26 Jul How to Work in Multiple States as a Locum Tenens Physician
If you’re a locums physician planning to work in more than one state, you’ll need a license for each location you work in – and states have different requirements.
For example, state medical boards will vary in their efficiency and specific processes. In many states, the medical licensure process takes six months or more — and that’s assuming all documentation requirements are perfectly met.
If you’ve practiced medicine at multiple locations, some boards will require that you verify privileges at each location with standards forms. And these verifications must come directly from the prior employer, with extensive follow-up sometimes being necessary.
All of which means physicians need to get their licensing ducks in a row sooner rather than later to qualify for a multi-state locums scenario. Here are some tips.
It’s important to gather your most important documentation. Many boards require copies of all certificates, university transcripts, and other records, so have these items already copied or scanned electronically. It’s a good idea for locums physicians to store them in one easy to access place, like Google Drive or another cloud-based storage system. Be sure to have accurate dates for employment, graduation, training, and exam attempts to help make the licensing process go smoother.
Apply for Expedited Licensure through the IMLC
If you’re eligible, apply for expedited licensure through the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC). There are currently 39 states and one U.S. territory accepting applications for expedited licensure through the IMLC, simplifying the locum tenens licensing process significantly.
In order to be eligible, you must be a resident of a state of principle licensure (SPL) and meet additional qualifications. The application process involves using existing license information, which includes a background check and verification of information on file. Once approved, you’ll be eligible to apply online for additional licenses with IMLC member states.
Apply for the Federation Credentials Verification Service
The Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS) is a fast and convenient service offered by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) that stores primary-sourced verified education information that can be sent to multiple state medical boards. There are currently 16 state licensing boards that require FCVS, and all medical boards accept it as primary source verification.
Be Aware of Deadlines
Due dates and expiration dates hold a lot of weight in the licensing world. Some states will void applications not completed on time, including incomplete applications with errors. Some states take longer than others, so knowing which states take the longest, and which the least, amount of time will help avoid unexpected surprises down the road.
Each medical board works hard to license locums physicians as efferently as possible, but the time needed can vary and licenses can take anywhere from one week to six months to be processed. The timeframe depends a lot on the board’s current processing speed, as well as the complexity of the individual application.
A good rule of thumb is to apply for a license 90 days in advance of an assignment (most licensing boards will post estimated timeframes on their website).
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