Locum tenens grows exponentially, including across Behavioral Health

Last year, Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) predicted a 3-year, 46% increase in locum tenens, indicating that the locum business model continues to gain popularity for providers and healthcare facilities alike. In fact, SIA reported that locum tenens was the only healthcare staffing segment to experience positive median revenue growth at 15%, and they expect an additional 7% growth in 2024. All around, the benefits are many for providers and facilities, which drives the upward trend in locum tenens participation and usage.

For providers in the behavioral health segment, this upward trend is great news. Why? Because the demand for qualified behavioral health professionals is huge, due to a shortage of doctors and an increase in need.

In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), an astounding 1 out of every 5 Americans today faces mental health issues, thus driving a growing demand for behavioral health professionals. And because there’s a shortage of trained providers in the United States, healthcare organizations are increasingly turning to locum tenens to fill employment gaps. In short, there are behavioral health jobs to be filled.

Why should behavioral health providers work in locum tenens?

From adult psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry to geriatric psychiatry and neurology – locum tenens in behavioral health are in HIGH DEMAND.

If you’re a behavioral health provider and want to enjoy the perks of working in a locum assignment, locum tenens may be the right choice for you.

The top 6 reasons locum tenens is a great option for behavioral health providers:

  1. Diversity of experience. As a locum tenens psychiatrist, you can gain experience in ways that might not be available from fulltime staff positions. For example, if you’re just starting out in your career or are mid-level and are not getting enough variety in your current job, working a locums assignment can help you beef up your CV. Because open jobs can pop up at any time, in any location, you can choose assignments in various settings and locations, allowing you to encounter an assortment of patient populations, cases, and facility models. This exposes providers to an array of clinical experiences, offering exceptional opportunities for professional development. Also, if you’ve been in a fulltime job for a while and see no advancement opportunities in sight, locums may give you the promotion qualifications you’re looking for.


  1. It’s a faster, easier alternative to setting up your own (brick and mortar) private practice. For many psychiatrists, private practice is the ideal (and desired) career choice. But setting up your own practice comes at a steep price, because you have to do literally everything yourself. From finding and building your clientele, to advertising and marketing, to billing and other arduous paperwork, starting and running a private practice can truly be a lot of work.As a locum provider, you can still work independently, picking and choosing assignments that fit your schedule. You won’t have to worry about the administrative aspects of building and running a private practice, and someone else handles the administrative paperwork. So it’s like having all of the perks of being independent – without the hassles of opening your own office. You can rely on a locum tenens agency, like Consilium Staffing, to handle your bookings, travel, logistics, and more.
  1. To combat “compassion fatigue.” According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “compassion fatigue” is “stress resulting from exposure to traumatized individuals, or secondary traumatic stress, burnout, and/or physical and mental exhaustion that providers can experience from working with certain patients.” Behavioral health workers have reported reduced feelings of empathy and sensitivity from treating the same patients long-term – especially patients who struggle mentally and emotionally.If you’ve experienced “compassion fatigue” and need a solution, consider working as a locum tenens provider. Locum tenens can offer diversity that can help alleviate compassion fatigue. It also offers experience with different types of trauma, especially when traveling to and working in different clinical settings.
  1. Flexibility. Locum tenens offers TONS of flexibility in work times, as well as a variety of geographic locations. You can find lucrative assignments literally whenever and wherever you want to work. Locums allows providers to work as much or as little as they want, in short and long-term assignments.
  1. Financial perks. Another appealing aspect of working locum tenens in psychiatry is the opportunity to find assignments with competitive pay rates. Plus, many expenses (such as travel and/or lodging) are covered – which can be a huge perk. Because locum tenens is lucrative, many behavioral health providers have made locums their lifestyle of choice.
  1. Travel. By the very nature of locum tenens, behavioral health providers are able to travel to work assignments and explore various parts of the country. This can be exciting and enriching. Many professionals take advantage of the ability to see other parts of the country and experience different cultures and clinical settings.


  1. Emotional fulfillment. By working in various locations and settings, locum psychiatrists and other behavioral health staff are able to serve patients in all socio-economic backgrounds. Providers have reported feeling extreme emotional fulfillment because of this ability to help others from all walks of life.


  1. Professional socialization. Private practice psychiatrists may not be able to interact with other professionals in the routine of their working days. Working in a facility can give them the chance to socialize with peers and discuss cases and treatment plans.


Locum tenens offers a world of possibilities to help you expand your experience, travel the country, earn extra income, or pick up shifts on an interim basis. Consilium Staffing places physicians and other providers on a locum tenens (temporary) basis. Let us help you explore your next opportunity.


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