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How an IMLC License Can Take Your Locum Career Further

By Melissa Wirkus Hagstrom, contributor

For the past three years, the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) license process has been transforming the way that physicians practice medicine across state lines, thanks to the collaboration of multiple member states and territories. 

According to the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission (IMLCC), as of October 23, 2020, the compact includes 29 states, the District of Columbia and the Territory of Guam. In these jurisdictions, physicians are licensed by 43 different medical and osteopathic boards. 

Other states are currently in the process of introducing active legislation to adopt the Compact, including Louisiana, Ohio, New York and New Jersey. 

Marschall S. Smith, executive director at the Interstate Medical Licensing Compact Commission (IMLCC), provided some insider information on the licensing process and how it can help physicians practice in multiple states and give patients greater access to care. 

“There are a lot of locums organizations and physicians that use the compact. The feedback they give us is that it is the thing that gives them the flexibility that they wouldn’t necessarily have otherwise,” Smith said. “A job opportunity may come up in a state that they aren’t licensed in, and they can get that license though the compact fast enough that they can respond to the assignment quickly. That’s where it really does help physicians and companies.”

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Increasing patients’ access to care 

The IMLC license can not only take your career to new heights as a locum tenens provider, but it can also help increase patient access to care, especially in remote or rural areas.

“Oftentimes, what we found is that physicians are located in a large city that is in a state that is on the border of another state,” Smith explained. “Through the compact process—which is expedited and less paperwork—they can get licensed in both states and offer patients care in both states.

The IMLCC first noticed the issue of border states and cities with providers in Minneapolis, which is closer to a lot of the rural and underserved areas of Northern Wisconsin than Madison or Milwaukee. “That’s where we started seeing this sort of trend where physicians in Minneapolis will get licensed in Wisconsin using our process so that they can serve in those rural hospitals and provide treatment. And then the benefit to the patient is that they have a broader choice and it creates more opportunity for them.” 

Grow your career with telemedicine

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, virtual visits and telemedicine have become the new normal for many physicians. Telemedicine is a key tool that enables wider and more efficient access to providers and the life-altering care that they provide. 

The IMLC serves the telehealth community directly by expediting the licensing for physicians to practice across state lines, in less time and with less red tape.

“As telemedicine has become more and more accepted and mainstream, more people are actually comfortable receiving their care via telemedicine. About 60 percent of our applicants that use the IMLC process have self-reported that they’re practice is primarily through telemedicine,” Smith said. 

“The practice of medicine in the United States is currently defined as requiring a license in the state where the patient resides. If you are going to do telemedicine and you are going to be offering it across the country, then you have to be licensed in all of those states,” he added.

Expanded opportunities with an IMLC license

As a locum tenens provider, you already understand the variety of choices and options that are at your fingertips to advance and grow your career. The IMLC license process can help fast-track your success by giving you access to states where you may have never practiced before.

“What it does is that it creates for physicians an opportunity; when they see a position that interests them or an opportunity to work somewhere they’ve always wanted to work, the IMLC creates that option that allows them to take advantage of rapidly changing opportunities,” Smith concluded. 

Related: 
The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC)
, with a map of participating states
5 Ways Rural Healthcare Is Changing


LOCUM LEADERS has locum tenens jobs across the U.S., and is here to help with state licensing, housing and other relocation issues.

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