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Florida's Live Healthy Plan | New Law for Physicians

April 22, 2024
Est read time: 3 minutes

Will the State of Florida have enough physicians to provide care to its citizens in the future?

Results from the 2023 Physician Workforce Survey Report, suggest the answer may be no. The survey, completed by Florida licensed physicians when they renew their medical license, indicates, “Statewide, 35.82% of Florida’s 67 counties have a per capita rate of 10 or fewer physicians per 10,000 population.” 

According to Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples), our state continues to attract families, businesses, and seniors at a rate of 300,000 new residents annually.

"Unfortunately, these new Floridians are not bringing their healthcare providers with them. Our comprehensive Live Healthy proposals will help grow Florida’s healthcare workforce, increase access, and incentivize innovation, so Floridians can have more options and opportunities to live healthy here in the Sunshine State.”

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo

Consider, too, that most physicians practice in urban areas while few provide care in the rural areas of Florida. But a new law that went into effect on March 21, 2024, part of the Florida Legislature’s “Live Healthy,” legislation decreases barriers to physician licensure, including those trained and licensed in other countries that would not otherwise be eligible for a medical license in Florida.  

Live Healthy | What Florida's New Legislation Includes

SB 1600 creates the MOBILE Act, requiring the Department of Health (DOH) to issue a license or certificate by endorsement within seven (7) days of receiving all required documents for out-of-state healthcare providers moving to Florida. The new law, among many other things:

  1. Aims to increase access to care for patients by increasing residency slots in Florida with the hope that physicians will stay in Florida when they complete their programs.
  2. It also provides an avenue of licensure to physicians with Florida Medical Faculty Certificates who have had the license for three (3) years and have practiced using the certificate for the three (3) years before applying for an unrestricted license.
  3. Allows internationally trained physicians an avenue of licensure that did not exist before to increase the number of physicians in Florida. 

Typically, internationally trained physicians lack the number of years of residency, or the training is not equivalent to the training provided in the United States that is required for licensure in Florida.  An internationally trained physician, without the required residency training, may become licensed in Florida now, if the following requirements are met: 

  • Has a medical license in another country;
  • Has a valid ECFMG certificate, including passage of the Commission’s examination;
  • Has practiced medicine consecutively in the four years before applying for a Florida license; 
  • Has completed a medical residency or postgraduate training in another country; and 
  • Has an offer of employment to practice medicine in Florida. 

Live Healthy | How to Navigate the Licensure Process

Even though the new law opens doors for internationally trained physicians to become licensed in Florida, the road to licensure isn't easy. The licensure process can be difficult to navigate and responding inaccurately could delay the application review process.

Further, the Florida Board of Medicine has the authority to place a physician meeting the requirements above under restrictions or place conditions on the medical license, such as requiring the applicant to practice under another physician’s supervision for a period of time. 

If you're unsure how to navigate the licensure process, you need an experienced healthcare legal team to help. Howell, Buchan & Strong's legal team has over 30 years of experience providing legal services to healthcare providers seeking licensure in Florida.  Our firm works with board office staff and agency attorneys and is highly experienced in appearing before licensing Boards with clients.

Ready to practice in the State of Florida? Let Howell, Buchan & Strong assist you in obtaining your Florida healthcare license.  

Have Questions? Let's Talk

Contact the law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong at 850-877-7776 to set up a FREE no-obligation consultation. Our firm represents physicians, nurses, psychologists, and other licensed professionals statewide.
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