Survey: Demand for Locum Tenens Physicians & Clinicians Reaches All-Time High

Survey: Demand for Locum Tenens Physicians & Clinicians Reaches All-Time High

Physicians and clinicians: If you're seeking new career opportunities, the prospect of finding quality locum tenens assignments has never been better. According to the newly released 2017 Staff Care Survey of Temporary Physician Staffing Trends, more healthcare facilities than ever are looking to hire locum tenens physicians, NPs and PAs (as well as psychologists, dentists, CRNAs, among other clinicians) to supplement their permanent teams.

Specifically, a whopping 94% of healthcare facility managers reported staffing locum tenens physicians during the last 12 months, up from 74% in 2012, reports the survey: "This is the highest number of healthcare facilities using locum tenens providers that Staff Care has recorded in any of its surveys," the survey authors note.

In addition, almost half — 47% — of healthcare facility managers report that they're currently seeking locum tenens physicians, up from 39% in 2012. "This is the highest number of healthcare facilities actively seeking locum tenens providers at any given time that Staff Care has recorded in any of its annual surveys," the authors add.

Just over three-fourths (76%) of healthcare facility managers "said they use at least one locum tenens physician in a typical month," the authors add. That's up from 73% in 2014. On top of that, about one-fourth (24%) of administrators said they use four or more locum tenens doctors per month, "up from 18% in 2014."

And, while the greatest amount of opportunity exists for locum tenens physicians working in primary care and hospital care, demand is also growing for locum tenens NPs and PAs, the authors note. "26% of healthcare facility managers said they used locum tenens NPs or PAs sometime in the last 12 months," which is up from and 9.5% in 2012, they note.

Unprecedented Opportunity, Benefits for Locum Tenens Physicians & Clinicians

As high as these numbers are, they're not all that surprising, and follow a decades-long trend of an increase in the use of locum tenens physicians and clinicians to cover staffing shortfalls. It's also well known that as the number of insured Americans has skyrocketed in recent years, demand for doctors and practitioners has risen along with it.

For physicians and clinicians looking to take advantage of the benefits of locum tenens work to further their careers, this means unprecedented new levels of opportunity. And those locum benefits are significant, including:

  • Working a medical career without the hassles
  • Avoiding burnout by breaking up assignments according to your preferred schedule
  • Managing medical school debt, or saving for retirement, depending upon your preferences/career status
  • The option to sample a variety of practice settings before deciding on a full-time setting
  • The freedom to travel across the U.S. (with travel expenses paid!)

(Check out this recent article from the Locums Link Blog for more insight into the benefits of locum tenens work, from the mouths of actual healthcare professionals who have embraced the locums lifestyle.)

The survey did more than reach out to America's healthcare employers, too; physicians and clinicians were also contacted for their takes on working locum assignments. Some interesting facts to emerge from this sample group are:

  • More than 22% of locum tenens physicians surveyed said they were actively seeking permanent positions, "suggesting some physicians may use locum tenens as a means of finding a permanent position."
  • "Locum tenens physicians are widely accepted by colleagues, administrators, and patients when on temporary assignments," with fewer than 2% saying that this was not the case.
  • At more than 51%, more locum tenens physicians have signed up for than in earlier years (specifically, 43% in 2013).

This is just the tip of the iceberg: The full survey goes into much greater detail on the career opportunities facing locum tenens physicians and clinicians. We invite you to check it out here, or by clicking the button below.

View the Full Survey

If you're seeking locum tenens physician or clinician career opportunities, we invite you to view all locum opportunities here, or contact us directly via this form.

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