A new survey released by Staff Care has shed some important light on the career needs and preferences of today's family medicine resident physicians. Among an assortment of helpful findings, the survey shows how the prospect of locum tenens work can be particularly beneficial to these physicians-in-training.
The survey, entitled "Staff Care's 2015 Survey of Family Medicine Residents," is believed to be the first published report to focus on family medicine residents and their career preferences, particularly in regard to locum tenens career opportunities.
Offering data gathered at the 2015 American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Conference for Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City, the survey strongly suggests a general lack of awareness of the advantages of locum tenens work among today's family medicine resident population. This finding is made all the more important by the fact that locum work is particularly well-suited to the kinds of opportunities these residents seek.
> Download Staff Care's 2015 Survey of Family Medicine Residents here.
Among the survey's findings:
- As a group, 50 percent of the surveyed family medicine resident physicians stated they'd "put little to no time into considering job offers" after their residencies.
- About one in five family medicine residents said they were not familiar with the term "locum tenens;" about two in five were "somewhat familiar."
- More than half of all family medicine resident physicians surveyed said they'd consider jobs in a wide number of locations, with relatively small numbers (less than one in five) determined to work in a specific location.
- More than half of respondents said they'd be open to "test driving" various practice styles and geographic locations by working temporary assignments after their residency.
Locum Work a Benefit for (but Mostly Unknown to) Family Medicine Residents
What do these findings mean for today's family medicine resident physicians? It tells us that a great deal of residents are prepared to seek work in other locations, and are willing to take on temporary assignments, yet relatively few of them are familiar with the concept of locum tenens work.
Locum tenens doctors and practitioners are the professionals who fill in temporarily when healthcare facilities or employers lack the necessary personnel needed to treat their patient population. Such shortages can arise from physician leaves-of-absence, sicknesses, seasonal fluctuations, or other unexpected situations. Thus, locum work represents precisely what many of the nation's family medicine resident physicians seek — opportunities to work in diverse locations, for limited periods, in order to accumulate experience and build skills.
It makes sense, then, that family medicine residents — and residents in any physician specialty, for that matter — would benefit from building an early relationship with companies like Staff Care, which specialize in finding the right locum tenens positions for physicians of all specialties and experience levels. As the nation's leading locum tenens staffing company (and a company of AMN Healthcare), we offer locum tenens positions in all 50 states, including exclusive opportunities not offered by other agencies.
Family medicine residents (and all primary care residents) are particularly well-positioned to enjoy the advantages of locum work, the survey points out.
"Staffing firms such as Staff Care receive more requests for primary care physicians, particularly family medicine physicians, than for any other type of doctor," the survey authors explain. "Primary care physicians have been Staff Care’s most requested staffing assignment for five consecutive years, including 2015, and that trend is not likely to abate soon."
If you're a medical resident or fellow interested in the benefits of working locum assignments, we encourage you to sign up for Staff Care's "residents and fellows" program to receive special tips, thought leadership and job alerts customized to your interests and preferences. Even if your date of graduation is years away, it's never too early to begin charting your future career path.