Locums Digest #70 | Good News for Primary Care & EM, More States Join IMLC, Locums Agencies Announce Awards & New Execs, AI at AMN & More

Survey says…

As we tie a bow on Q1 2024 (with our New Year’s resolutions fully intact, no doubt), Locumpedia is thinking ahead to what “Qs 2 through 4” have in store for the locum tenens industry. That’s why we’re calling on locum leaders and agency execs to participate in our annual “Locum Tenens Industry Outlook” survey. 

Ready to showcase your soothsaying skills? Contact Locumpedia publisher Cory Kleinschmidt at cory@locumpedia.com for a link to the survey. We’ll share the results in an upcoming story. For now, it’s time to dive into Locums Digest 70.

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Primary Care Positions Hit All-Time High in 2024 Residency Match, Signaling Growth

The 2024 Main Residency Match delivered promising news to the field of primary care and family medicine. According to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), 2024 reported a 92.9% fill rate for primary care specialties.

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) President Dr. Steven P. Furr praised students and graduates for their commitment to family medicine, claiming their specialty is pivotal in treating families and communities.

With 5,231 available positions, 124 more than last year, the Match saw growing momentum in primary care, matching 4,595 medical students and graduates into family medicine residency programs. Overall, primary care positions—family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics—accounted for 46.8% of all positions offered in the Match. Despite a record-breaking number of primary care positions offered in 2024, the fill rate for primary care fell 1.4% from 2023, a dip attributed mainly to a decline in pediatrics’ fill rate.

The Match also showed new developments in other specialties, like emergency medicine, which rebounded from a two-year fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. OB/GYN also exhibited strong interest among applicants and maintained a high fill rate of 99.6% despite the changing legal and social landscapes concerning reproductive health following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V. Wade. 

NRMP President Donna L. Lamb acknowledged the resilience and dedication of medical students and graduates, particularly those who started their medical education just as the pandemic began. She praised the students’ adaptability and success in a transformed academic and training environment. 

These developments have leaders within the AAFP and the broader medical community feeling optimistic about the future of family medicine and primary care. The enthusiasm and pioneering spirit of the next generation of family physicians will be necessary to revitalize primary care and meet the evolving healthcare needs of communities.

La Vida Locum

MPLT: Locum Tenens Staffing Vital in Overcoming Healthcare’s Physician Shortage Crisis

Healthcare facilities facing physician shortages often turn to locum tenens staffing to help them maintain operations. MPLT Healthcare pointed out in a recent blog post that locum providers help cover staffing gaps in urban and rural areas by stepping in when permanent physicians are unavailable. 

Employing locum tenens providers helps healthcare facilities ensure uninterrupted patient care while alleviating burnout by evenly distributing patient workloads among providers. MPLT also says locum tenens providers are a solution for healthcare facilities facing staffing shortages and financial pressures. By opting for a temp workforce, facilities significantly reduce the expense of hiring full-time staff such as salaries and benefits, ultimately improving their bottom lines. 

Florida, New Jersey Join Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

Florida and New Jersey have become the latest Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) members, joining the existing 40 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam. 

The IMLC is an agreement among participating states that helps streamline the medical licensing process for locum tenens physicians, particularly those practicing in multiple states. In February and March, New Jersey and Florida became the 41st and 42nd jurisdictions to join the IMLC. Since its inception in April 2017, over 20,000 physicians have secured more than 93,000 licenses through IMLC. 

New York, Massachusetts, and North Carolina all have pending legislation that would add them to the IMLC. 

Locum Leaders

A Bumper Crop of Agency Awards, New Execs, Product Launches & Partnerships

SIA Unveils 2024 List of Best Staffing Firms

Ten healthcare staffing agencies placing locum tenens providers were honored by Staffing Industry Analysts as 2024 “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” in North America. 

MPLT Healthcare Tops ‘Best Places to Work’ In South Florida

MPLT Healthcare clinched the top spot on the South Florida Business Journal’s 2024 “Best Places to Work” list in the large company category. MPLT has been nominated multiple times, but this is the first year they’ve won the award. Liz Hale, CEO of MPLT Healthcare, expressed her happiness in receiving this distinction, attributing the success to the company’s unique vision of crafting a work environment that prioritizes employee value, care, and professional growth. 

All Star Earns ‘Top Workplace USA’ Distinction, Promotes Team Leaders

All Star Healthcare Solutions has been distinguished as a “Top Workplace USA” for 2024. This recognition comes from a collaboration between USA Today and Energage, highlighting All Star’s commitment to creating an outstanding work environment. The award is based entirely on employee feedback to foster an engaging workplace. Ken Bernstein, President and CEO of All Star, lauded the honor and emphasized the company’s ongoing efforts to continually improve All Star’s work environment.

All Star also recently announced the promotion of two key team members: Robert Jones and Catherine LeBourveau (above).

Since 2017, Jones has held positions including Senior Director of Learning and Leadership, and most recently, Divisional Vice President, Sales. In his new role as Chief Sales Officer, he’ll oversee All Star’s Locums and Direct Hire Divisions.

LeBourveau, who began her All Star journey in 2015, has been promoted from Senior Director, Locums Division to Divisional Vice President of Sales, where she will continue to cultivate relationships with providers and clients, and coach recruiters toward successful careers.

Tandym Group Names New Exec

Tandym Group, a New York firm specializing in IT and locum tenens staffing, bolstered its executive team by welcoming Christopher Kaldrovics as its new Group Executive for Strategy and Consulting Services. Bringing a wealth of experience from a 30-year career that spanned several prestigious Wall Street banks and consulting firms, Kaldrovics comes to Tandym Group from his recent role as a partner in financial services at Ernst & Young.

Floyd Lee Locums’ CEO Named to SIA List

Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) has named Floyd Lee Locums’ CEO Natasha Lee to its 13th annual Staffing 100 North America list. This list celebrates leaders demonstrating resilience and a vision that has significantly impacted their workforce ecosystem. In seven years of operation, Floyd Lee Locums has earned multiple SIA accolades, including being a four-time winner of SIA’s “Best Staffing Firm to Temp For.”

Integrity Locums Names Next CEO

Integrity Locums is embarking on a new chapter with significant leadership transitions and additions. Founders Tim Devereux and Lacey Salzer are stepping into advisory roles, passing the CEO mantle to Jeff Files, the firm’s president since 2017. In addition to promotions within, the executive team at Integrity Locums has expanded with key strategic hires, including SVP of Sales Michelle Savell, from USN, and SVP of Finance Kate Saia, from Deloitte.

Jackson Healthcare Launches Venn

Jackson Healthcare introduced Venn, a new addition to its portfolio of healthcare staffing, search, and technology companies. Venn’s suite of workforce optimization solutions enables healthcare companies to customize data-driven strategies to help them efficiently deploy permanent and contingent staff to partner facilities.

Trinity Hunt Partners Makes Majority Investment in Coker

Trinity Hunt Partners, a private equity firm, made a majority investment in “Coker,” (formerly Coker Group), a healthcare advisory firm. This investment marks the initial step in establishing Trinity Hunt’s healthcare advisory services platform. 

With expertise in investment strategy, Trinity Hunt will support Coker’s growth initiatives, including acquisitions, expanded service offerings, and an investment in talent and technology. Coker, headquartered near Atlanta, was founded by Jackson C. Coker, a pivotal figure in physician recruitment. He opened the firm in 1987 with a focus on improving the way administrators, nurses, and other healthcare providers interacted with doctors. 

Coker later transitioned from recruitment to advising hospitals full-time, giving facilities the knowledge they needed to best inform their recruitment efforts for hospital staff. Jackson C. Coker sold Coker to now CEO Max Reiboldt in 1996. While not directly a locums staffing company, Coker helps administrators budget and plan to recruit new doctors to their staff — including perm and locums docs.

Hire Power

AMN Healthcare Uses AI to Transform Executive Recruiting in Healthcare

According to AMN Healthcare, artificial intelligence (AI) can potentially revolutionize the healthcare industry, particularly in talent management and leadership acquisition. AMN recently wrote about new ways of combining AI-generated analytics with its own human expertise to enhance a company’s search practice. They say that integrating AI into the executive recruiting process can make it more effective in meeting a healthcare organization’s strategic objectives.

There could be substantial benefits to employing AI in executive recruiting, such as saving valuable time and money by refining the definition of leadership positions and pinpointing the candidate skills and traits needed for each role, which can reduce the time to fill a position. AI can also help improve a company’s decision-making by supplying data-driven insights. AMN claims AI might also help your company uncover the “non-traditional candidates.” AI advancements could potentially contribute to a more strategic and comprehensive approach to talent management across healthcare systems.

AAPPR Roundtable Discussion to Focus on Nuances of Managing Locum Physicians

On April 9th at 1 p.m. ET, the Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment is hosting a “Working with Locum Tenens Physicians” roundtable discussion, free for members and $99 for non-members. The discussion will take place online and via conference call, focusing on the nuances of the locum tenens industry. 

Participation is limited to 25 members per session, with the next session scheduled for April 25. The discussion will not be recorded for later viewing. Registration is open until the start of the event on April 9. 

CompHealth Case Study Highlights Methods to Fill Physician Vacancies

The healthcare industry faces a critical challenge in filling physician vacancies, significantly impacting patient care and organizations’ finances. A case study from CompHealth showed that even a modest reduction of 5% in the days required to hire a physician could potentially yield millions in net revenue. The report named Altru Health System, located in a rural setting in North Dakota, as a success story because they adopted some innovative recruitment strategies, which emphasized the following: 

  • Pre-approving job details to expedite postings
  • Leveraging technology, like applicant tracking systems, to streamline the recruitment process
  • Partnering with staffing agencies to broaden candidate pools
  • Engaging quickly with potential new hires
  • Opening lines of communication with stakeholders for swift feedback on candidates
  • Eliminating a “necessary site visit” for all candidates
  • Moving quickly and making offers to candidates
  • Using locum tenens providers to bridge gaps during extended search periods

CompHealth’s case study illustrates how adopting new recruitment practices can significantly reduce the time to fill physician roles, ultimately benefiting healthcare providers and their communities.

Making the Rounds

Burnout and Aging Population Prompt Physician Exodus

Becker’s ASC Review recently shared some alarming stats on the physician shortage: 

  • According to Definitive Healthcare’s “Addressing the healthcare staffing shortage” report, 71,309 physicians left the workforce between 2021 and 2023, representing a 6% reduction in the overall physician workforce. This trend shows the healthcare sector’s escalating challenges in maintaining a robust staffing level to meet the nation’s healthcare needs. 
  • Burnout emerged as a significant factor influencing physicians’ decisions to consider leaving the medical field. Medscape’s “Physician Burnout & Depression Report” for 2024 revealed a striking disparity in burnout levels, with 14% of male and 16% of female physicians reporting burnout severe enough to prompt thoughts of exiting the profession. Additionally, 25% of physicians are contemplating shifting from clinical roles to nonclinical careers.
  • According to the Association of American Medical Colleges’ 2021 report, 40% of active U.S. physicians are projected to be 65 or older within the next decade. 

The combined impact of attrition due to burnout, a pivot to nonclinical roles, and an aging physician population presents multilayered challenges to sustaining healthcare delivery in America.

Emergency Medicine Experiences 2-Year Rebound with 96% of Residency Slots Filled

Emergency medicine is seeing a resurgence among new doctors. This revitalization is seen in the latest figures from The National Resident Matching Program, which reveal a significant uptick in medical graduates opting for emergency medicine. Despite this positive trend, the broader landscape of medical specialties continues to skew towards higher-paying fields such as orthopedic surgery, ophthalmology, thoracic surgery, and radiology, suggesting that new docs continue to prefer more lucrative career paths over traditionally less remunerative ones.

On Match Day, 44,853 med school graduates vied for 41,503 residency positions across various specialties. Emergency medicine experienced a rebound, with 95.5% of its 3,026 residency slots filled, halting a concerning two-year decline. 

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