Often times when a recruiter is talking to a physician about a hospital or clinic needing locum tenens coverage, the physician will ask, “Why does this hospital or clinic need coverage?” Here are the 5 most common explanations:
1. There is a growing demand – As most of you know, there is a growing concern of a physician shortage in the United States. Coupled with the increase of patients into the healthcare system, hospitals and clinics are using locum tenens physicians to assist with the increasing demand.
2. The physician is going on medical leave - Physicians are humans too. They get sick, need surgery or may go on maternity leave. A locum tenens physician can fill this gap as the attending doctor is on the mend.
3. The physician has resigned - Like any career sometimes it’s not the right fit for a physician or their family. It can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months for a hospital to find a permanent physician. A locum doctor continues to see patients during a hospital’s search for a permanent solution.
4. The physician is taking a vacation – Even doctors need to take time off. During this time, the hospital or clinic wants to keep the same level of care. Having a locum tenens doctor available can help deliver that care.
5. The physician is retiring – Approximately one third of physicians are 55 or older. As physicians retire, a locum tenens physician can assist with this transition.
Healthcare facilities are aware that they need to maintain a revenue stream and most of all provide quality and efficient care to their patients. Using a locum tenens physician helps alleviate that stress when the permanent physician is absent.