CHG: More Physicians Taking Short-Term Locum Tenens Assignments
Released on March 23, 2023, CHG Healthcare’s 2023 State of Locum Tenens Report indicates a significant increase in the number of physicians taking locum tenens assignments.
The staffing giant estimates that approximately 7% of the general physician population, an estimated 50,000 physicians, worked at least one locum tenens assignment in the past year. This represents an 88% increase in physicians taking locum tenens assignments since 2015.
“Influential association and healthcare organization leaders understand the value of a strategic, proactive approach to temporary staffing and flexibility, especially when partnered with a strong and caring staffing partner,” CHG Healthcare CEO Scott Beck said.
“Locum tenens provide a crucial safety net for continuing patient access to care while also giving physicians facing burnout a flexible way to continue practicing.”
The report shows among physicians working locum tenens, slightly more physicians are working this way full-time (43%) than they were in 2019 (30%).
The CHG Healthcare report found that most physicians with locum tenens experience (59%) reported taking their first assignment within 10 years of completing their medical training. While there are rising rates of physicians seeking locum tenens engagements earlier in their careers for work/life balance, the largest segment of the current locum tenens workforce is mid- to late-career physicians over 45.
The report also revealed perceptions about locum tenens across physicians, patients, staffing personnel, and colleagues. When asked about their overall impression of locum tenens, 71% of physicians reported having a “very positive” or “somewhat positive” impression of locum tenens. Favorable impressions have remained steady over the past few years.
Hospital staffing personnel report a high acceptance of locum tenens usage in their facilities, with some even embracing the model. Administrative staff (79%) and physician colleagues (76%) stated they accepted locums physicians; 16% and 13% of those groups, respectively, embrace the model.