Can I Practice Medicine in a State Where I am Not Licensed?

One of the biggest obstacles that physicians have historically faced when they are first licensed is the idea that they can only practice in one place, in one area, limiting their mobility and ability to grow. Advancements in technology and the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic have increased both the ability and necessity to provide services to patients that may be far away, sometimes even in other states. 

THE INTERSTATE MEDICAL LICENSURE COMPACT (IMLC) EXPLAINED

While the preference may have been to keep doctors practicing within their home states in the past, recent efforts have looked towards updating the rules in favor of a more widespread use of technology in health care. With the potential to create a more national market that can lower prices while improving services. 

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) is an example of how doctors are being allowed to see patients in states outside their own. The IMLC is an agreement of reciprocity by participating states that allows doctors in one state to see a patient in another state if both states are part of the IMLC.

WHAT STATES ARE PART OF THE IMLC?

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission, in its short history, has made unbelievable progress in having legislation approved in many states to join the IMLC, allowing many physicians the ability to expand their practices. The IMLC already includes more than half of the states in our country and is still growing. This includes states such as Illinois, Michigan, and Colorado. However, states such as California, Texas, and Florida are still not part of the IMLC, and physicians licensed in these states are only allowed to practice medicine within their home states. 

If a physician practices medicine in a state where he or she is not licensed and is not permitted to practice pursuant to participation in the IMLC, then the physician can face serious consequences. An allegation of the improper practice of medicine can result in discipline against your physician’s license, not to mention the possibility of civil and criminal liability. It is imperative to understand the law and rules as they apply to you as a licensed physician. Ignorance of the law is not a defense, and you will not be able to claim that you didn’t know that whatever alleged conduct was against the rules.

**DISCLAIMER** CALIFORNIA IS NOT PART OF THE INTERSTATE COMPACT AND A CALIFORNIA PHYSICIAN SHOULD CONSULT OTHER STATE LAWS TO DETERMINE THEIR ABILITY TO PRACTICE IN OTHER STATES.

If you have specific questions about your ability to practice medicine in another state or are a California physician facing allegations of misconduct, then it is important to speak to an experienced California physician license defense attorney such as Scott J. Harris as soon as possible.

SJ HARRIS LAW FREE CONSULTATION

The S.J. Harris Law Office is proud to offer FREE 30-minute consultations to all prospective clients. We realize that physicians who are facing discipline against their licenses require representation that values proper discretion and privacy. Anything discussed during a consultation will be protected by attorney-client privilege even if you don’t hire us to represent you further. At S.J. Harris Law, we focus on preserving three things; your license, reputation, and future. Let our experience go to work for you today. Call us at (310) 361-8585 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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This blog is meant to be informational. It is not meant to be all-encompassing legal advice. If you are facing a situation involving your professional license, seek counsel from a licensed attorney.