Medical Practice Act – The Legal Authority For Your Practice

Medical Practice Act – The Legal Authority For Your Practice

Summary and Contents

Most physicians don’t know about the contents of the Medical Practice Act unless and until encountering a problem with one of its licensing or disciplinary provisions.   Because the Act establishes the essential legal authority for your profession, it is useful to know what subjects are covered — especially some of the more important topics — such as grounds for discipline.  Ideally, of course, a physician should have sufficient awareness of these issues to stay ahead of requirements and avoid difficulties.

The following is a summary of topics covered in the Medical Practice Act.  For details, see the Act here.


(225 ILCS 60/1) Sec. 1Names the law the “Medical Practice Act of 1987.”

(225 ILCS 60/2) Sec. 2Definitions – lists definitions of terms used in Act, including “physician” and “chiropractic physician,” and describes scope of practice for chiropractic physicians.

(225 ILCS 60/2.5) Sec. 2.5  Address of record; email address of record –  requires licensees to provide street and email addresses to the Department.

(225 ILCS 60/3) Sec. 3. Licensure requirement– requires license to practice medicine or chiropractic in Illinois.

(225 ILCS 60/3.5) Sec. 3.5. Unlicensed practice– prescribes fines for unlicensed practice.

(225 ILCS 60/4) Sec. 4. Exemptions– lists exceptions to licensure requirement.

(225 ILCS 60/5) Sec. 5Peer review— Provides immunity from civil damages for any person providing peer review services.

(225 ILCS 60/6) Sec. 6. Local government may not regulate medicine.

(225 ILCS 60/7.1) Sec. 7 Medical Board, composition, terms, and functions of the Medical Board (225 ILCS 60/7.5) Complaint Committee – composition and function of the Medical Board Complaint Committee.

(225 ILCS 60/8.1) Sec. 8.1. Matters concerning advanced practice nurses must be presented to the Medical Licensing Board.

(225 ILCS 60/9) Sec. 9. Application for license– basic requirements, including current professional capacity for those not in practice or not in school for 2 years prior to application. See also Rules Section 1285.30 Programs of Chiropractic Education; Rules Section 1285.60(b); Rules Section 1285.70(d)

(225 ILCS 60/9.1) Sec. 9.1.  Fee Waivers –  allowed once between 2022-2024.

(225 ILCS 60/9.3) Section 9.3 Withdrawal of Application

(225 ILCS 60/9.5) Sec. 9.5. Social Security Number must be provided on the license application.

(225 ILCS 60/9.7) Sec. 9.7. Criminal history records background check must be submitted with the application.

(225 ILCS 60/10) Sec. 10. Rules – Gives Department authority to adopt rules to implement the Act.

(225 ILCS 60/11) Sec. 11. Minimum education standards. See also Rules Section 1285.30 Programs of Chiropractic Education.

(225 ILCS 60/12) Sec. 12. Examinations to be conducted according to Rules and must be passed within 3 years of application. See also Rules Section 1285.60(b) Examinations.

(225 ILCS 60/13) Sec. 13. Medical and osteopathic students may practice under the direct supervision of licensed M.D. or D.O faculty member.

(225 ILCS 60/14) Sec. 14. Chiropractic students may practice under the direct supervision of a licensed D.C. faculty member.

(225 ILCS 60/15) Sec. 15. Credit for Chiropractic Education– Additional course requirements for chiropractic physicians to get licensed as M.D. or D.O.

(225 ILCS 60/15.5) Sec. 15.5. International medical graduate physicians – After 2025, Department will set rules for limited license and pathway to full licensure.

(225 ILCS 60/16) Sec. 16. Ineligibility for examination after 5 failures. [Note: proposed rules will accept testing entity’s determination as to number of failures and passage of exam.]

(225 ILCS 60/17) Sec. 17. Temporary license for graduate or specialty training – requirements (used for medical and osteopathic residencies). Additional requirements found in rules.

(225 ILCS 60/18) Sec. 18. Visiting professor, visiting physician, or visiting temporary resident permits.

(225 ILCS 60/19) Sec. 19. Licensure by an endorsement from other jurisdiction. See also Section 1285.80(d).

(225 ILCS 60/20) Sec. 20. Continuing education. See also Rules Section 1285.110.

(225 ILCS 60/21) Sec. 21. License renewal; reinstatement of lapsed or inactive license; inactive status; disposition and collection of fees.

(225 ILCS 60/22) Sec. 22. Grounds for disciplinary action against a license– violations of Act; statute of limitations; compelled mental or physical examinations for applicants and licensed physicians.

(225 ILCS 60/22.2) Sec. 22.2. Prohibition against fee splitting. Includes exceptions to prohibition.

(225 ILCS 60/22.3) Sec. 22.3. Employment of allied health care personnel permitted.

(225 ILCS 60/22.5) Sec. 22.5. Suspension of license for failure to pay restitution in a Public Aid or criminal case.

(225 ILCS 60/23) Sec. 23. Mandatory reports relating to professional conduct and capacity (requires entities and insurers to report physician termination of privileges, professional liability settlements, judgments, and criminal convictions).

(225 ILCS 60/24) Sec. 24. Medical and chiropractic associations and physicians may report violations of the Act to the Department.

(225 ILCS 60/25) Sec. 25. Immediate suspension of license without hearing is permitted when state agency provides information that licensee is an immediate danger to the public.

(225 ILCS 60/26) Sec. 26. Advertising by licensees.  Section lists permissible advertising and requirement to include license title.

(225 ILCS 60/27) Sec. 27. Advertising waiver of copayments and deductibles– unlawful and subject to criminal sanctions.

(225 ILCS 60/28) Sec. 28. Use of titles “Doctor of Medicine” or “M.D.” by a person licensed in this State to practice medicine in all of its branches.

(225 ILCS 60/29) Sec. 29. Pre-treatment contracts by patients to release physician from liability are void.

(225 ILCS 60/30) Sec. 30. Exemption from civil liability for emergency care – adopts Good Samaritan Act.

(225 ILCS 60/31) Sec. 31. Exemption from civil liability for medical services in a free clinic.

(Section 32 Repealed)

(225 ILCS 60/33) Sec. 33. Purchasing and dispensing of drugs by medical and osteopathic physicians.

(225 ILCS 60/34) Sec. 34. Anti-discrimination–the Act shall not be administered to discriminate against any category of physician or college.

(225 ILCS 60/35) Sec. 35. Hearing Officers (administrative law judges) and their duties.

(225 ILCS 60/36) Sec. 36. Procedures for Department to file formal complaints commencing hearing process, alleging violations of this Act listed in Section 22; confidentiality of investigations.

(225 ILCS 60/37) Sec. 37. Procedures for formal disciplinary hearings; and temporary suspension of license where the Department finds a physician is an immediate danger to the public.

(225 ILCS 60/38) Sec. 38. Medical Board and Department granted subpoena power, including subpoena to testify and subpoena of patient records. Medical Board has authority to order the inspection of physician business premises.

(225 ILCS 60/39) Sec. 39. Department to provide stenographer and transcript of formal hearings.

(225 ILCS 60/40) Sec. 40. Procedures for Department to issue findings after formal hearings and notice to the licensee; Department required to publish a list of persons disciplined except were due to aging.

(225 ILCS 60/41) Sec. 41. Administrative review; certification of record – procedures for licensee to appeal final Department order to the circuit court of the county

(225 ILCS 60/42) Sec. 42. Final orders of Department – an official order with the seal of Department.

(225 ILCS 60/43) Sec. 43. Restoration of license from discipline.

(225 ILCS 60/44) Sec. 44. Medical Board must review and make recommendations in all matters involving the Medical Practice Act. The Secretary of IDFPR must file a report with the Secretary of State where he or she takes action against the recommendation of the Board. The IDFPR Secretary may order a rehearing if he or she believes substantial justice has not been done after a formal hearing.

(225 ILCS 60/45) Sec. 45. Formal hearings — Confidentiality of health information needed in a hearing – information may only be made a part of the record if needed for appeal or if patient consents.

(225 ILCS 60/46) Sec. 46. State liable to licensee for damages if disciplinary order entered without a reasonable basis.

(225 ILCS 60/47) Sec. 47. Administrative Procedure Act is incorporated into the Medical Practice Act (provides general procedures for administrative agencies) and permits the Department to send all disciplinary notices to licensee’s street address OR email address of record

(225 ILCS 60/48) Sec. 48. All licenses issued prior to the passing of this Medical Practice Act of 1987 are valid and subject to the Act.

(225 ILCS 60/49) Sec. 49. Definition of the practice of medicine (including chiropractic medicine); includes manipulation or adjustment of osseous or articular structures as an act within the definition; includes Department authority to issue Cease and Desist Order for unlicensed practice.

(225 ILCS 60/49.5) Sec. 49.5. Telemedicine. Requires full licensure for any person practicing medicine via telephonic or electronic transmission on a patient in Illinois and spells out exemptions.

(225 ILCS 60/50) Sec. 50. Any person who practices medicine or chiropractic medicine without a license is subject to criminal sanctions as provided in Section 59.

(225 ILCS 60/51) Sec. 51. Any chiropractic physician who treats patients with drugs or operative surgery is subject to criminal sanctions as provided in Section 59.

(225 ILCS 60/52) Sec. 52. Requires that any person, including a chiropractic physician, who is not an Illinois licensed M.D. or D.O., and who advertises treatment of human ailments, must attach to his or her name a word or words indicating the kind of practice he or she is licensed to pursue in this State; for example, must use “D.C.” or “chiropractic physician” after the chiropractic physician’s name.

(225 ILCS 60/53) Sec. 53. Any person who obtains a fee on the representation that they can permanently cure an incurable condition is subject to criminal sanctions as provided in Section 59.

(225 ILCS 60/54) Sec. 54. A person who holds himself or herself out to treat human ailments under a name other than his or her own, or by impersonation of any physician, is subject to criminal sanctions as provided in Section 59, except for entities such as partnerships and corporations. [This section still allows the formation of partnerships, professional limited liability companies, medical corporations, and professional service corporations.]

(225 ILCS 60/54.2) Sec. 54.2. Physician delegation of authority to licensed and unlicensed persons – this section specifies conditions required for physicians to delegate patient care tasks to licensed and unlicensed personnel in the physician office.

(225 ILCS 60/54.5) Sec. 54.5. Medical and osteopathic physician delegation of authority to physician assistants and advanced practice nurses. [not applicable to chiropractic physicians]

(225 ILCS 60/54.6) Sec. 54.6. Registered nurse administration of limited levels of anesthesia.

(225 ILCS 60/55) Sec. 55. Any person who holds himself or herself out to treat human ailments by any system or method of treatment other than that for which they hold a valid license shall be subject to criminal sanctions as provided in Section 59.

(225 ILCS 60/56) Sec. 56. Any person who employs fraud or deception in applying for or renewing a license under this Act, or in passing any examination, is subject to criminal sanctions as provided by Section 59.

(225 ILCS 60/57) Sec. 57. Use of forged diploma– authorizes criminal sanctions.

(225 ILCS 60/58) Sec. 58. Any person who provides false information to the Department in an application, complaint or testimony shall be sentenced for perjury [criminal sanctions authorized].

(225 ILCS 60/59) Sec. 59. Specifies the violations that are classified as felonies or misdemeanor.  Any person who violates for the first time Section 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, or 56 of this Act is guilty of a Class 4 felony. Any person who violates for the first time Section 27 of this Act is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. Other violations classified as Class 3 felonies.

(225 ILCS 60/60) Sec. 60. All fines shall be deposited in the Professional Regulation Evidence Fund.

(225 ILCS 60/61) Sec. 61. Unlicensed practice– declared inimical to the public welfare, and the IDFPR Secretary of the Department, the Attorney General of the State of Illinois, the State’s Attorney of any County in the State, or any resident citizen may apply for an injunction in the circuit court to enjoin such practice.

(225 ILCS 60/62) Sec. 62. No proceedings to revoke or suspend any license shall abate by reason of the passage of this Act. (Applied to cases in progress in 1987 during passage of the Medical Practice Act in its current form).

(225 ILCS 60/63) Sec. 63. Reinstatement of existing licenses. All certificates, permits, and licenses in effect on the date this amendatory Act of 1996 becomes a law, and issued pursuant to the Medical Practice Act of 1987, as amended, are reinstated for the balance of the term for which last issued. All rules in effect on the date this Act becomes law and promulgated pursuant to the Medical Practice Act of 1987, as amended, shall remain in full force and effect on the effective date of this amendatory Act of 1996 without being promulgated again by the Department, except to the extent any such rule or regulation is inconsistent with any provision of this Act.

(225 ILCS 60/64) Sec. 64. Sexually Transmissible Disease Control Act. No licensee under this Act may be disciplined for providing expedited partner therapy in accordance with the Illinois Sexually Transmissible Disease Control Act.

(225 ILCS 60/65) Sec. 65.  Annie LeGere Law; epinephrine auto-injector  A licensee may not be subject to discipline for providing a standing order for auto-injector. [not applicable to chiropractic physicians]

(225 ILCS 60/66) Sec. 66.  Temporary permit for health care.  Allows the Department to issue a temporary permit under certain conditions to a medical or osteopathic physician licensed in another state who will be working with a facility to provide abortion services [not applicable to chiropractic physicians].

About Author

ICS Staff

The Illinois Chiropractic Society staff works collaboratively on many topics to bring the most comprehensive and relevant information to our members. We have over 60 years of chiropractic experience and understand the heartbeat of the profession. We all look forward to providing relevant information to our members for years to come.

Corporate Club Members

Article Categories