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Interim doctors filling vacancies
  • Jo Gardner
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Interim healthcare is not just senior home care, or hospice care. Contract, temporary and permanent staff answer specific employment demands. Sometimes hospitals and other healthcare facilities simply need help for a temporary doctor shortage. In the last decade, healthcare facility managers have been hiring nearly 75% more interim doctors, also referred to as locum tenens, than in past decades.

Interim doctors filling vacancies
Interim Doctors Filling Vacancies

The burning question is why so many facilities are now turning to more interim doctors.

Growing Doctor Shortage

In the growing doctor shortage, an interim healthcare physician fills the vacancy, sometimes for months, until a permanent doctor is found. The benefits are less, and you can enjoy the benefits of highly qualified doctors for less than you might when you bring on your permanent hire. One facility had hired a doctor who had to complete a prior contract. This meant an eight month period where the facility would not have a vital member of their team. With 40 other employment positions at risk, the facility turned to an interim physician who was the difference between staying open and closing the doors.

Doctors Leaving

Facilities are looking for a way to quickly fill in position of staff who left. Sometimes a doctor needs to go on parental leave. Aging doctors decide to retire as we head into another year of the pandemic. Physician burnout prompts other doctors to leave. There are scores of reasons for the physician shortage to reach a critical point. However you view it, the shortage is worsening and interim physicians are a relief more HR are turning to.

Covering Vacations and Sabbaticals

While your permanent physician takes a much needed vacation, you will be short. When a doctor is off to complete their education, you need an immediate solution to your temporary vacancy. Luckily, a qualified interim physician who freelances, fills those vacancies properly. You get an experienced doctor to step in with no down time and your permanent physician comes back refreshed and ready to go back to work. It is a win-win.

Increasing Patient Needs

There are several factors contributing toward rising patients’ needs. Baby boomers are aging and requiring increasing healthcare. As more variants of the original SARS-CoV-2 manifest, more healthcare workers are needed to treat them. As aging physicians retire the shortage worsens. Meanwhile, new physicians are opting into interim positions that offer a different lifestyle choice.

Benefits of Interim Doctors

Aside from the immediate relief of having a qualified doctor fill the gap, interim talent can save costs. The interim doctor is compensated for days on site. This differs from the permanent doctor’s salary that covers the entire shift regardless of site time. Bringing in help during a shortage boosts morale of exhausted coworkers. If the interim doctor does not perform to your standards, you can release them. Replacement with another locum tenens physician is easier than replacing a permanent doctor.

Third Parties Vetting Interim Doctors to Protect Your Brand

Many medical facilities have chosen to hire interim doctors through a third party physician recruiting agency, like PX3 Medical Staffing. PX3 Medical Staffing holds candidates to a rigorous vetting process that protects your patients and your brand. Contact us to get the facts.

Author: Jo Gardner
I have a Bachelor of Science in Business and have five years of writing experience on business,recruiting, mortgages, foreclosure, and personal finances.

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