In Staff Care’s 2015 Survey of Temporary Physician Staffing Trends survey, which polled 2,087 physicians who work locum tenens, we concluded that a growing number of younger physicians just out of training are practicing as a locum tenens physician. According to the survey, 21 percent of physicians surveyed said they began working as locum tenens immediately after completing their training, which is up from 16 percent in 2013 and 14 percent in 2012.
Locum tenens is becoming an increasingly attractive option for younger physicians as it allows them to test out different work environments and gain experience before committing to a permanent position. According to Staff Care president Sean Ebner, “Newly trained doctors are seek alternatives to traditional private practice, and locum tenens offers them an avenue to explore these alternatives,” he said, adding, “It’s a way to ‘test drive’ a practice before they buy.”
Today, Staff Care estimates there are some 44,000 physicians nationwide who practice on a locum tenens basis, up from 26,000 12 years ago. Locum tenens physicians now represent about 6 percent of the physician workforce. As a locum tenens physician, you have the ability to work temporary assignments ranging from one day to over a year, and can focus on patient care rather than billing and other bureaucratic duties you would encounter in a permanent setting.
The Staff Care survey also included responses from 259 healthcare facility managers in order to gauge their use of locum tenens physicians. According to survey results, 91 percent of respondents indicated they had used a locum tenens physician at least once in the last 12 months, and 42 percent said they are currently looking for locum tenens physicians. So locum tenens physicians are increasing in demand in healthcare facilities as well, with primary care physicians being the most in demand.
Working as a locum tenens physician is a great option whether you are just out of training or an experienced physician looking for a change of environment. With its increasing popularity, more healthcare facilities all over the country are experiencing a demand for locum tenens physicians. Additionally, locum tenens physicians have the luxury of choosing their assignments, which can be both short and long term. See the many benefits of working as a locum tenens physician and decide if it is the right option for you.
If you are a younger physician finishing your training and would like to know more about locum tenens, please visit our Residents & Fellows page to see all of the resources we have available.
For complete results of Staff Care’s 2015 Survey of Temporary Physician Staffing Trends, please call (800) 685-2272.