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How Long Does It Take To Get A Physician License In Each State?

Healthcare workforce multiplication through locum tenens and telemedicine work is one of the most prevalent, and increasingly popular, short-term ways of addressing the growing physician shortage in our country.

However before you can take your medical talents to a new locums opportunity or hop on the computer for a remote telehealth call, you need to make sure you have the right state license for that opportunity.

Requirements and timeline for getting a license varies by state — and some are certainly easier than others. To help you start planning ahead, we’ve put together a table breaking down the average amount of time needed to get a new license in each state.

Breaking Down the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC)

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) was put in place in April of 2017 to provide a path for qualified doctors to expedite their state licensure and allow them to start practicing in new states and areas sooner.

The IMLC helps empower physicians to practice across state lines, for states within the Compact, as long as they meet the set eligibility requirements:

  1. You must hold a full, unrestricted medical license in a Compact Member State that are available to serve as an State of Principal Licensure (SPL) AND at least one of the below must apply:
  • Your primary residence is in the SPL (State of Principal Licensure)
  • At least 25% of your practice of medicine occurs in the SPL
  • Your employer is located in the SPL
  • You use the SPL as your state of residence for U.S. federal income tax purposes

2. Have graduated from an accredited medical school, or a school listed in the International Medical Education Directory

3. Successful completion of ACGME or AOA accredited graduate medical education

4. Passed each component of the USMLE, COMLEX-USA, or equivalent in no more than three attempts

5. Hold a current specialty certification or time-unlimited certification by an ABMS or AOABOS board

6. Must not have any history of disciplinary actions toward your medical license

7. Must not have any criminal history

8. Must not have any history of controlled substance actions toward your license

9. Must not currently be under investigation

For more information on the IMLC, read our full deep dive on the blog.

Breakdown of Time-Frame to Obtain Physician License by State

Here is a breakdown of the approximate time it takes to obtain a physician license in each state, as of October 16, 2018. Please note that these requirements could change, so please refer to the linked website for the most up-to-date information.

As part of your verification process, you will be required to submit credentials. Depending on the state, you may or may not be allows to use the Federation Credential Verification Service (FCVS) to provide your credentials.

Source: Medicus Healthcare Solutions

There you have it! We hope this was helpful in your planning for getting your next state license. Please keep in mind that these are estimations and your experience could vary based on your circumstance. We recommend being as prepared as possible and applying for your next license as soon as you know where you want to go, so that the process does not delay you from getting your next dream assignment.

Click here to search all physician jobs on Nomad.

Happy job hunting!

The Nomad Team

Originally published at on October 17, 2018.



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