Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Survey of Locum Tenens Physicians
I am monarch of all I survey,
My right there is none to dispute.
William Cowper (1731-1800)
May 17, 2012 -  There is probably no single health care firm and no single individual who knows more about  the supply, demand,  shortages, and situations of physicians  than the staff of Staff Care, AMN Healthcare, Inc,  and their  VP  of communications,  Phillip Miller.  
AMN Healthcare is the largest health care staffing firm in the United States,  has done countless surveys of doctors and other health care professionals,  and has recruited thousands of physicians for hospitals, physician groups, and government entities.   With the Physicians Foundation, It  is now engaged in an e-survey of 650,000 U.S. physicians, the largest of its kind ever conducted.
AMN Healthcare  have just completed  a survey that polled hospital and medical group managers about use of temporary physicians (locum tenens).   Most of those surveyed (75%) said they had used locums in the past year, and 41% said they were currently looking for temporary physicians.
Sean Ebner, president of Staff Care, commented, “There are simply too few physicians to fill all the available vacancies.  Temporary physicians are providing critical, intensive patient care for many health care faciltiies until they can the find the full-time physicians they need.”
Most in demand are family physicians, general internists, psychiatrists,  and behavioral  health specialists.  Of those facilities requesting help, 20% are seeking  primary care physicians, 19% behavioral specialists, 16% anesthesia providers, 10% hospitalists, and 8% surgeons.   The number of physicians trained in the US has been flat for 20 years as the population has aged and grown by 50 million people. 
In a poll of locum tenens physicians, 97% said patients accepted them, 84% of physician colleagues welcomed them, and 81% found temporary practice satisfying or more satisfying than permanent practice.  For a comprehensive analysis of locum tenens practices, read Have Stethoscope, Will Travel (Physician Practice Resources, 2009)
Tweet: In a survey by AMN Healthcare just completed of hospital and medical group managers, 75% said they had used locum tenens physicians in the last year.

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