Interstate Medical Licensure Could Ease Physician Shortages

Christopher Cheney, August 7, 2014

With anxiety rising over the potential for a physician shortage in the years to come, a push is on for interstate medical licensure.

Physicians seeking to practice in more than one state and hospitals seeking to alleviate staffing shortages may find their paths eased if a proposal for an interstate licensure compact is approved and adopted.


Humayun Chaudhry, DO
President and CEO of the FSMB

The proposed Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, crafted by the Federation of State Medical Boards, and released last month would create a commission to oversee interstate medical licenses and function alongside the existing licensing authority of state boards. Humayun Chaudhry, DO, president and CEO of the FSMB, says there is a pressing need for the compact.

The move could be a boon to rural hospitals with chronic staffing shortages and lack of access to specialists. It could also break down staffing barriers impeding the progress of telemedicine.

"The compact would create a new pathway to expedite the licensing of physicians seeking to practice medicine in multiple states, which would address multiple issues," he said this week.

"Among them: physician shortages, the expected influx of millions of new patients into the healthcare system as a result of the Affordable Care Act, and the growing need to increase access to healthcare for individuals in underserved or rural areas through the use of telemedicine."

Christopher Cheney

Christopher Cheney is the senior finance editor at HealthLeaders Media.


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