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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Board of Osteopathic Examiners is offering temporary licenses for out-of-state doctors.

Back in August, the board passed emergency rules that allowed this for doctors to come to Oklahoma.

When Gov. Kevin Stitt declared a State of Emergency earlier in the pandemic, 60 doctors came from other states to do this.

However, none have applied since the most recent rules passed.

“We have doctors that may come in who aren’t specifically treating COVID, but maybe they’re filling in for another doctor who’s gone to treat COVID,” Michael Leake, executive director of OSBOE, said.

When approved, doctors can get their temporary license in under 48 hours. They go through background checks and have to be in good standing with no disciplinary action aside from not paying license renewal fees.

“These licenses are obviously needed for emergency situations, given that COVID has an increase in surge right now. So, we will prioritize these license applications so we can get them done quickly,” Leake said.

The temporary licenses last until the board’s December meeting. That’s when they’ll reevaluate if they’re still necessary.

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Leake says this is a good opportunity for doctors in staffing agencies. 

As for the draw to Oklahoma, he says, “I think if we get to a point in our physician manpower has decreased substantially that the folks in the facilities and hospitals would need to look at incentives to bring doctors in.”

He also says there are certain restrictions.

“One thing that is prohibited strictly by this license is the ability to prescribe controlled drugs unless you go and obtain a permit from OBN or DEA. You can’t skip that,” he said. “Folks that have this temporary license are not permitted to issue recommendations for medical marijuana.”

Doctors with this license also can’t supervise mid-level providers.

For a link to the application, click here.

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