disciplinary information.

As of June 24, 2020, there are 27 states currently participating in the IMLC, in addition to the territory of Guam; two additional states and the District of Columbia have passed the legislation, but it has yet to be implemented. The compact was a collaborative effort between multiple state medical boards and governing bodies back in 2013, and after years of legislation, it became active in April of 2017. 

The IMLC also makes it easier for physicians to work short-term locum tenens assignments, such as those offered by Staff Care.

Staff Care
partners with every size and type of healthcare facility to fill their staffing gaps, and they are currently hiring for both traditional and crisis response assignments to support the fight against COVID-19. 

The IMLC doctor licensure compact is unique in that licenses are still issued by individual states. Physicians fill out one application within the Compact; once they receive a letter of qualification (LOQ) from their SPL, they can receive separate licenses for each state in which they wish to practice. State licensing fees are still required, but locum tenens agencies may cover these fees for their physicians on assignment.

This process streamlines state licensing significantly since everything is routed through the Compact. Physicians receive their licenses faster and with fewer burdens.

Who is eligible to participate in the IMLC?

Prior to applying, physicians must meet all of the eligibility requirements that are defined by the IMLC:

Physicians must hold a full, unrestricted medical license in a Compact member-state that can serve as a declared State of Principal License (SPL). In order to designate a state as an SPL, physicians must ensure that at least ONE of the following apply:

  • The physician’s primary residence is in the SPL
  • At least 25% of the physician’s practice of medicine occurs in the SPL
  • The physician is employed to practice medicine by a person, business or organization located in the SPL
  • The physician uses the SPL as his or her state of residence for federal income tax purposes.
    There are other general eligibility requirements that must be met. According to the IMLC, approximately 80 percent of U.S. physicians meet the criteria for multistate licensure through the Compact.

    If you are interested in using your skills and experience to help people across the country, consider taking your career on the road as a Staff Care locum tenens physician. With help from our recruiters and the IMLC, you can be on your way to a new adventure.

    The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact: Physician Compact Expanding in 2020 

    has assignments for physicians and advanced practitioners across the U.S., and can help with licensing, housing and other needs.

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