As the recent uptick of the economy begins to manifest improvements in the job field, hospitals are turning more than ever towards locum tenens to fill their need for qualified physicians.

Locum tenens, literally meaning \”to hold the place of\”, is a unique physician\’s job in which the professional accepts a short-term (typically three month) position at a remote or local facility. In exchange for agreeing to the travel and relocation inherent to the position, these professionals enjoy enhanced pay, benefits, and professional \”perks\” not present in comparable permanent positions.

This is an opportunity that\’s taken up by a wide variety of professionals in many different stages of their career. Locum tenens enjoy the ability to travel to new locations at no cost, the freedom to choose to not work when it suits them, and the increased professional development that comes with working in a diverse range of workplaces.

Why Do Hospitals Need Locum Tenens?

It\’s not always easy to fill a physician vacancy! In some cases, a hospital can take two to three years to fill a high-demand position for a local area – and it\’s common practice for a hospital to begin the recruitment process long beforehand, in anticipation of a vacancy.

Hospitals and other medical facilities turn to locum tenens for a variety of reasons, including the following:

* To fill an unexpected employee vacancy
* Staffing for planned vacancies such as maternity leave or a professional sabbatical
* Temporary positions for hospitals that are seeing a short-term spike in need for a specific position
* Holdover positions for hospitals that cannot find a full-time applicant

Locum tenens are also often called to fill gaps in non-medical facilities such as hotels and correctional facilities. Positions in hotel chains are so common that some staffing agencies specialize exclusively in filling positions for this need!

Locum Tenens Job Field Expected To Grow Beyond 2025

The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) warns that the United States is on track for a shortage of more than 90,000 physicians by 2020. That number is expected to grow by more than 40% by 2025, with the shortage rising to 130,600.

While the need for more physicians is rising, the baby boomers are beginning to retire, and are themselves increasingly in need of physician care. On top of that, nearly one third of the existing healthcare staff are expected to retire this decade. And to compound the matter further, improvements in medicine mean that the elderly population is growing – and with it the number of patients that have age-sensitive conditions such as cancer (which older adults experience an increased risk factor of 1,000%).

Distribution of these physicians is also present a challenge to the staffing crisis. Qualified professionals are simply not located everywhere they\’re needed, and the increase in specialization among physicians means that it\’s getting harder and harder to find those in general practice. Combined, these factors equate to one simple fact: these professionals simply are not there.

The clear solution is (and will continue to be) bringing the qualified physicians to where they\’re needed – and this is accomplished by hiring locum tenens until a more permanent candidate can be established.

Content provided by Jacques Bouchard of Onward MD: providing you with locum tenens jobs, as well as career opportunities as hospitalists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other opportunities in advanced practice. To learn more, submit your profile online today, or call us at 877-308-5070.

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