What You Need to Know About the IMLC and Locum Tenens

See how the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is impacting more and more locum tenens assignments

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) was created to expand patient access to medical care and offer qualified physicians a voluntary, expedited pathway to licensure for those who wish to work in multiple states. It allows physicians with a multistate license to quickly accept locum tenens assignments within any compact state, without being impeded by typical state license application delays. The compact can also help hospitals and other medical facilities get additional staffing when they need it most. Essentially, the IMLC license is a “fast pass” which allows prequalified physicians to practice across state lines without needing to reapply for state licenses in participating compact states. To learn more about the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, visit the IMLC Commission website.

What is the definition of locum tenens?

Locum tenens is a Latin phrase which means “to hold place.” This term is used throughout medicine to refer to short-term assignments where physicians and advanced practice clinicians fill in for other staff on a temporary basis. Locum tenens assignments can be in a variety of workplace settings, spanning nearly every medical specialty.

Who is the IMLC multistate license for?

The IMLC can help physicians who work locum tenens assignments, practice telemedicine, or have another work situation that requires them to practice medicine in more than one state. The compact can also help those looking to grow their practice across state lines get to work faster and work in multiple locations year-round. By bypassing regular state licensure applications, a process that often takes months to complete, qualified physicians who hold an IMLC license can begin practicing in a compact state in a matter of weeks.

What are Compact states?

Compact states are those states that have passed legislation and implemented the IMLC provisions, which include a set of licensing standards. These states can issue a Letter of Qualification (LOQ) for physicians who hold a current, unrestricted medical license in their state and meet specific criteria; they can also issue licenses to LOQ holders, allowing them to practice within their state lines. The number of IMLC participating states and territories surpassed 30 at the beginning of 2021, and it continues to grow quickly. Learn more about how the IMLC is expanding in 2021, including the current list of compact states.

How can I get an IMLC license?

Participation in the IMLC is voluntary, and interested physicians must meet several eligibility criteria. In order to receive a compact license, physicians must apply on the IMLC website, pay an administrative fee and submit fingerprints for a background investigation. If the physician meets all requirements, he or she will be issued a Letter of Qualification (LOQ) from their State of Principal Licensure (SPL). Individual state licensure fees will also be required, but Staff Care may pay licensing fees for physicians who take a locum tenens assignment with us. Want to know more?

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