THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE: The Federation of State Medical Boards & the new Interstate Compact could streamline medical licensing & licensure portability. It may also enhance the growing practice of telemedicine (pictured), widening access to health care in underserved areas of the USA. Photo: Pinterest.com/Careclix.com
THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE: The Federation of State Medical Boards & the new Interstate Compact could streamline medical licensing & licensure portability. It may also enhance the growing practice of telemedicine (pictured), widening access to health care in underserved areas of the USA. Photo: Pinterest.com/Careclix.com

The nonprofit Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), representing 70 medical and osteopathic boards of the U.S., hopes to simplify and streamline medical licensing and enrich patient protections through the Interstate Compact.

ReachMD.com featured an interview with Dr. Humayun J. Chaudhry, president and CEO of FSMB, this month, stating that the new Interstate Compact system “is expected to facilitate licensure portability and telemedicine while widening access to health care by physicians, particularly in underserved areas of the nation.” (http://www.reachmd.com/xmsegment.aspx?sid=7030&142364&10&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=RMD_Weekly_Newsletter_07282014)

The FSMB issued a statement after a recent board meeting.

“The goal of the Compact is to ensure that qualified physicians are able to practice medicine in a safe and accountable manner and that the strongest health care consumer protections are maintained,” Dr. Humayun J. Chaudhry said in an FSMB press release issued July 25, 2014. “The revised compact helps ensure that as the practice of telemedicine continues to expand, patient protection remains a top priority. We look forward to sharing the revised compact with state medical boards across the country and look forward to working with them to achieve implementation.”

THE INTERSTATE COMPACT: Draft of new physician licensing system does not specifically establish telemedicine standards, but may enhance the practice by 'significantly expediting multi-state licensure.' Photo: Pinterest.com
THE INTERSTATE COMPACT: Draft of new physician licensing system does not specifically establish telemedicine standards, but may enhance the practice by ‘significantly expediting multi-state licensure.’ Photo: Pinterest.com

What Does the Interstate Compact Mean for Doctors?

What does the Interstate Compact mean for current and future doctors and students at American and Caribbean medical schools? The FSMB outlines the following in the press release:

• It offers an alternative pathway for state-based licensure, creating a “new process for faster licensing for physicians interested in practicing in multiple states, including those who practice telemedicine.”

• Changes outlined during a recent FSMB board meeting “would strengthen the requirements for licensure eligibility for physicians and help ensure patients are safe.

• The Interstate Compact would require physicians to submit to fingerprinting or “other biometric background checks to be eligible for licensure in additional states.”

• “Alter specialty board certification requirements of the compact to clarify that those with time-unlimited certification are also eligible under the compact; and

• Require that physicians who wish to participate in the compact to have passed each component of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medicine Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA) within three attempts.”

The FSMB press release said the Interstate Compact is “expected to significantly reduce barriers to the process of gaining licensure in multiple states, helping facilitate licensure portability and telemedicine while widening access to health care by physicians.”

The Compact “doesn’t establish standards for telemedicine practice,” but “it is expected to enhance telemedicine by significantly expediting multi-state licensure.”

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