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Using Locum Tenens to Combat Issues Created by Physician Vacancies

7/18/2018
A recent article published by The National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO®) discusses the physician shortage, which is projected to reach as high as 120,000 doctors by the year 2030. The imbalance between supply and demand adds stress to physicians who struggle with increasing patient loads and contributes to the cycle of physician turnover.

Medical facilities throughout the country are losing doctors to relocation. Some reasons doctors vacate positions include offers of better pay, improved work/life balance, and easy mobility. These are also the same reasons more healthcare practitioners are working locum tenens than ever before.

Physician vacancies can have enormous effects on medical facilities. From a financial standpoint, leaving a physician role vacant is estimated to cost a practice up to $1 million annually. In addition, searching for a full-time replacement doctor can take up to nine months. The burden felt by the remaining staff during a physician shortage can also cause issues of burnout among those tasked to do more with less.

Utilizing Locum Tenens
NALTO endorses the use of locum tenens practitioners, both in times of physician vacancy and as a proactive solution to supplement physicians already on staff. Having a roster of locum tenens practitioners available allows facilities to be ready during times of expected or unexpected absences, such as vacation, illness, or bereavement.

Some doctors and advanced practice providers moonlight as locum tenens providers to earn extra income, while some choose locum tenens as their full-time career. Many are drawn to the flexible work schedule and income potential that comes with being an independent practitioner.

If you are interested in learning more about working as an independent practitioner, download Wapiti’s Official Guide or call our office at (888) 733-4428.
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