Locums Digest 32: Alternatives to Quitting for Providers; VISTA Acquired; Interim’s Top 10 Travel Apps for Locums Docs; Accolades for All Star & Floyd Lee Locums & More

In This Issue:

Dr. Ripal Patel: Quitting Medicine is NOT the Answer

(Edited from a locumstory.com post by Dr. Ripal Patel, March 10, 2022)

In a recent post about how to handle the pressure of practicing medicine without quitting it altogether, emergency medicine specialist Dr. Ripal Patel described some of the learning and motivational challenges he survived before becoming an attending physician. He noted that, ultimately, the cost was worth the investment:

“Eventually–through what seems like a blur–it all came to fruition. Medical school, residency, crushing board exams and now, I’m eight years into being an attending. As I sit in a coffee shop ruminating about it all, I think about that blaze of wanting it so badly. Now that the journey is over, I realize it was all worth it,” Dr. Patel said.

“Getting to work as an attending. Taking charge of patients and their health, often during their most critical times. Being on faculty teaching medical students and residents, and then watching them become leaders in the field as they care for patients in the same manner. It was worth it.”

Get Out of Medicine?

Noting he’s ‘not much for social media,’ Dr. Patel described clicking on a targeted Facebook ad from a physician hawking videos to help fellow doctors ‘get out of medicine.’

“There are side hustles galore saying you don’t have to practice medicine anymore,” Dr. Patel said. “Because who would want to do that? Who would want to help people in their most vulnerable states? Use science to cure the sick and dying? Be a force and leader during a global pandemic? Represent a time-honored profession that has been around since the dawn of time?”

The seasoned locum tenens physician went on to lament how healthcare has ‘gone corporate’ in a big way: “My own specialty is dominated by mega-staffing companies that are, in turn, owned by larger, private-equity companies. And circulating around them are the “baby staffing companies” that want to ‘grow enough to be gobbled up by bigger ones,’ so the owners can cash out, leaving physicians standing there dumbfounded.

“I call that system imperfect,” Dr. Patel wrote. “But I also say we should do what we can to protest against it.”

Being Perfect in an Imperfect System

Pointing out the “fluidity” that exists within that imperfect system, he shared how “as long as the pay is adequate (and the conditions are not entirely egregious),” he tries to be “PERFECT WITHIN an imperfect system.”

He encouraged fellow emergency physicians to set aside their stressors and “think back to why you entered medicine. For most of us, it was a calling. We wanted to use our determination, intelligence, and compassion” to assist others. Dr. Patel asked why providers “would allow a broken system to repel [them] away” from their calling because a particular job isn’t perfect.

One Alternative to Quitting Medicine

He stressed that locum tenens is ONE SOLUTION that has worked for him–”like a diversified portfolio” that provides short-term jobs in multiple institutions, states and practice models. Noting that some places are more suffocating than others, Dr. Patel suggests the former “often have extremely poor, sick patients that need good quality medical care.

“With such a liberated practice model—and such fluidity—I can ignore asinine, business-driven metrics and focus on being efficient, but thorough, with my patients…I connect with them, hear their stories, and develop a deeper bond. I take pride in knowing what I do DOES matter, and what I do IS significant, as a social good to better the world.”

“Locums began as a small flicker in my career; however, as I breathed more life into it, the opportunities and incredible diversity of experiences it offered were simply unlimited. When I fanned the flicker to flames, I realized just how much this model offered to enrich both my career and my life. That flame engulfed my career.”

Ripal H. Patel, MD, MPH

Change Your Expectations

Again emphasizing that quitting medicine is not the answer, Dr. Patel suggested that, ”Managing [one’s} expectations and navigating through an imperfect system” just might be:

“We all speak of ‘work/life balance,’ but who knows what that really means? As many studies show, we are much happier at work than we think we are, and we are actually more unhappy on our days away from work than we expect.

“Through my own model of practice, I can prioritize my relationships, hobbies and time off, while contributing to patient care,” Dr. Patel says. “And I can do it all while realizing I have so many contracting positions to choose from that none of them has a sphere of influence over me. And that alone makes me happy.”

All News Is Locums

All Star Healthcare Solutions Named 2022 “Top Workplace in South Florida”

(Edited from Yahoo News, 5/3/2022)

On April 27, The Sun Sentinel placed All Star Healthcare Solutions® as #4 on its list of “2022 Top Workplaces.”

“Our people are the heart of All Star, and this award reflects our employees’ experiences and positive feedback—from being appreciated for the important work they do to our comprehensive employee benefits and world-class learning and development programs that empower them to set their own career paths,” All Star CEO Keith Shattuck said.

Employees at participating organizations completed an online survey conducted by Energage, LLC. Firms were divided into three categories: small company (fewer than 125 employees), midsize company (126 – 399 employees), and large company (400 employees or more). The anonymous survey responses measured several drivers of engaged cultures critical to an organization’s success, including employee satisfaction and a company’s commitment to creating a caring and high-performing workplace.

Top 10 Travel Apps to Make Your Locum Assignment Easier

(Edited from Interim Physicians blog post, 4/27/2022)

No matter what you need during your locum tenens assignment, we bet your smartphone has the solution. The key is knowing exactly what to search and download. We can help! You did, too—most of the apps below were submitted by our locum tenens docs—thank you!

Whether you’re traveling one state over or across the country, these 10 free and physician-approved travel apps are essential additions to your smartphone toolkit. We polled all our docs for their favorites, and the responses did not disappoint. (We downloaded a few new resources ourselves.)

Check out your colleagues’ recommendations and file your favorites for your next locum assignment.

1. AwardWallet

If you travel a lot, you’re rolling in frequent flier miles and credit card points! This app conveniently tracks your loyalty points (air miles, hotel points, and credit card points); manages all your travel reservations; sends push notifications for delays/cancellations; analyzes your overall credit card spending habits, and offers suggestions to maximize your points across all merchants.

Download on the App Store  Ι Download on Google Play 

2. Citymapper

Public transportation is tough to navigate in new states (sometimes even in your own backyard). Receive real-time departure updates, transit maps, line statuses, bike routes, and Uber availability with this must-have city navigation map. Never wonder how long it will REALLY take to navigate rush hour–compare all your options from the palm of your hand.

Download on the App Store Ι Download on Google Play 

3. DoorDash

This app was recommended by ALL our physician submissions, so we know it’s a fan favorite. No matter what you’re craving, find the best selection of local delivery options during your travels. DoorDash lets you search by cuisine, delivery time, or reviews. You can enable notifications to get real-time updates on your order. (They also offer contactless drop off–order right to your hotel on your way home from the hospital, and then grab it on your way to your room!). The pick-me-up you need after a long shift is out there, and DoorDash will deliver it right to you. As one of our physicians said, “It’s the best when you gotta eat!”

Download on the App Store Ι Download on Google Play 

4. Flightview

Air carrier websites can be cumbersome to navigate—and the updates get buried in email. With Flightview, you receive push notifications for real-time status alerts regarding gate assignments, delays, and cancellations. You can even view flight projections with radar weather overlay. Simply forward your confirmation email and Flightview handles the rest!

Download on the App Store Ι Download on Google Play 

5. iExit

This app is especially helpful for long interstates on rural assignments. Do you have enough gas (or have you had too much coffee) to make it to the next exit? With iExit, you can plan all your pit stops along your route and see how far you are from the next one. Whether you’re searching for the nearest caffeine boost, juice for your vehicle, or WiFi for a quick email, iExit has you covered.

Download on the App Store Ι Download on Google Play 

6. MilelQ

Driving while on assignment? This one’s for you! Track your miles automatically (the app works in the background with no need to open the app and start or stop), and receive reports quickly for expenses and refunds. One of our physicians said it best: “This app is an absolute need for 1099 providers; It keeps track of all your miles for your write-off!”

Download on the App Store Ι Download on Google Play 

7. PackPoint

All you have to do is answer a few questions about your upcoming locum tenens assignment. PackPoint creates a customizable packing list, considering weather forecasts, planned activities, and airline fees. Easily cross off items as you pack, and most importantly, enjoy the peace of mind that you’re not forgetting anything!

Download on the App Store Ι Download on Google Play 

8. Timeshifter

Sick of starting your first shift battling jet lag? This app helps you prepare for the new time zone before your departure. Since everyone is different, Timeshifter utilizes circadian rhythms for personalized recommendations that factor in your age, gender, sleep pattern, and trip itinerary. The app suggests nap timing and hours to seek/avoid daylight, creating a milder jet lag experience and a more alert doc! (* Free for your first roundtrip; After that, single-trip plans are $9.99 and an unlimited yearly plan is just $24.99.)

Download on the App Store Ι Download on Google Play

9. TripAdvisor

The app that claims to unite people, passion, and places–and our locum docs agree. As one of our physicians said, “TripAdvisor is my go-to for getting travel advice and finding ideas for food and places to go!” With just one app, you can access millions of reviews and hundreds of deals on hotels, restaurants, and must-see attractions.

Download on the App Store Ι Download on Google Play 

10. TunnelBear

Connect to Wi-Fi securely and privately–even if you’re in a public place during your travels. TunnelBear provides a VPN (virtual private network) to encrypt your browsing data and hide your information from hackers or advertisers. Each month, use 500MB of free browsing data. For more intense travelers, you can opt for unlimited data for $3.33/month*.

* Pricing is up to date as of April 2022.

Download on the App Store Ι Download on Google Play 

Ingenovis Health Acquires VISTA Staffing, the Fifth-Largest Locum Tenens Provider

(Edited from Staffing Industry Analysts Daily News, 4/28/2022)

Ingenovis Health Inc. acquired Vista Staffing Solutions from Envision Physician Services, the companies announced today. SIA ranks Vista as the fifth-largest locum tenens staffing firm in the US. The deal closed on April 27; its terms weren’t disclosed.

The combination of trustaff, Fastaff Travel Nursing and US Nursing Corp., in early 2021, formed Ingenovis Health. Private equity firms Cornell Capital and Trilantic North America backed the acquisition.

“By adding Vista to the Ingenovis Health family, we expand our ability to offer comprehensive solutions and provide critically needed physicians and advanced practitioners to a broader market of clients nationwide,” Ingenovis Health CEO Bart Valdez said.

Ingenovis noted that Vista will complement its current physician services offerings, which include the CardioSolution brand.

Founded in 1990, Vista is headquartered in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

Floyd Lee Locums Recognized Internationally Among Fastest-Growing Companies

The Financial Times and Statista have named Floyd Lee Locums number 140 among “The Americas’ Fastest Growing Companies 2022.”

“We’ve been blessed to turn the organization we’re passionate about into both a beacon for healthcare staffing and a bonafide revenue driver,” CEO Natasha Lee said. “While we’ve been recognized locally, regionally and nationally, this is our first international award. We interpret this accolade as an indication we’re doing something right.”

“The Americas’ Fastest Growing Companies 2022” sought to identify the top 500 companies with the strongest revenue growth between 2017 and 2020 in North, Central and South America. Those eligible needed to:

  • Demonstrate multi-million-dollar growth by 2020
  • Be an independent organization not acting as a subsidiary or brand of a parent company
  • Meet the rigorous vetting process

Consilium Staffing Names John Moberly VP Of Anesthesia

(Edited from Consilium news release in Yahoo Finance, 4/6/2022)

Consilium Staffing has tapped John Moberly to lead the firm’s anesthesia practice.

As divisional vice president of anesthesia, Moberly will oversee the recruitment of anesthesiologists and CRNAs, while expanding Consillium’s outreach to serve communities needing anesthesia-related services.

Skyrocketing demand for locum tenens providers, especially anesthesiologists and CRNAs, encouraged Moberly’s appointment. As elective surgeries and outpatient procedures have come back online after being sidelined during the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare facilities are ‘playing catch-up.’ As a result, competition for anesthesia providers continues to drive locum tenens demand for Consilium Staffing and the industry overall.

Before this role, Moberly was vice president of recruiting, managing the hiring and training of the company’s recruiters. As a Consilium co-founder in 2010, Moberly served as company vice president for its first decade in business. Before that he co-founded Med Travelers and grew the company to $41 million in just nine years. He began his locum tenens recruiting career at StaffCare.

Post-Residency Transitions: Next Steps After Rejection

(Edited from MDLynx article by Samar Mahmoud, MS, 4/19/2022)

Key Takeaways
  • Following a decade or more of training, physicians are eager to find their dream jobs after residency.
  • Rejections are disappointing, but physicians can use them as learning opportunities.
  • Physicians can work locum tenens jobs to experiment with patient settings, work schedules, and practice sizes.

Completion of residency and finding a job is “the light at the end of the tunnel” for physicians. After spending 10 to 15 years in training and racking up significant student debt, most are more than ready to start a new chapter filled with more freedom and higher income.

But what happens when your post-residency plans go awry?

Coping with Rejection after Interviews

Job interviews can be daunting, but there are ways to prepare. Revamp your resume, highlighting the many skills you’ve gained during training, and work on your interview skills.

Sometimes, though, despite your best efforts, you don’t get the job. When you find out you were passed over, feelings of disappointment and inadequacy can set in. For physicians who’ve faced staunch competition to get into medical school and then residency programs, this is often their first taste of failure.

It’s imperative to move past this rejection by taking the following steps:

  • Get advice from mentor(s) on how to improve your future candidacy.
  • Request feedback from the decision-maker (selection committee chair, recruiter) in the job-selection process to understand any issues in your application or interview.
  • Reflect on the interview process. Ask yourself if there are any aspects you can improve on. Turn rejection into a learning opportunity.
  • Consider hiring a coach to help you work on interpersonal skills.
Have a Backup Plan

If you find yourself stuck after residency, without an appealing job prospect, working locum tenens might be a good option.

Locum tenens jobs can be attractive to new physicians, allowing them to experiment with various patient settings, work schedules, practice sizes, and geographical settings. Locum tenens offers them the opportunity to hone in on what they desire in a first job before making a lengthy commitment that can result in burnout and depression.

After residency, Colin Zhu, DO, decided to start his career by taking on locum tenens positions. He noted in a CompHealth article, “I felt like I was able to figure out what type of healthcare professional I needed to be. You don’t really know what fits you until you find something that works.”

The Healthcare Staffing Story

Survey: How Health Systems Navigate Ongoing Staffing Shortages

(Edited from Healthcare Dive article by Hailey Mensik, 4/18/2022)

In Brief:
  • Health systems are still grappling with ongoing labor stresses, and nursing shortages are having the biggest direct impact on most organizations today, according to a new survey of hospital leaders from Advis consulting.
  • In response, hospitals have boosted compensation, turned to more temporary staffing arrangements, partnered with nursing schools and are increasing training and educational opportunities, the survey found.
  • Some systems are also losing hope that government funding will help solve current challenges. More than a third of hospital leaders said they aren’t seeking further COVID-19 relief funding, the survey found.

Cardiologist Pay Jumps by Almost 7%

(Edited from article by Patsy Newett, Becker’s ASC Review, 4/26/2022)

Cardiologist pay jumped by more than 6.75% between 2021 to 2022, according to Medscape’s “Physician Compensation Report 2022,” released April 15.

Medscape collected responses from 13,000 physicians in 29 specialties from Oct. 5, 2021, through Jan. 19, 2022.

Related statistics:

  1. Cardiologist pay hit $490,000 in 2022, compared to $459,000 in 2021, an almost-7% jump.
  2. Cardiologists reported an average incentive bonus of $71,000.
  3. Sixty-one percent of cardiologists said they feel fairly compensated.
  4. Ninety-two percent of cardiologists said they would choose the same specialty again.
  5. Cardiologists said they spend 17.4 hours a week on paperwork and administration.

Tools to Try/News to Use

New AAPPR White Paper: Increased Provider Turnover and Inadequate Retention Programs Spotlight Industry Volatility and Challenges Ahead for Health Care Organizations

AAPPR reveals the urgent need to address the physician and APP turnover challenge with fresh retention strategies and greater commitment and intention: “Failure to act risks not just a tougher recruitment battle, but also productivity, profitability, access to care and care quality.”

Download White Paper

Socially Speaking

From Twitter:

Staffing-Related Snippets

Hospitals Eye In-House Staffing Agencies to Combat Nursing Shortage

(Edited from Modern Healthcare COVID-19 Coverage, 5/3/2022 *)

Health systems looking to better control rising labor costs are creating in-house staffing agencies to reduce their reliance on private firms.

* Subscription required to read the full article.

US Job Openings, Quits Reach Record Highs in March

(Edited from SIA Daily News, 5/3/2022)

Job openings and quits in the US reached record highs in March, according to data released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job openings were up by 205,000 to 11.5 million, the highest since records began in December 2000…

US Employee Annual Voluntary Turnover to Jump 20% This Year: Gartner

(Edited from SIA Daily News, 4/29/2022)

A survey by Gartner Inc. found that US employee annual voluntary turnover will jump nearly 20% this year when compared with pre-pandemic levels. Gartner estimates 37.4 million US employees will voluntarily quit their jobs this year, up from the pre-pandemic average of 31.9 million.