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Unexpected Benefits of Employing Locum Tenens Physicians


Locum tenens physicians can do a lot more for your practice than fill in for physician vacancies. Here's why.

If you have limited your thinking about staffing locum tenens as a way to “stop the bleeding” when there is a sudden vacancy at your practice, you are missing a tremendous opportunity and a talented pool of candidates.

A large percentage of locum tenens physicians are looking for the same thing your practice is looking for: a good long-term fit. 

That's demonstrated by a recent CompHealth survey of 1,000 locum tenens physicians. Here are the top 10 reasons the survey respondents cited for working locum tenens:

1. To supplement your core income (19 percent)
2.  Worked while searching for a full-time position (14 percent)
3.  Between permanent jobs (14 percent)
4.  Find a practice that worked before applying for position (9 percent)
5.  Personal life transition (8 percent)
6.  Between residency/fellowship to a full-time job (8 percent)
7.  To control your own schedule (6 percent)
8.  The salary was very appealing (5 percent)
9.  Wanted to see the country/world (5 percent)
10.  Serving rural or underserved areas (3 percent of respondents)

As evidenced by reasons No. 2, 3, 4 and 6 (representing 45 percent of respondents), many doctors are working as temporary physicians as they search for the perfect practice. This creates an excellent opportunity for you and can expand your qualified candidate pool. Many practices have made offers to their locum tenens physician for permanent hire when the candidate ended up being a good fit. Even better, the locum tenens physician has already worked in your practice, he has already completed orientation, and he has already acclimated to the practice. 

As evidenced by reasons No. 9 and 10, there is a percentage of doctors who work locum tenens for the adventure and to give back. Hello, all you rural practice owners, this is the solution to your staffing woes. Bring in a locum tenens to expand your care offerings if you do not have the funds or patient load to warrant keeping certain specialties on staff full time. This staffing strategy works especially well for facilities that experience seasonal patient influx.

Another consideration for rural practice owners: A locum tenens can help maximize capitation rates. For example, physicians who oversee a multi-location practice often don’t have time to visit each clinic as often as patients would like. Not being able to achieve the required number of visits can result in lost revenue. Having access to a locum tenens means the clinic can continue to provide the services that are a core part of its business.

How has employing a locum tenens physician benefited your practice?

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