Sometimes it can be challenging to gauge the demand for certain positions, especially when there are many other job seekers vying for the same roles. However, with regards to Locum Tenens, it’s clear that there is a high demand for this role. With current shortages in the healthcare industry and the many different specialties and niches in which Locum Tenens physicians can work, filling these positions is a priority for many employers. As a result, if you’re looking to work as a Locum Tenens, you’ll likely find plenty of opportunities available.

If you are still skeptical, it is well known that the demand for locum tenens has increased tremendously and seems to be continuously heading in that direction. A report by the Association of American Medical Colleges in 2021 showed that the “United States could see an estimated shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034, including shortfalls in both primary and specialty care.” This in itself highlights what direction this healthcare position is going into in the future and why stepping into a locum tenens job could be perfect for you. Though we do have some other reasons why locum tenens are in demand, these include:

The Current State of U.S. Health Care

The U.S. health care system is currently facing significant challenges, including a shortage of healthcare professionals. This situation has become more apparent in recent years due to the increasing demand for healthcare services and an aging population. As a result, healthcare facilities are struggling to find and retain skilled personnel to provide adequate patient care. To address this issue, many healthcare providers are turning to locum tenens. This approach involves hiring temporary physicians and other healthcare professionals to provide interim staffing solutions for healthcare facilities facing a shortage of permanent staff.

The locum tenens model offers a flexible and cost-effective staffing solution that enables healthcare providers to maintain the standard of care for their patients while searching for permanent staff. By leveraging locum tenens, healthcare providers can ensure continuity of care for their patients while addressing the staffing shortage in the industry.

The Benefits of Working as a Locum Tenens

Working as a Locum Tenens physician can offer a host of benefits, including flexibility in scheduling and work-life balance. This model enables physicians to work on a temporary basis, allowing them to have control over their work schedule and prioritize their personal life. Additionally, Locum Tenens provides an opportunity to travel and work in different healthcare settings. This can be an excellent way for physicians to gain valuable experience, develop new skills, and expand their professional network.

Furthermore, Locum Tenens physicians typically receive higher pay rates than permanent positions. This is because healthcare facilities are willing to pay a premium to ensure that they have adequate staffing levels. Overall, Locum Tenens can be an excellent option for physicians looking for greater flexibility, new experiences, and higher pay rates.

The Future of Locum Tenens

The future of locum tenens in the healthcare industry is bright, with continued growth and demand expected in the coming years. The shortage of healthcare professionals is likely to persist, and locum tenens provides a flexible staffing solution to help meet this demand. Additionally, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of maintaining adequate staffing levels in healthcare organizations, further increasing the demand for locum tenens services. Utilizing locum tenens services offers healthcare organizations several benefits, including flexibility in staffing, reduced recruitment costs, and improved patient care.

As healthcare organizations continue to seek ways to optimize their staffing and financial resources, the adoption of locum tenens services is expected to increase, leading to more opportunities for healthcare professionals in this field. Overall, the future of locum tenens is promising, with continued growth and demand expected to meet the staffing needs of the healthcare industry.

Specialty Demand

While there is demand in all areas, having a specialty under your belt could do you and healthcare facilities a world of good. Specialties are based on a medical practice centered on a group of patients, diseases, skills or philosophy. These can include emergency medicine, anesthesiologists, cardiology, pediatrics, etc. When you have a specialty coming along the ride with you, you aren’t only able to help a department in a separate state who has a shortage of this position, but it can also classify you for higher income.

So far in 2022, the most in-demand specialties are OB/GYN, psychiatry, general surgery, family medicine, internal medicine, dermatology, surgeons, nurse practitioners and more. Positions with these specialties are available all over the country and in many states that are in dire need of these medical needs. Even more specifically in rural areas around the country.

A Growth In Patient Volume

It is only apparent that growth in patient volume has been a huge problem in the healthcare field since the pandemic. Most likely having cases of understaffing even earlier than that. Though, with cases still rising in COVID, those suffering from long COVID, individuals ‘catching up’ on their injuries or illnesses after a long wait due to COVID and then just any and everyone else who is having difficulties. There are a lot of patients entering hospitals. Making the need for adequate staffing numbers vital so that patient care is continuously uncompromised.

What does this signify for locum tenens? RevCycleIntellegence reported a survey which showed that 88% of healthcare organizations were using locum tenens in some way to assist with staffing shortages. With anesthesiologists and hospitalists being the top two most utilized temporary positions. Showing just how significant locum tenens have been and continue to be in the healthcare world.

Surprisingly Cost Effective

It would seem that hiring a permanent position would cost less than hiring a locum tenens, yet this doesn’t seem to be the case. With permanent positions hired needing to go through the hiring process, onboarding and training, locum tenens are actually helping facilities cut back on costs. With staffing agencies – like TheraEx Locums – you can find reliable, trustworthy, experienced and qualified candidates to fill in the positions needed. In turn, hospitals are able to address the issues like staff vacancies, patient influx and burnout. All while saving money at the same time by sidestepping the hiring and recruitment costs. A big win at a time when facility cutbacks or worries about excessive spending are beginning to be an issue.

Tending To Burnout

We swept over burnout earlier even though it is a weighty topic of conversation right now. Burnout is the trending topic for 2023 with the healthcare industry looking to understand and come to a solution on how they can bring the burnout rate of healthcare workers down to a minimum. While this benefit is more sided with locum tenens, the concept allows for the industry as a whole to benefit.

Locum tenens is well known to be a great way to combat burnout. Why? Because the position offers schedule flexibility – including working full-time or part-time and taking time off between assignments – an expansion in experiences and skill levels as well as being able to travel to alternate locations on each assignment. It’s been recognized to create a great deal of difference and has allowed clinicians to take on the role to improve their symptoms of burnout.

Though there are still talks on what the industry plans to do to help combat burnout, it is an encouraging start to know that stepping into the role of a locum tenens and hiring them can alleviate some of the issues.

What are the benefits of becoming a Locum Tenens?

There are several compelling reasons. Firstly, you can enjoy a lucrative income while gaining valuable experience and expanding your professional network through diverse work experiences. Additionally, you can enhance your skills and knowledge by working in different healthcare settings across the country. With flexible scheduling, you can achieve a healthy work-life balance while pursuing your passion for medicine. At TheraEx Locums, we offer comprehensive support to ensure that you find the ideal placement that aligns with your goals and preferences, wherever you are in the US. If you have any further questions or inquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

If you’re concerned about the demand for locum tenens positions, the answer is clear: they remain highly sought-after and will continue to be in the future. By stepping out of your comfort zone and pursuing a career in locum tenens, you can reap the rewards of travel while continuing to perform essential work in helping others. Joining this field provides a unique opportunity to make a meaningful impact in people’s lives, all while expanding your horizons and gaining valuable experience.

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