Expedited Temporary Licensure Enacted for Active Military and Spouses

The Alabama Legislature has passed a law that authorizes free, expedited 12-month licenses for qualified active military personnel and their spouses.

The temporary physician and assistant-to-physician licenses allow the practitioners to begin practicing in Alabama while they apply for a permanent license or to work while on a short assignment. A full license must be applied for within 12 months of the issuance of the temporary license.

The Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners and Medical Licensure Commission implemented rules and procedures for the new license type and issued its first Temporary Military License on July 29, 2021.

Source: Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners and Medical Licensure Commission Medical Digest, Fall 2021

Medical Board of California Issues Annual Report

The Medical Board of California has released its Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2020–2021, detailing a variety of statistics and trends about physicians in the state.

California now has 145,318 actively licensed physicians, with just over 4,000 new physician licenses issued during the fiscal year. When inactive, retired or disabled licenses are added to the total, the number of licensed physicians in California rises to 152,568.

Of those practicing in California, 118,860 have an in-state address, and 26,458 have an out-of-state address.

The Board received 10,103 complaints against physicians in 2020–2021, down from 10,868 in 2019–2020 and 11,407 in 2018–2019. It opened 1,063 investigations and closed 1,766 investigations during 2020–2021.

Source: Medical Board of California 2020–2021 Annual Report

New Training Requirements in Michigan Aimed at Addressing Implicit Bias in Health Care

Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has adopted new administrative rules that require implicit bias training as part of the knowledge and skills necessary for the licensure or registration of health care professionals in the state.

The rules require new applicants for licensure or registration to have completed two hours of implicit bias training within the five years immediately preceding issuance of the new license or registration. Those renewing an already existing license are now required to complete one hour of implicit bias training for each year of their license or registration cycle. The annual training curriculum can cover a variety of topics related to implicit bias but must incorporate strategies to reduce disparities and inequities.

All professions licensed or registered under the Michigan Public Health Code, except for veterinary medicine, are required to take implicit bias training. Michigan currently licenses more than 400,000 health care professionals.

Michigan’s new rules define implicit bias as “an attitude or internalized stereotype that affects an individual’s perception, action, or decision making in an unconscious manner and often contributes to unequal treatment of people based on race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, age, disability, or other characteristic.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive directive last year, upon recommendation by the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, ordering LARA to begin promulgating rules that incorporated the new implicit bias training requirement.

“Today’s new training guidelines will help us mitigate the impacts of implicit bias and ensure every patient in Michigan receives the best possible care,” Governor Whitmer said. “These rules will save lives and improve health outcomes for generations of Michiganders, especially those who have been historically and systemically discriminated against. They will make Michigan safer, healthier, and more just.”

Under the new rules, implicit bias training may be sponsored by a nationally or state recognized health-related organization, an accredited college or university, a state or federal agency, a continuing education program approved by a state licensing board, or an organization specializing in diversity, equity, and inclusion issues.

Source: State of Michigan news release, June 1, 2021

Nevada Board’s Annual Report Shows Physician Workforce Trends

The ratio of physicians to 100,000 in population in Nevada has increased steadily over the last decade, according to statistics from the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners 2020 Annual Report. The ratio has increased to 186 physicians per 100,000 population, an increase from 181 physicians per 100,000 population in 2019.

From 2011 through 2015, the ratio averaged between 170 and 174. In 2016, the ratio increased to 177; and in 2017, the ratio increased to 178.

The total number of licensed physicians in the state has increased to 10,652, according to the report, compared to 7,168 in 2011.

The number of physician assistants in Nevada increased significantly in 2020, experiencing 9.8% growth. The total number of licensed physician assistants in Nevada is now 1,046, compared to 488 in 2011.

In 2020, the Board opened 501 investigations, closed 620 investigations and imposed 25 disciplinary actions against physicians.

Source: Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners 2020 Annual Report

Ohio Now a Member of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

Senate Bill 6, signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine on June 29, 2021, has authorized the State Medical Board of Ohio to enter into the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. Ohio is the 35th member of the Compact.

The Board has created internal work groups to assist as it now begins the work of implementing systems and processes for the new medical licensure path in the state. Senate Bill 6 gives the Board until September 29, 2022, to implement the new system of licensure and begin processing and issuing licenses through the Compact. Updates from the work groups are being shared at the Board’s monthly meeting.

Source: State Medical Board of Ohio eNews, September 2021

State Medical Board of Ohio Annual Report Released

Statistics from the State Medical Board of Ohio’s latest annual report show that its population of health care licensees continues to grow significantly. The Board’s Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Report shows that the number of total licensees in the state has grown to 99,442, compared to 86,327 in fiscal year 2018.

The total includes more than 54,000 allopathic and osteopathic physicians, more than 12,000 massage therapists, more than 9,000 respiratory care professionals and nearly 5,000 physician assistants. Other licensee groups in the state range from acupuncturists and dietitians to radiologist assistants.

The Board received 6,363 complaints in fiscal year 2021, compared to 7,343 in 2020, 6,485 in 2019 and 5,553 in 2018. It closed 7,236 complaints in 2021, compared to 5,777 in 2020, 5,612 in 2019 and 5,783 in 2018. The Board completed 1,944 investigations in fiscal year 2021.

Source: State Medical Board of Ohio Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Report