Now that spring is here, armies of graduate students are making plans to enter their residencies in preparation for finally embarking on their careers as doctors. A year from now, many of these young doctors will be faced with the question of whether to go to work for an established healthcare facility or open their own private practices. Yet a third option, taking locum hospitalist jobs, is becoming a more popular choice thanks to incentivizing efforts by staffing agencies.
As doctor shortages have increased over the last decade, they have given rise to a seemingly unlimited number of staffing agencies around the country, all competing for the best healthcare professionals in order to keep their own businesses at the top of the industry. The competition is causing these agencies to find creative ways to help entice locum tenens physicians to join them. Among some of the more creative incentives are free products like iPads, smartphones, etc.
Hospitalists in High Demand
Where locum hospitalist jobs are concerned, they are right at the top of the list for many staffing agencies. Between the high cost of running a private practice and an emerging trend of consolidation among hospitals, hospitalist jobs are increasing in availability all across the country. Where hospitalist jobs are opening up, there are also opportunities for locum hospitalist jobs. Statistics suggest that the trend toward hospitalists is the way of the future.
Fueling the trend may very well be the Affordable Care Act, slated to be fully implemented by 2014. If all goes as planned, experts suggest the United States will see a significant change in the way healthcare is delivered to the average American. They can foresee a day when private practices are very limited and most people receive their primary care at a local hospital or a hospital satellite office. That would mean far more hospitalist workers and far fewer private practice doctors.
Writing Your Own Ticket
From the locum tenens physician’s perspective, this certainly looks like the beginning stages of a buyer’s market. In other words, the doctor willing to take locum hospitalist jobs rather than a permanent staff position or opening a private practice has increasingly more say in the packages offered by staffing agencies. The demand is so high to fill locum hospitalist jobs that the physician has great negotiating power in salary, benefits and travel and housing options. Furthermore, physicians have greater control over their schedules and the locations where they work.
Med students preparing to enter their final year of residency should probably expect to hear from more than one staffing agency within the next 12 months. They should also expect plenty of incentives to try convince them to join the locum tenens field. It's a great career option that should be considered at the very least. If opportunities for locum hospitalist jobs turn out to be as strong as some project, today's graduates could be getting in on the ground floor of something very big.