Though the locum tenens field has been evolving for quite some time, the demand for locum tenens workers is on the rise now more than ever before. Across the U.S., there is an increasing need for locum tenens pros in all areas of medicine, including primary, emergency medicine and behavioral health. As the locum tenens field undergoes dramatic changes, here’s what you need to know:
Longer assignments. In past years, locum tenens assignments tended to be much shorter to relieve short-term labor gaps caused by employee circumstances, such as week-long vacations or medical leave. Now, most locum tenens assignments have been extended on average from one to four months – depending on a facility’s needs. As the physician shortage worsens, locum tenens assignments have also become longer to fulfill vital roles within healthcare organizations of all sizes.
More assignment flexibility. Years ago, it was standard that physicians were required to commit to locum tenens work in a full-time capacity. Now, physicians have the luxury of taking on locum tenens assignments while still working a permanent, full-time position. Many locum tenens workers take shorter assignments during holiday or summer breaks to earn some extra cash. Because assignments vary by location and length, it’s often easy to find shifts that work well with a full-time schedule.
Greater demand for specialists. Healthcare facilities are no longer seeking generalist locum tenens workers, as they now must recruit specialists to meet growing demands. There are many locum tenens options for physicians in all types of medical specializations, such as oncology, surgery and emergency care, among countless others. With a need for practitioners in all areas, physicians with all types of experience levels can easily find assignments that match their medical areas of expertise.
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