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4 in 10 Healthcare Organizations Seek Locum Tenens

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 15, 2012

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.

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2 comments on "4 in 10 Healthcare Organizations Seek Locum Tenens"


J. Sterling (5/16/2012 at 8:21 AM)
This is true about locums, but there are hospitals and other institutions who cannot retain personnel due to poor benefit and salary packages. Also, there are backward and outdated administrative policies in play. Including Administrators who treat their out of the way Critical Access Hospitals as their personal fifedoms which when locums are finally approached turn down the permanent positions.

Ben Amirault (5/15/2012 at 8:24 AM)
Great article. It's true. More and more organizations are turning to locums, and they aren't always hospitals. Our account managers at Barton Associates are seeing increased activity from companies that are not traditional locum tenens clients. The assignments range from a two-day job performing hernia exams at oil rig sites to staffing the medical tent at a cancer walk. Read more at http://www.bartonassociates.com/2012/05/14/locum-tenens-staffing-its-not-just-for-hospitals-and-clinics-anymore/