More and more physicians, especially seasoned ones, are turning to locum tenens because it provides them more benefits, including more revenue and freedom.
The Benefits of Locum Tenens for Older Physicians
In the U.S., mandatory retirement where professionals are compelled to stop working is illegal when they reach a certain age. However, there are exceptions, such as pilots who should retire at 65. As for physicians, there is no law mandating when they should retire.
However, those involved in the medical field do not have to choose when they should retire or whether they will work full time or not. There is an option that is a worthwhile compromise: locum tenens. In English, this Latin phrase means “placeholder.”
Mandatory Retirement Among Physicians
An online poll showed that 73% of the respondents were against the so-called forced retirement for aging physicians. And 77% of them did say there should be assessment programs to test if the physicians were still capable of handling their patients and their various conditions.
Working in healthcare usually means a person should have excellent health. It is a demanding industry with many important duties. Furthermore, no recruiter would be willing to hire someone who lacks fine motor skills as well as perfect hand-eye coordination. These issues are sometimes present among people who are aging.
Advantages of Locum Tenens
The American Medical Association (AMA) has agreed to create guidelines for assessing physical and mental health. Based on their findings, one out of four doctors in the U.S. is older than 65 years old. In other industries, this particular age may be troublesome, but a medical provider is highly valued for his or her experience.
Those who are not planning to retire just yet but do not want to bury themselves in mountains of medical work will find locum tenens work beneficial. The temporary nature of the assignments offers terrific opportunities for extra income. There is also the benefit of gaining freedom from routines and tedious responsibilities.
Locum tenens gives flexibility in shaping a physician’s schedule. It may even be a great time to start a hobby. Support from locum tasks gives physicians an opportunity to make sure their skills are up to date. Professionals are needed throughout the country and for specialized programs like Indian Services.
Locums is almost like semi-retirement for the older physicians. After 20 or 30 years of looking after patients and a regular work schedule, it can be a breath of fresh air. There is no need to quit the job that a doctor loves as they can still practice what they were trained to do.
A recent survey showed that there are now 48,000 physicians who work as locum tenens. Three years ago, this number was just 44,000. Back in 2002, there were only 26,000 physicians. The growing number may signal to other people who work in the healthcare industry that there are indeed benefits when working as locum tenens.
Many physicians who face the choice of whether to work in a locum tenens agency or a medical group often lean toward the latter. Being a “placeholder” can have several perks.
Opportunity to Be More Selective
When you choose to be a locum tenens provider, you can be more selective regarding the positions you will work on. For instance, you can opt for assignments in underrepresented states or in areas where you have family roots. You may also work on behalf of veterans, Indian Services or other special health organizations.
Gain Skills and Enjoy New Hobbies
If you are a physician, you might think that no time exists for you to have a hobby. With locum tenens, it is possible. Since you can seek out assignments that you prefer, you can gain skills that you know would offer you an advantage.
The schedule is also flexible. After the locums task, you can go straight to your home without worries about your job. This is why locum tenens is considered a family-friendly assignment.
It Is Not About Productivity
When you work with a medical group, oftentimes you need to focus on being more productive rather than treating your patients. Agencies consider you as an independent contractor, so you get paid based on the number of hours you work. On the other hand, medical groups might require the physician to complete certain procedures. Therefore, the focus is on meeting the numbers and not the patients, which is one thing that doesn’t occur with a locums assignment.
If you have ever encountered a recruiter from a locum tenens agency and he or she promised you that you will earn more money, you may have found it hard to believe. Medical groups are often regarded as high-paying employers, but many times agencies may provide better compensation. They also reimburse housing and gasoline expenses among other expenses.
Excessive Stress Levels in Healthcare Work Environments
It’s no surprise that healthcare providers are often prone to high stress levels. Healthcare professions can be quite taxing. The pressures can often be extremely overwhelming as well. It isn’t uncommon to hear physicians speaking about demanding and chaotic work schedules. Nurses and other healthcare professionals aren’t immune to difficult schedules, either. If you’re looking for tips that can help you ease stress in medical work settings, there are many options that may help significantly. Stress management is something that calls for effort, time and consideration. Managing stress well can do a lot for your own comfort and peace of mind. Patients pick up on providers who are happy, rested and balanced as well.
Indications of Excessive Stress
If you’re a medical provider who simply has too much on your plate, chances are you know it better than anyone else. It can help to know about signs and symptoms that frequently point to stress levels that are out of control. These include:
• Unusual nervousness
• Uncharacteristic behavioral patterns
• Tense muscles
• Focusing issues
• Lack of desire to do well on the job
• Alcohol dependence
• Not caring about your social life anymore
• Digestive woes
• Sleeping difficulties
Medical professionals who develop any of these signs should take action as soon as possible.
Minimizing Your Stress Levels for Good
If you want to say goodbye to immoderate stress, there are several approaches you can take. It can help to look on the bright side of things. A positive outlook can do wonders for your spirits. Stop making every day feel like doom and gloom. Think about all of the things you have to appreciate. Think about the good things you’re doing for your patients and for the community. Proper time management practices can also help you decrease your stress. Make a point to designate some pleasant “me” time on a regular basis. Take a nap. Get a new hobby. Don’t be afraid to ask other people for assistance. If you can manage your stress levels well, having a job at the Indian Service or as a Locum Tenens recruiter can be a rewarding one that can provide you with a whole host of personal benefits.
Southern Oregon NP Primary Care Perm Opportunity (G608)
SOUTHERN OREGON: Nurse Practitioner to join Primary Care team. 1-2 years in a primary care setting is preferred. Will consider new grad with RN experience.
For more information, please forward your CV and a convenient time to discuss this in more detail.
Eric D. Gruen, DPM
Our client in North Carolina needs a locum tenens Orthopedic Surgeon for some dates each month. Details include:
March 18 – 21, 2016 (7a-7a)
April 15 – 18, 2016 (7a-7a)
May 20-23, 2016 (7a7a)
Must be BC
30-50 Surgical Cases/Month
Established practice with existing surgeon
No Clinic Coverage Needed
No ICU/Critical Care Procedures
Do Not Run Codes
For more information, please email your CV and a convenient time to discuss it in more detail.
Eric D. Gruen, DPM
Our client in North Carolina is seeking a BE/BC Urologist to join its growing Urology practice in Ahoskie, NC.
Close proximity to NC and VA beaches
Join a stable, well-established health care system
Shared call 10 days per month
Hospitalist service provided 24/7 for inpatient needs
New graduates considered
Excellent compensation and benefits package
Vacation, Sick, & Holidays
Malpractice (with tail)
Medical, Dental, & Vision
For more information, please email your CV and a convenient time to discuss this in more detail.
Yours in Health & Success,
Eric D. Gruen, DPM