Licensure Q&A: Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC)


shaking hands

Expert Q&A: Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC)

by Kelly Starkey in How to Find a Job, Job Market, Stats & Research 06/11/2017

Expert Q&A: Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC)

Floyd Lee Locums


As all things healthcare continue to live in a state of flux, it may seem difficult to keep up on what’s changing in the industry. That’s why we took some time to discuss a new locums game changer—the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC)—with Floyd Lee Locums’ CEO Natasha Lee.

Can you explain the general idea behind the IMLC?

Natasha Lee: Sure. The IMLC is a new program that offers an easier, faster and more flexible way for locums doctors to acquire expedited licensure in participating states—22 states and counting in fact.

Why is it important?

NL: I would say it’s important on two fronts: First, it provides doctors a simplified option to practice medicine in multiple states, while not sacrificing public protections—like the ability for states to share historical information about a doctor. And once it’s fully implemented, 80% of physicians will qualify for licensure through the IMLC.

Second, and maybe more crucial, it will connect much needed healthcare professionals to underserved or rural patients who have a hard time accessing care experts. For our team at Floyd Lee Locums, this is a critical part of our mission as doctor-to-patient ratios across the country are alarming.

Can you expand on what’s changed?

NL: Of course! I think for all of us—not just physicians—what sometimes holds us back from following a dream or pursing a goal are process roadblocks. Nowhere was this truer than with licensure, which involves medical boards, industry authorities, legislation and more.

What the IMLC tries to do is remove process obstacles—less paperwork, less hassle, less time, etc. This flexibility opens up a world of possibilities and brings new doctors into the fold who wouldn’t have considered travel positions or explored locums in the past. It makes it easier for them to accept desirable assignments in a variety of locations.

What does this mean for doctors?

NL: It means more career opportunities for doctors. It means physicians won’t have to hit a moving target of licensure requirements that vary state-to-state. And it means healthcare institutions can more easily attract top talent.

Listen, it’s no secret that hospitals and clinics are facing unprecedented physician shortages. Before the IMLC, the wait to get a provider where they were needed most prevented clinicians from even bothering applying for another state’s license. Now, physicians can qualify for a multi-state license, giving them the freedom to pursue locums work in as many states as they would like.

nurse on phone

What is the process for the IMLC?

NL: Like most things, it depends how you go about it. Our credentialing team, for example, would handle the entire process from beginning to end for a clinician. The basic requirements for eligibility are:

  • Be in good standing (no irregularities)
  • Pass each component of the USMLE, COMLEX-USA or equivalent in no more than three attempts
  • Hold current board certification through the ABMS or AOA
  • Submit to a background check

Speaking of your team, what is Floyd Lee Locums’ approach to the IMLC?

NL: Well I’m never shy to talk about our locums veterans. As far as the IMLC is concerned, Floyd Lee Locums provides a concierge experience with a dedicated consultant for each doctor. We’ve found working hand-in-hand with physicians on their journey helps us find the perfect fit for their future—and is immensely rewarding.

We get that the IMLC is new and unfamiliar, which is why we educate clinicians about the processes and requirements along the way. We will help physicians navigate the application, have great relationships with licensing boards, and can negotiate the IMLC/licensure fees as part of a contract on their behalf.

We can also get clinicians licensed in as many of the Compact States as they choose in as little as a few weeks. And once they’re a member of the Compact, new state licenses can be added at any time—so there is no risk of paying for unused licenses.

Any final advice for clinicians?

NL: Don’t limit yourself! If you’ve thought about locum tenens in the past, the IMLC makes it the perfect time to explore it. Even if you just want information, give us a call or visit our site.

Useful resources:

Interstate Medical License Compact website