Doctor talking to patientsIn an effort to help Illinois communities retain and recruit qualified doctors, Illinois is joining the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. A doctor licensed in one member state of the compact is able to practice medicine in every member state without taking additional tests or applying for additional licenses.

“This is about streamlining government and improving access to health care service,” said the plan’s sponsor, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria). “We want talented doctors to be able to practice in Illinois without navigating bureaucratic red tape.”

Illinois is now one of the 11 states that make up the compact. Other members include Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

An Interstate Commission with two members from each participating state sets licensing requirements for all doctors who want to practice in those states.

Doctors who already have Illinois medical licenses will be able to apply for expedited licenses under the new system. They will qualify if they meet several basic requirements, such as already being licensed by Illinois, having graduated from an accredited medical school and having clean records without any medical-related criminal convictions or official disciplinary action.

The legislation is House Bill 3680. The law takes effect immediately, but it may take some time before all application processes are in place.