By Jesse Sanchez May 11, 2011
Emergency room physicians, especially those in the Midwest, are in great demand, and that demand will only increase in 2012. The recent recession and its resulting decline in employment means people are less likely to seek preventive and primary care for their health challenges. Instead, they wait longer to see a doctor and come to the ER when problems become severe. This trend is expected to continue in 2012 and has caused hospitals to shift resources to focus more on ER physician staff.
This shift in resources to ER departments is more noticeable in the Midwest than any other region, given the greater demand for physicians already experienced in the region. On the bright side, this area is attractive to locum ER physicians for several reasons:
1. A greater demand for physicians in the Midwest means that more facilities offer assignments for both American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) and Primary Care Board Certified (PCBC) physicians. ABEM physicians can find the specialized high-trauma level assignments that complement their extensive ER training and experience. PCBC assignments allow physicians to ease into ER work with lower level trauma centers from other specialties and decide whether ER is the right work for them.
2. A greater demand for physicians in the Midwest also impacts the hospital’s willingness to wait for physicians to obtain a state license during the credentialing process. Many times the hospitals will start credentialing a candidate even though the license has not been completed. Midwest hospitals might also be willing to pay more for those services, meaning the potential for higher assignment pay in the Midwest, compared to other regions, is possible.
3. Flexibility is important to locum tenens physicians and the Midwest offers a greater amount, when compared to other regions. Physicians are more likely to have longer assignments, if they so choose, and the flexibility to have shorter assignments. Shorter assignments allow physicians to fill in schedule gaps from other assignments, take on additional shifts on their days off from a permanent practice, or schedule around important life events.
4. The Midwest offers the greatest amount of flexibility to work in urban versus rural areas compared to other regions. With more demand across the board, ER physicians can choose the location setting best suited to their needs. The Midwest offers opportunities for large hospital ER assignments in urban areas, to smaller hospital facilities in rural areas.
When asked about working ER locum tenens physician assignments in the Midwest Dr. Jay DeSilva had this to say. “The Midwest is a great place to work. People respond well to challenges there and are appreciative of the care physicians provide. There is more freedom, autonomy, and flexibility to practice medicine with less rigid structures and more support from patients and administrators. There also seems to be less focus on paperwork and administration, and greater use of electronic medical records.
Are ER physician assignments in the Midwest considered in-demand among your network of peers? If so, what are the reasons mentioned? If not, what do you think are the in-demand assignments for 2012?
Jesse Sanchez is Regional Vice-President of Staff Care.