By Jeff Waddill Sep 29, 2011
Demand for locum tenens radiation oncologists, in 2012 and beyond, is expected to increase significantly. A recent study by the MD Anderson Cancer Center found demand for radiation therapy is expected to increase 10 times faster than the supply of radiation oncologists. Reasons for this trend point to people living longer, advances in cancer diagnostics that identify cancer sooner, and a return to the use of radiation in cancer treatment from years when other treatments were favored.
This increase in demand has caused several favorable advantages for Radiation Oncologists who choose to work locum tenens assignments and network with a locum tenens agency. Here are some of the benefits:
Many locum tenens assignments for radiation oncologists are with healthcare centers and systems that are expanding and excelling. These thriving practices are typically operating with the newest technology and trying out the latest treatments. A practice with expanded services creates more opportunities for physicians to add new skills and more chances to move from short term assignments into full time ones, should they so choose.
Small rural areas are also seeing an increase in demand for locum tenens as they find it more and more difficult to attract and retain newer graduates. Kenneth Klein, M.D. tells us, “My current group invited me to join them in 2004 after one of their physician-employees left, I think because either he or his wife wanted to be in a bigger city. And in fact, my group may need me for yet another year because a young fellow who was recruited to replace both me and another over-60 part-timer has decided to take a post at the university medical center where he was trained. Based on this, I would think that there will be a continuing demand for locum tenens physicians in the smaller regional cancer centers that are located in small communities some distance away from larger metropolitan areas.”
A greater number of centers are supplementing their staff with nurse practitioners and physician assistants to support physicians and patient care. This increases the amount of time physicians can focus on the clinical aspects of their work, and for locum tenens, ensures a smoother transition into a new assignment.
More locum tenens assignments for radiation oncologists are opening up as centers look to cut down on patient wait times for radiation therapy in an effort to be more competitive and improve quality of care. Longer wait times are driven by a higher demand for radiation as a treatment for cancer but also by the need to comply with new technologies such as electronic medical records (EMR). Locum tenens staffing is an efficient and readily available option to offset the time needed to source, recruit, hire and relocate a FTE particularly if the staffing need may be temporary in nature.
Locum tenens radiation oncologist assignments offer good quality of life. Almost all assignments are from 8am to 5pm with a routine schedule for those that prefer quiet in their off time. And for those who want to earn more per day, on-call assignments, weekend shifts, and overtime can be worked in to some assignments.
Are radiation oncology assignments considered in-demand among your network of peers? If so, what are the reasons mentioned, and if not, what do you think are the in-demand assignments for 2012? Share your thoughts in the comments, or click here to search locum tenens radiation oncology jobs now.
Tania Cotter is Regional Vice President of Staff Care.