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August 20, 2014

Interstate Medical LicensureMajor Reform of Licensing to Encourage Medical Practice in Multiple States

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
JAMA. 2014;312(7):695-696. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.9809

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is a streamlined process that would allow physicians to rapidly become licensed to practice medicine in multiple states.1,2 If the compact were to be approved by state legislators and incorporated into the laws of most, if not all, states, it could catalyze many substantial changes in medical practice. The potential benefits include easing the physician shortage in rural and other underserved areas and speeding the growth of telemedicine. Telemedicine, whether by telephone, e-mail, videoconference, or online, has increasing uses in medicine, ranging from radiology and pathology to mental health visits, the early diagnosis of stroke, and consultation with medical personnel in emergency departments and intensive care units. The compact could also facilitate specialist consultations for patients with complicated or rare illnesses.

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