Future Trends in Medical Licensing: Predictions and Preparations

Medical licensing is constantly changing, with requirements, strategies and technologies shifting to reflect the state of the industry and the world. These developments are exciting, but they also present challenges for providers seeking their licenses. This post explores the biggest trends in medical licensing and how they might affect your licensure experience.

The Growing Importance of Telemedicine

Global health events have made remote access to quality care a top priority, with nearly 75% of providers reporting that telehealth was used in their medical practices in 2022. 

Many states have already taken steps to address the need for telemedicine. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many lifted requirements for out-of-state licensure. While those restrictions have generally fallen back into place, states are working to establish more consistent telemedicine physician licensure processes.

Interstate Licensure and the IMLC

Establishing a more interconnected healthcare system is critical to ensuring that even the most remote communities receive quality care, and developing better interstate licensure practices is crucial to that goal. Although a national licensing program is unlikely, you can expect to see more states work to standardize their processes and establish reciprocity agreements. 

Another important development is the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC), an agreement designed to simplify the licensure process for providers who want to practice in multiple states. Currently, 39 states, the District of Columbia and the Territory of Guam are actively participating in the IMLC. However, many other states are considering or in the process of joining.

Technological Integration in Licensing Processes

Technology is key to streamlining medical licensing processes. One of the most significant innovations is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) because it can make licensure faster and more efficient with capabilities such as: 

  • Analyzing documents 
  • Verifying information and credentials
  • Entering data 
  • Conducting background checks 
  • Reviewing professional references

This allows medical licensing boards to quickly analyze enormous amounts of data, reducing the time it takes to issue a license. 

Blockchain technology also promises to revolutionize licensure. It offers a way to collect and securely manage licensing data so providers and licensing boards can easily and securely store and access documents.  

International Medical Graduates and Global Licensing

International medical graduates (IMGs) play an increasingly prevalent role in the global healthcare workforce, allowing specialized providers to offer care to patients around the world. Unfortunately, current licensing processes often make it difficult for IMGs to obtain licensure in the United States.

As a result, some states plan to ease their requirements and offer alternative pathways to licensure. For example, Illinois recently passed legislation allowing IMGs to obtain limited licenses for supervised practice while in the process of obtaining their full licenses. Other states will likely follow suit, allowing IMGs to begin practicing more quickly. 

Specialization and Subspecialization Licensing Trends

Medical institutions greatly value specialists, and more healthcare providers pursue specializations and subspecializations each year. Licensure in the United States doesn’t generally focus on specialization. However, state medical boards may adapt their processes to address specialized service providers with unique training and education requirements. 

Regulatory Changes and Healthcare Policy

Changes to licensure processes are necessary to reduce provider shortages and increase accessibility. As a result, many states are collaborating to create more uniform requirements and remove unnecessary impediments to licensure. For example, nearly two dozen medical boards recently changed their licensing applications to better support applicants seeking help for mental health conditions. 

The Role of Continued Education in Licensing

Continued medical education (CME) is a necessary aspect of license renewal, but traditional formats have made it difficult for providers to complete the necessary credits. Moving forward, state licensing boards are likely to accept a wider range of CME formats, including web-based and hybrid courses. Educators will also offer a greater variety of options, such as flexible, on-demand education options. 

Preparing for the Future as a Healthcare Professional

As an active medical professional, it might seem impossible to keep up with all these trends, but doing so could help prevent lapses in your licensure. Remaining adaptable and open to continuous learning is essential. Knowledgeable organizations providing medical licensing services can also help you adjust to changing licensing requirements. 

The Future of Licensing Agencies and Assistance Services

Throughout all these shifts in the healthcare industry, agencies like Medical Licensure Group (MLG) will adapt to meet the needs of providers. The professionals at MLG constantly monitor and review changes in licensure processes and requirements. We’re prepared to help you navigate future licensing landscapes, no matter what they might look like. 

Looking Forward With MLG

From technological advancements to interstate cooperation, the future of medical licensing will be complex and dynamic. Healthcare professionals have to stay alert and prepared to respond to them. 

MLG offers guidance and support to providers as they navigate these trends. Reach out by calling 850.433.4600 or submitting an online request to learn more.