There has been a surge in physician demand over the last few years due to a spike in patient volume. Factors that have contributed to this rise are more insured patients as a result of the Affordable Care Act and an aging population in need of continued medical care. Additionally, the ratio of available physicians to the patient population is direly lopsided, with physicians being on the short end of the stick. To meet the growing population demand, locum tenens physicians are increasingly being relied upon to meet the staffing needs of hospitals and healthcare facilities. As a result, this has greatly increased the number of locum tenens jobs.
In which areas of medicine are locum tenens physicians in the greatest demand?
Recently, Becker’s Hospital Review published an article outlining the areas in which locum tenens physicians are in the highest demand. For physicians looking to take on locum tenens work full-time or part-time, these are the areas in which their specialty is required the most:
- Emergency Medicine
According to the CDC’s latest statistical data on emergency room visits, Emergency Medicine physicians saw more than 130 million patients a year. This is an astounding number of patients to be in need of emergency medical assistance, which has left hospitals challenged with the task of meeting the demand. This high volume of patients seeking emergency medical care has also contributed to the proliferation of freestanding Emergency Rooms. Hundreds of freestanding emergency departments across 32 states seek locum tenens physicians to cover shifts at these facilities. As a result, Emergency Medicine physicians rank highly on the list of physicians who are needed to work locum tenens.
- Licensed Surgeons
There’s good reason as to why surgeons command the highest salary among physicians. Surgeons are extremely skilled physicians who must possess a wealth of knowledge and the ability to act under extreme duress. Unfortunately, surgeons are also in short supply and the need for locum tenens surgeons is at an all-time high.
Hospitalists specialize in caring for hospitalized patients. The benefit of physicians who take on this role is that they are allowed to exclusively practice medicine without having to worry about the business-side of primary care. In recent years, hospitals have increasingly began adding Hospitalists as a way to save money. This makes Hospitalists who are willing to work locum tenens valuable on the open market, because their experience as trained, internal medicine physicians solve both a demand for physicians and the cost to acquire them.
- Primary Care Physicians
The demand for primary care physicians stems mostly from the aging population. The baby boomer generation of patients – aged 65 and older – have a projected growth of 46% through 2025. The Affordable Care Act, while increasing the number of insured patients, is expected to account for 2% of projected growth in demand. As hospitals and medical facilities work to meet the needs of the rise in patient population, primary care physicians have become the most sought-after locum tenens physicians.
- Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine physicians are specialists who focus on the diagnosis, treatment, and care of adults across a wide spectrum of health. Their range of services range from preventative care to treating serious illnesses. Internal medicine physicians may also act as a patient’s primary care physician, but the positions are different from family or general practitioners.
Internal medicine physicians, or internists as they are commonly known as, may practice medicine in a variety of settings—where Hospitalists work specifically in hospitals—making these positions perfect for locum tenens doctors looking to venture out into new arenas.
- Family Medicine
Family Medicine is a specialty devoted to comprehensive healthcare for people of all ages; the specialist is referred to as a family physician or family doctor. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, “family physicians provide the majority of care for America’s underserved rural and urban populations.”
Family Medicine physicians have no shortage of opportunities available for them, due to the fact they are often the source of primary care for patients in a variety of areas. As professionals trained in acute, chronic, and preventive medical care services, they are highly sought after in the locum tenens industry.Leave a reply →