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December 16, 2022

Medical licensing has always been a complex aspect of an OBGYNs career. Each state has unique licensing requirements, fees, dates, and timelines, which are complicated enough when you do all your practicing in one state. However, if you move or want to pursue a short-term assignment somewhere other than your State of Principal License (SPL), you will need to do your research to determine how to get an updated medical license.

That is where the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact comes in. This organization was founded in 2017 to make interstate licensure easier for all Physicians, including those working in the vital fields of obstetrics and gynecology.

Today, we will discuss the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) and show how a greater understanding of this agreement and its requirements can help OBGYN Specialists further their careers by taking on locum tenens positions.

What is the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact?

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) is an organization founded in 2013 to make it easier for Physicians and Specialists to transfer their credentials between states. As of 2021, 29 U.S. states are participating in the IMLC, with several more in the process of passing legislation that would bring the compact to their state. Participating states that are currently in the compact include:

  • Washington
  • Idaho
  • Arizona
  • New Hampshire
  • Wisconsin
  • Louisiana

Additionally, other states have already passed the Interstate Medical LicensureCompact, but for various reasons, have delayed full implementation of the new licensing rules. These multiple states and regions include:

  • Texas
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Delaware
  • Washington, D.C.

Essentially, if you obtain your primary license in one of these 29 states, the pathway to the licensing process in another participating state is streamlined. This has allowed Physicians and OBGYN Specialists to obtain licenses that permit them to practice medicine in multiple states, giving them the freedom to move at will or even help patients by telehealth, a type of practice that has seen a meteoric rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between 2019 and 2020, telehealth visits rose by an astounding 154%.

What is an IMLC letter?

The IMLC started issuing Letters of Qualification in 2017, four years after the organization was founded. These letters give Physicians and Specialists access to expedited licensure within the states participating in the compact, making it easier for them to take on locum tenens positions.

To obtain an IMLC Letter of Qualification, an OBGYN Specialist must have a full, unrestricted medical license from a state within the compact. This state is designated as their State of Principal Licensure (SPL). To qualify as their SPL, the Physician must ensure that:

  • Their primary residence is within the State Principal Licensure
  • They pay U.S. Federal Income Tax within that state
  • At least 25% of their medical practice takes place there
  • They are employed to practice medicine in their chosen location

OBGYN Specialists must also follow the rules listed within the IMLC policies, including having graduated from an accredited medical school and completing all relevant board exams and certifications such as an OK or VT license. The international medical education directory can be checked to see if the Physician or Specialist has attended an accredited medical school. State medical boards can also be referenced to verify active state medical licenses. According to the IMLC, roughly 80% of American Physicians meet their criteria for licensure.

Once the application process is complete, a Letter of Qualification is issued, valid for 365 days. This can then be used to apply for expedited licensure to any other participating state where you wish to practice. Expedited licensure is an unrestricted medical license that allows you to access locum tenens job opportunities anywhere.

The benefits of obtaining an IMLC letter

Having an Interstate Medical Licensure Commission letter means that you are eligible for more positions in more places around the United States, opening your OBGYN career up to greater possibilities than the uniform and stringent standard that may be available in a single location. Once you gain this wealth of experience, you could be eligible for more advanced jobs at a correspondingly high rate of pay. An IMLC letter can provide you with more freedom.

With an IMLC Letter, many practitioners with principal licenses can choose to practice as locum tenens Physicians in various states. The freedom and flexibility provided by these positions have routinely been cited as the top benefit for this type of work.

Locum Tenens opportunities increase for OBGYN Practitioners

For OBGYN Practitioners, the flexibility of a locum tenens role with Physician patient encounter is particularly beneficial. Recent data shows that many states with a high percentage of OBGYNs over 60, which suggests that there may soon be a noticeable workforce shortage due to retirement.

Having an IMLC letter gives OBGYNs the ability to work in one of 29 different states, enabling them to seek out opportunities in areas affected by shortages which may be offering increased pay and incentives, such as better mental health support and other programs to help combat workforce attrition.

They may also be eligible to participate in telehealth in other states, utilizing more than their primary license, opening them up to even more opportunities.

Apply for your IMLC today!

While getting an Interstate Medical Licensure Compactletter is not as complex as applying for a medical license in a new state, it can still mean a lot of extra paperwork. If you are considering a locum tenens career and are interested in hearing about how the IMLC can impact your options, reach out to a locum tenens agency like Health Carousel Locum Tenens. We can help you access the benefits of the IMLC by helping with the Letter of Qualification application process.

Our mission is to help qualified healthcare professionals access better career opportunities, regardless of whether you are fresh out of residency or are looking to build a custom schedule as you near retirement. Contact Health Carousel Locum Tenens today to learn more about your options for an IMLC Letter.