Monday, September 24, 2012 Medical licensure: State lines pose daunting barriers

Several states have expedited licensing to make it easier for physicians to practice in multiple states.  But some doctors say more needs to be done.

Carolyne Krupa, September 17, 2012

Knoxville, Tenn., family physician Chris Sawyer, MD, has traveled the world providing volunteer medical care for patients in countries such as Haiti, Venezuela and Chile. But volunteering to treat needy patients in the United States isn’t as easy.

Dr. Sawyer often finds himself hamstrung by laws that require physicians to be licensed by individual state medical boards.

“America is kind of funny in some ways,” he said. “To be in family practice, I have to take a national board exam every seven years, but I can’t go 50 miles from here to practice in Kentucky. I can travel all over the world, but I can’t go to Kentucky.”

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