Survey Shows a Greater Need for Medical Locums

A recent survey released by a Texas-based medical staffing agency suggests the need for qualified medical locums might be greater than we assumed. According to the survey, 75% of all medical facilities across the United States found themselves in need of temporary physicians at least once this year. Furthermore, just over 40% of the organizations said they were actively looking for medical locums to fill holes in staffing. The question is, are there enough locums to meet all the needs?

According to some analysts one of the reasons for today’s shortage of medical workers lies in the fact that the nation’s medical schools have simply not produced enough graduates over the last 10 years to keep pace with the number of job openings. That trend is changing according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

They recently suggested that the nation’s medical schools are on pace to increase enrollment by 30% within the next four years. In the meantime, medical staffing agencies are working hard to keep older doctors working as medical locums while they ease into retirement. These older doctors may end up being the lifeline until graduation rates increase.

Now Legitimate Profession

For locums and staffing agencies alike, one of the best things that could be said about the industry is that locums’ tenens work is now accepted as a legitimate long-term career choice. Even though medical locums are relatively new, they are now so important to the industry some medical schools are even considering beginning training programs that treat locum work as a specific career. No one really knows what that type of training would look like, but it’s something that’s being discussed.

The idea of working as a locum may also be one of the prime motivations in helping boost medical school enrollment. It’s no wonder that current enrollment is down given the fact that private practice is now seen as a very stressful career one needs to think twice about. The flexibility of locum work along with the ability to travel and avoid having to deal with the business end of medicine might be just what the industry needs to attract bright young students.

How Medical Locums See It

Surveys of medical locums over the years have shown that, by and large, such workers are happy with the work they’ve chosen in relation to their station in life. Some of them begin their careers as medical locums before settling down to a private practice or a permanent staff position in the hospital. They get the benefits of good pay and low overhead, which enables them to pay off their student loans quicker, while also enjoying an opportunity to travel while they’re still young.

Medical locums who have chosen to pursue such work as they head into retirement also find satisfaction for different reasons. They tend to find locum work more fulfilling, less restrictive, and a way to keep working while getting used to the idea of leaving their careers behind.

Jane, from comphealth.com

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