A new Florida law will make it easier for international healthcare professionals to practice medicine in the state. Here's what you should know. Mitrey/Pixabay

A new Florida law seeking to increase the number of doctors in the state is set to go into effect this on July 1. The law, formally known as SB-7016, makes it so the process for practicing medicine in the Sunshine State with an international medical degree will be much simpler.

One of the most significant changes is the removal of the three-year medical residency requirement, until now a prerequisite for the medical degree ratification process in the state which delayed the entry of thousands of healthcare professionals into the healthcare system, The Latin Times previously reported.

Now, the only additional requirement for aspiring healthcare practitioners asides from their degree is to have actively practiced medicine in any country during the four years prior to applying for a medical license in the States.

"It's a package of laws that opens invaluable doors for us to incorporate all these professionals into the United States healthcare system," said Julio Cesar Alfonso, president of the organization Solidarity without Borders (SSF), in an interview with America TeVe.

The new law is expected to add around 33,000 new professionals into Florida's healthcare system, according to La Nacion. Here's what you should know about applying.

Step-by-step guide to revalidate your medical degree under SB-7016

Aspiring international practitioners must first enroll in the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), the organization in charge of evaluating and orienting international doctors and graduates in the process of re-evaluating their degrees.

SB-7016 requires applicants to submit a request for an expedited license application to the state board of directors, also known as the Florida Board of Medicine. Once the application is submitted, the group will review whether the physician qualifies for accelerated licensure and submit a qualification letter to the Interstate Commission verifying or denying their eligibility.

Requirements to obtain the degree revalidation for international physicians in Florida

These are the requirements under SB-7016 for doctors to obtain their license through the Interstate Medical Licensing Compact:

  • Have a full and unrestricted medical license in a Compact member state that can serve as a State of Principal License (SPL). Here's a map with current participating states.

Applicants must also meet at least one of the following:

  • The doctor's primary residence is in the SPL.
  • At least 25% of the practice of medicine by physicians occurs in the SPL.
  • The doctor is contracted to practice medicine by a person, company or organization located in the SPL.
  • The doctor uses the SPL as his or her state of residence for U.S. Federal Income Tax purposes.
  • Have graduated from an accredited medical school or a school listed in the International Directory of Medical Education.

See more possible points of eligibility here.

Applicants are automatically ineligible for the program if they:

  • Have a history of disciplinary actions toward their medical license.
  • Have a criminal record.
  • Have a history of controlled substance actions for their medical license.
  • Are currently under ongoing judicial investigation.

Find out more about SB-7016 by visiting the state's Legislature website.

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