Why Healthcare Providers Employ Locum Tenens Doctors

At the moment, many hospitals and clinics are filled with locum doctors from other areas, as health facilities struggle to find healthcare workers for their patients.

Why Locum Doctors Are In Demand

Below are some of the reasons why locum tenens companies are experiencing such demand for locum doctors:

  • Professional doctors usually enjoy months of leave and training, which creates demand for locum general practitioners.
  • Locums can also be used to fill the gap when healthcare facilities have an increasing problem with recruiting sufficient professionals, for example in the health sector currently.
  • By adopting a locum tenens working model, facilities and recruiters create more career opportunities and greater flexibility for doctors and their families.
  • Today, many young doctors are looking for a job that offers a more flexible work environment than the traditional doctor-patient relationship, according to the American Medical Association.
  • Some hospitals and medical groups tend to simply have more workload for their doctors and so influence their doctors to take the allotted leave. Others wisely use locum tenens providers to ensure that doctors can not only take leave as promised but also to prevent doctors from burning out.
  • Health care experts point out that in cases where health facilities do not have enough doctors or are looking for more, they can use locum tenens providers to maintain service and revenue.
  • Around seventy percent of healthcare facilities say they have replaced doctors in their facilities who have left the facility with locum tenens doctors, most of whom have moved elsewhere.
  • Some healthcare facility managers say they are using locum tenens to provide for doctors on leave to meet rising patient demand and to supplement staff at peak times such as during flu season.
  • Many doctors prefer it. As the hired physician model replaces practice ownership, doctors have more room to change jobs, creating more flexibility in terms of job security, health insurance coverage, and compensation.
  • According to the American Medical Association, about 52,000 doctors in the United States work as locum tenens, about 6% of all practicing physicians.
  • According to a recent survey by the American College of Physicians and Surgeons, more than a third of U.S. health care providers said they had used locum doctors in the past 12 months.
  • Doctors in locum tenens are being used to meet the growing patient demand caused by a number of factors, including improved access to healthcare and the availability of high quality, affordable healthcare services.
  • Supply and demand for doctors in the USA continue to pose a challenge to healthcare institutions and are likely to continue to increase in the future. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) predicts that the US will have a deficit of 121,900 doctors by 2032, including a shortage of 1,000 to 2,500 doctors per million people.

The Future of doctor recruitment

Simply put, the supply of doctors will lag behind demand over the next decade. The majority of existing physicians are aging, and more than half of all practitioners in the US are over 55 years old.

Many doctors are expected to retire in the next 10 to 15 years, further exacerbating the shortage of skilled and experienced doctors. So it is likely that the flexible approach of locum tenens will remain appealing to those looking to recruit doctors to meet the demand in their healthcare facilities.


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