AAFP Seeks Simpler Path for Residents to Train Across State Lines

September 01, 2017 01:21 pm News Staff

With many state medical boards already working to facilitate interstate licensure, the AAFP wants to ensure family medicine residents can just as easily receive training in programs that cross state lines.  

[George Washington Bridge spanning the Hudson River]

The George Washington Bridge spans the Hudson River, linking New York's Upper Manhattan to the New Jersey Palisades.

The Academy sent an Aug. 16 letter(1 page PDF) to Humayun Chaudhry, D.O., M.S., president and CEO of the Federation of State Medical Boards, seeking support for a protocol that would simplify the licensing process for medical residents who train in programs that have facilities in multiple jurisdictions. The letter, which was signed by AAFP Board Chair Wanda Filer, M.D., M.B.A., of York, Pa., requested a dialogue about establishing a method for residents to obtain temporary license reciprocity for training purposes.

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact(www.fsmb.org) gives practicing physicians a faster way to obtain a license to practice in more than one state. Eighteen states have enacted legislation enabling them to participate in the compact, and seven more states plus the District of Columbia have legislation pending. The compact is expected to improve access to care in rural and underserved areas while also expanding the use of telemedicine.

Just as other physicians who cross state lines to practice medicine need flexibility, so, too, do residents who are in programs that operate in more than one state.

"Many family medicine residency programs experience administrative burdens related to licensure if they design a residency training experience that involves training in multiple jurisdictions," the letter stated.

To illustrate the additional burden that some residents currently face, the letter cited the example of the Georgetown University-Providence Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program. Residents in this program must obtain training licenses in both the District of Columbia, where the program is based, and Maryland, where the continuity clinic is located, to meet their residency requirements.

"The AAFP supports the concept of licensure and re-licensure at the state level and encourages states to use tools such as the compact to permit the practice of medicine across state borders," the letter stated.

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