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The concept of reciprocity is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Reciprocity of a state medical license used to be a very common practice. Basically, if you held a license to practice medicine in one state, most or all of the other states would give you a medical license based on your existing state license. Back then it was quite easy for a physician to move around from state to state practicing medicine. Unfortunately, it also made it quite easy for unqualified or unlawful "physicians" to do the same.
If a person was practicing in a state with an illegally gotten license, it was too easy for that person to get a license in another state. Scary to think of anyone practicing medicine without a license traveling freely about the United State. In a strong effort to better protect patients, all of the state medical boards except for the Michigan Board of Medicine, have done away with the practice of reciprocity. Not even the Michigan Board of Osteopathic Medicine accepts reciprocity. In order to qualify for reciprocity in Michigan a Medical Doctor (M. D.) must have been continuously licensed without any disciplinary issues in another state for at least 10 years preceding applying for a Michigan License. Until just a few years ago, the Michigan Board of Medicine accepted reciprocity of the Puerto Rico License. The Michigan Board stopped accepting reciprocity of the Puerto Rico License after officials began an investigation into charges of fraud at the Puerto Rico Board of Medicine. Several members of the Puerto Rico Board of Medicine were charged with altering state board exam test scores and issuing fraudulent medical licenses in exchange for money. You can read more about the investigation of the Puerto Rico Board of Medicine in this previous post. Applying for a Michigan medical license based on reciprocity is a relatively quick and painless process. All you have to do is complete their application, pay the application fee of $150 and verify all past and present state medical licenses. It usually takes the Michigan Board of Medicine 6-10 weeks to process an application based on reciprocity and issue a Michigan License. All other states will require verification of your medical education, postgraduate training and examinations. Some states will also require verification of your specialty board certification, employment and/or staff privileges as well as wanting reference letters and possibly a background check. There is only one other instance when verifications of your medical education, postgraduate training and examinations are not required and that is when applying for a New Mexico Medical License based on Endorsement.
In most states Endorsement of a State Medical License simply means that you already hold a license in another state but has little to do with required verifications. It is just a way of qualifying for another state's license. However, the New Mexico Medical Board offers something similar to reciprocity which they call Endorsement of Another State License. As long as you are an MD and have been licensed and practicing in another state for at least 3 years without any disciplinary issues and are American Specialty Board Certified you can obtain a license to practice medicine in New Mexico without having to verify your medical school, postgraduate training or examinations. You will still be required to verify all past and present licenses, employment and staff privileges for the past 5 years and get recommendation letters from two fellow physicians to be granted a New Mexico License based on Endorsement. The New Mexico Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners does not accept endorsement of another state license in the same way. Be aware that the New Mexico Medical Board is the only board to use the term Endorsement this way. In all other cases Endorsement of another state license just means that you already have a license in another state.