“We’re recruiting doctors who were full-time doctors, permanent doctors. There are a lot of people making that switch,” she says. “I think there’s not only increased demand for patient care, but there’s also a shortage of physicians out there willing to accept full-time jobs because now they see this other way of life and they’re willing to do that.”
Dr. Manning says that quality locum firms can take advantage of that situation by continually recruiting the strongest physicians.
“When you find a good company providing you physicians that want to work and do their job and are patient-friendly, you just need to go with it,” he says. “The only problem, is you’re going to pay more for it.”
Jason Daeffler, a marketing director for Barton, adds that the physician shortage in the coming years will only exacerbate the issue of staffing issues at hospitals. He says supplementing full-time hospitalists with locum doctors will offer HM group leaders the scheduling flexibility needed to maintain optimal coverage levels and maximize revenue generation. HM groups without that leverage could struggle to cover all shifts as effectively, he adds.
Plus, physicians who take on locum tenens work will create financial flexibility for themselves at a time when payrolls are under tremendous pressure from C-suite executives looking to trim budgets. Individually, each factor might not be as powerful, but when combined, Stolgitis says the stage is set for continued success.
“You’re going to see more and more locum tenens in the future,” she says. “Whether you’re looking at the retiree population, physicians right out of residency or fellowship training, or someone who’s been working two or three years…they are beginning to see locum tenens as a better lifestyle for them.”
Richard Quinn is a freelance writer in New Jersey.
- Locum Leaders. 2012 Hospitalist Locum Tenens Survey. Locum Leaders website. Available at http://www.locumleaders.com/assets/downloads/2012_hospitalist_locum_tenens_survey_locum_leaders.pdf. Accessed Oct. 1, 2012.
- Staff Care. 2011 Survey of Temporary Physician Staffing Trends. Staff Care website. Available at: http://www.staffcare.com/pdf/2011_Survey_of_Temporary_Physician_Staffing_Trends.pdf. Accessed Sept. 28, 2012.
- Nemec DK, Rand LD. Finding Private Locums. 1st edition. MDPA Locums Inc.: Punta Gordo, Fla.: 2006.