I’ve always been baffled that a doctor has to apply separately for a license in every state. I can understand paying a fee to every state – after all governments are massive kleptocracies.

Finally, at least 15 states are considering a revised draft of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which is an effort to provide physicians a streamlined path to obtaining medical licensure in multiple states.

But if I am qualified to practice medicine in one state, why would I not be qualified in another. I had trained in Massachusetts and had a license there. But when I came to California I had to start from scratch to apply again. And when I performed live surgery at a plastic surgery meeting in Georgia last year, I had to go through the same ridiculous process there. Isn’t it enough that I have a Massachusetts license? Did California and Georgia really need to see original copies of my college transcripts and diplomas from every school I attended?

I have a friend who was a full professor of surgery at Harvard. He became chairman of a program in Ohio, and it took them six months to get a license there. He was then selected to be chairman of a prestigious program in Illinois, and again he had to wait six months for a license. Imagine someone being chairman of a surgery department and surgery training program not allowed to operate! Well, better late than never.

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