Back in 2013, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) began assisting state medical board representatives in developing the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which aims to create a pathway to allow physicians to more easily obtain licensure in multiple states.
However, the compact could not be established until seven states passed legislation to join it. In May, this milestone was achieved when Alabama became the seventh state to enter the compact, joining Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and West Virginia. Since then, two more states, Minnesota and Nevada, have followed suit, with another 10 states considering compact legislation.
The enactment of the compact triggered the formation of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission, which will be composed of members of participating state medical and osteopathic boards. The commission will meet later this year to begin outlining the terms by which the compact will operate.
Although no timeline yet exists for when physicians will be able to use the compact to obtain expedited licensure, AOA Trustee Geraldine T. O’Shea, DO, says she expects the FSMB to have a well-defined plan of action ready by its next House of Delegates meeting in April 2016.
The AOA and the American Association of Osteopathic Examiners (AAOE) have been working with the FSMB and state medical boards to ensure osteopathic representation in the formation of the compact and compact commission, says Dr. O’Shea, who is also the immediate past president of the AAOE.
“This process is helping to raise awareness of DOs,” she says. “The creators sought our input, and they know now that we have separate licensing boards in 14 states.”
But DOs aren’t the only physicians who stand to benefit from the compact, she notes.
“We are looking for a process that will decrease the burden substantially on all physicians trying to acquire multiple state licensures,” she says. “At the same time, it will maintain the same level of integrity and will not usurp in any way the state sovereignty in medical licensure. The compact is going to be really beneficial to the rural states.”