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Locum Tenens Licensing – Managing Licensing to Work US-Wide

Locum tenens work is a great way for you to explore career options while traveling around the country. But because of this, you’ll need the proper licensing for each state you decide to take an assignment in. 

 

This is much different than traditional employed doctors, who can simply apply for a license in the state in which they work. For locum physicians, the matter becomes a bit more complicated due to the difference in state licensing laws. 

 

Luckily, there are several ways you can approach the situation. And resources exist that help streamline this process and make it easier for you to stay organized.

 

 

Types of Locum Tenens Licenses

If you’re just getting started in locum tenens work, you may be familiar with the different types of medical licenses that exist for temporary physicians. 

 

Luckily, you’re not always limited to only one type. There are a few licenses that can help you get started with your locum tenens gig:

 

  • The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC)
  • Temporary medical license
  • Locum tenens license

 

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC)

The IMLC is a streamlined path for physicians to have their licensing expedited. This allows you to get one license, or even multiple licenses, using a speedy application process.

 

To qualify, your primary practice and tax residence must be in one of the 23 sponsoring states:

 

  • Alabama
  • Nebraska
  • Arizona
  • Nevada
  • Colorado
  • New Hampshire
  • Idaho
  • North Dakota
  • Illinois
  • South Dakota
  • Iowa
  • Tennessee
  • Kansas
  • Utah
  • Maine
  • Washington
  • Maryland
  • West Virginia
  • Michigan
  • Wisconsin
  • Mississippi
  • Wyoming
  • Montana

 

You must also have a clean practice history without any disciplinary actions, malpractice history, or board investigations.

 

This method is often preferred due to its quick turnaround time and simple application process. The only kicker is the price — $700 plus the costs of each state you apply for.

 

 

Temporary Medical License

A temporary medical license, also known as a temp, is a license you’re granted after applying for a full license. This allows you to begin your assignment while the full license is “in process.”

 

However, this temporary license is only available in 18 states, including:

 

  • Arizona
  • Montana
  • Georgia
  • North Dakota
  • Iowa
  • Oklahoma
  • Idaho
  • Oregon
  • Indiana
  • South Dakota
  • Kansas
  • Texas
  • Kentucky
  • Utah
  • Massachusetts
  • Washington
  • Maine
  • Wyoming

 


Locum Tenens License

Locum tenens licensing is much different from traditional temporary medical licensing. It has its own application process and will be good for anywhere between 60-180 days.

 

However, not every state in the country offers locum tenens licensing. Currently, there are 11 states that do:

 

  • Alaska
  • Nevada
  • Arizona
  • New Hampshire
  • Indiana
  • South Dakota
  • Maine
  • Tennessee
  • Massachusetts
  • Wisconsin
  • Nebraska

 

If you decide to take on a longer assignment than you had originally planned for, you’ll likely need to apply for a regular license within that state.

 

 

How to Obtain Your Locum Tenens License

Obtaining your locum tenens license doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. You can save yourself a bunch of time throughout the process by creating a virtual folder that holds all of your most relevant and updated documents. This should include any information you’ll need during the licensing process, such as:

 

  • Immunization records (tuberculosis, flu, hepatitis) 
  • Proof of continuing medical education
  • Malpractice records (if any)
  • Driver’s license
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) certificate
  • Education certificates (including medical school, residency, Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates [ECFMG], and any others that are applicable)

 

Whenever you apply for a new type of license, you’ll be able to upload these documents and attach them directly to your application. Not only will this save you time, it will also save you from having to stress over finding the correct documentation when the time comes.

 

Alternatively, there’s an online service known as the Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS). The FCVS lets you create a “lifetime portfolio of primary-source-verified credentials” that can be used when applying for a new medical license. 

 

Once you decide to apply for this license, the FCVS will verify your core credentials and submit the report to the state medical board.

 

 

Get Started Today

The locum tenens licensing process may seem confusing, especially if you’re just getting started in locum tenens work, but there are ways to make it easier.

 

The best way to make this process simple and fast is to find a locum tenens agency that handles the licensing process for you. This puts more time back on your plate to prepare for travel (if necessary), as well as mentally prepare for the assignment.

If you’d like to learn how we can assist you with your locum tenens adventure, contact us today!

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