After graduating from a residency or fellowship, doctors in training have numerous next options. One option that too often goes unconsidered is locum tenens work.
The term may be unfamiliar to some residents, but make no mistake: The use of locum tenens — or temporary — physicians is growing each year as healthcare facilities struggle to maintain or enhance their medical staffs.
In order to measure the value of locum tenens in health facilities across the country, as well as measure the number of physicians either currently working or planning to work locum tenens, Staff Care releases its annual “Survey of Temporary Physician Staffing Trends.” In the 2014 survey, numbers suggest that locum tenens physicians are being utilized more than ever in the United States.
According to the survey, the number of locum tenens physicians rose from 26,000 in 2002 to an estimated 40,000 in 2014. Also, the number of health facilities that use locum tenens physicians rose from 73.6 percent in 2012 to 90 percent in 2013.
The survey also shows how the growing attraction to locum tenens has extended to residents and fellows as well. In the 2014 survey, 16 percent of respondents said they first worked locum tenens right out of residency, compared to 14.2 percent in the 2013 survey. Locum tenens is becoming an increasingly appealing option for residents and fellows, as it gives them the opportunity to “test drive” different healthcare facilities prior to committing to a permanent position or allows doctors in training to work and make some extra money before starting a fellowship. However, the greatest benefit that physicians find in working locum tenens is the freedom and flexibility of their schedules. When you work locum tenens, you get the opportunity to work as much or as little as you want and to choose where you will be working based on the positions available. Other benefits physicians appreciate while working locums include:
- Political neutrality
- Professional development and personal relationships
- Lowering Medical School Debt
- Traveling the Country
- Gaining Experience
- Enjoying a flexible Schedule
- Malpractice Insurance Provided
- Travel/lodging Expenses Paid
- Working in a Variety of Environments Before Committing to a Permanent Position
- Medical Licensure Assistance
- Competitive Compensation and/or Supplemental Income
With the increasingly prevalent need for locum tenens in healthcare facilities across the country, now is the time for residents and fellows to begin looking into locum tenens career opportunities.
Want to receive more tips, articles and insight to help you plan and achieve your future medical career goals? Sign up to receive quarterly emails today.
For more information about locum tenens and how Staff Care can assist you in planning your future as a locum tenens physician, please visit our Locum Tenens Resource Center page and see all the information we have to offer. If you have questions or would like to know how to take the next step to begin working locum tenens email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.