Three in four healthcare organizations had to find temporary physicians at some point in the last 12 months because they couldn't find permanent physicians, survey data shows.
A survey of more than 100 healthcare organizations conducted by Irving, TX-based Staff Care also found that 41% of healthcare organizations are currently looking for temporary physicians.
"We have seen consistent demand for locums across the industry for five or six years now," says Bonnie Owens, Staff Care's senior vice president of client services. "The demand is still there. If you look at why facilities are using locums there is pretty wide variety, but they are using them mostly until they can find someone in a permanent position."
Some of the blame for the physician shortage has been placed on the nation's medical schools, where enrollments for many years failed to keep pace with overall population growth. This month the Association of American Medical Colleges reported that medical schools are on track to boost enrollment 30% by 2016. However, they may not have residency slots available for all of their new graduates.