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Interstate Medical Licensure Compact on Hold in Pennsylvania

At the State Board of Medicine's (Board) meeting on March 21, 2017, the Board received an update on the status of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (Compact). 

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Act – Act 112 – was signed into law on October 26, 2016. Act 112 authorizes the governor to enter into a compact with one or more states to provide a process by which physicians from one state could obtain an expedited license to practice medicine in another state.

The update shared at the March 21 meeting focused on an issue

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

The Pennsylvania Medical Society's (PAMED) Quick Consult explains what physicians should know about several important provisions of the commonwealth's Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Act.


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regarding obtaining the required FBI background check that is one of the requirements to obtain an expedited license. 

According to an article on Medscape, the FBI's chief objection to the legislation authorizing the Compact is that there is no statutory authority for the FBI to share criminal files with an entity such as the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission (Commission), which the participating states set up to administer the Compact. The FBI noted that federal regulations empowering the FBI to share information with states for the purposes of criminal background checks do not permit a private organization such as the Commission to receive this information.

In that same Medscape article, the Commission refuted the claim that it is a private entity but rather a joint agency of the member states. Regarding background checks, the Commission asserted that those will be handled by the individual states and no criminal information will be shared with the Commission other than whether a person has a positive or negative criminal history.

The Board was informed that because of the issues raised by the FBI, the governor will not be entering into a compact with one or more states at this time. 

PAMED will continue to provide updates as it receives them.

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Beware of the Compact! Physician is specifically defined in this Interstate Compact as someone who is meeting MOC requirements. It is a backdoor that organizations like AAPS ( have exposed. There is a need to make things work better for licensure between states but this Compact should be rejected. Physicians should really read the fine print and PAMED should not support it. This is indeed a private organization that is usurping power from physicians, specifically their autonomy, even if the stated goal is different.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 12:16:36 AM