I’ve had several conversations recently with physicians who were considering locum tenens work, but were a little concerned about earning an adequate income given the current economic situation. I thought I’d offer some insight into the dynamics of the locum tenens industry, which I hope will increase your comfort level if you happen to be in the same boat.
First, as I am sure you are aware, there is a growing physician shortage across the globe. We did experience a small dip in demand and/or slower commitments from clients at the end of last year as healthcare organizations braced for declining census and health plan enrollment. These organizations quickly realized that the need for physicians was not really reduced, and came back to us asking for help in arranging locum tenens coverage.The days of physician coverage we are providing have remained steady.
In addition, history has shown that the temporary staffing industry recovers before full-time employment in times like this. It makes sense when you think about it—if an organization is concerned about making full-time hiring commitments but still needs physicians, a temporary contract is a safe, logical bridge until the situation improves.
From a personal perspective, the best way you can ensure access to locum tenens opportunities is to 1) be as flexible as possible and willing to consider wide range of locations and practice settings, and 2) work with us to create a proactive licensing plan so we can get you ready to work in areas where we consistently have openings in your specialty, 3) keep your CV current, and 4) keep your certificates up to date.