Physician Recruiters Report Greater Demand for Physicians -- Physician Recruiting Firm Survey Indicates Locum Tenens Physicians Help Meet Community Needs

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U.S. healthcare organizations are looking for more physicians than they were a year ago, survey results released today by physician recruiting firm LocumTenens.com indicate. Almost half (45%) of the physician recruiters responding to a recent survey reported they recruited more than 20 physicians in the past year, compared to 27% reporting that volume in summer 2005. Forty percent (40%) said their organizations plan to spend more than $300,000 on physician recruitment in 2006.

U.S. healthcare organizations are looking for more physicians than they were a year ago, survey results released today by physician recruiting firm LocumTenens.com indicate.

Almost half (45%) of the physician recruiters responding to a recent LocumTenens.com online survey reported they recruited more than 20 physicians in the past year. This compares to 27% of respondents who reported that volume of physician-recruiting activity in summer 2005. According to results of the June 2006 survey of the 700-member Association of Staff Physician Recruiters (ASPR), about a third of respondents (32%) recruited more than 30 physicians in the past year, while 60% recruited more than 10 in the same time frame (up from 48% in the physician recruiting firm’s 2005 survey).

LocumTenens.com reported that 60% of the respondents to this year’s survey represent organizations with more than 100 physicians on staff, including 37% who represent hospitals, medical groups or health systems with more than 200 physicians on staff.

Forty percent (40%) said their organizations plan to spend more than $300,000 on physician recruitment in 2006, including 19% who said their organizations planned to spend more than $500,000 this year.

Locum Tenens Use Fills Gaps.

“Recruiting and retaining an adequate number of physicians to meet community needs will become an even greater challenge as our population ages,” LocumTenens.com President David Roush said. “That’s why using locum tenens (temporary) physicians is becoming more acceptable and demand for these supplemental physicians is increasing.”

The survey results indicate that the number of organizations using no locum tenens physicians decreased, from 32% in 2005 to 20% in 2006. The number of organizations reporting they had used between one and 10 locum tenens physicians in the past year increased by 10%, from 50% in 2005 to 60% in 2006. At the same time, the percentage of respondents reporting their organizations used more than 10 locum tenens physicians in the past year increased by 5%, from 20% in 2005 to 25% in 2006. Among that quarter of respondents, 14% reported using more than 20 locum tenens physicians in the past year—double the 7% who reported this high a usage rate last year.

As another sign of changing times, about a third of respondents (32%) said their organizations hired most (70%) of the locum tenens physicians they needed through a physician recruiting firm. In 2005, almost half of LocumTenens.com survey respondents (47%) indicated they hired no locum tenens physicians through an agency, while another 47% hired 10 or fewer through an agency.

Agencies Offer Advantages.

“Generally, using agencies like ours will get a qualified physician to your location faster,” Roush said. “When healthcare executives recognize the costs to patients and their organizations of not having a needed physician in place, the cost for the service agencies provide seems reasonable and cost effective.”

More than half of 2006 respondents (56%) indicated they agreed with this statement: “Using locum tenens physicians helps us retain patients and meet community needs.” (For complete survey results, visit http://www.locumtenens.com/2006-ASPRsurvey.)

“It also helps an organization retain the physicians it already has on staff,” Roush said. “Medicine is among the most stressful occupations in the world, and even the most dedicated physician needs work-life balance to help relieve the pressure. That’s why more and more organizations are staffing proactively with ‘relief’ physicians periodically to give staff physicians the time off they need.”

Founded in 1995, LocumTenens.com is a full-service physician/CRNA recruiting firm specializing in supplemental placement of anesthesiologists, radiologists, psychiatrists, surgeons and CRNAs with U.S. hospitals, medical groups and community health centers. LocumTenens.com is part of the Jackson Healthcare Staffing family of companies. To learn more, visit the company’s web sites at http://www.locumtenens.com/, http://www.CRNAjobs.com and http://www.MDsearch.com.

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Billie Wickstrom
LOCUMTENENS.COM
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