It is time for the locum tenens physician to come off the sidelines
We are in a post-COVID world, where healthcare was front and center in the crisis. For the first time in my 41 years in physician staffing, I witnessed physicians being underemployed. Clinics were closed and physicians were laid off. Emergency departments emptied out because of fear and ER staffs were cut to the bare minimum. Elective surgery cases were cancelled, leaving surgeons sidelined for almost 12 months. Unprecedented? Most definitely. Telemedicine helped supplement income to many physicians, and really changed practice styles forever.
So now what? As we return to normal, there is a backlog of roughly 2.3 million elective cases, hospital-owned outpatient clinics with no returning physicians or retirements, increases in inpatient beds filled – I can go on and on. If you were a locum pre-COVID, post-COVID is time to hit the road in your licensed states.
With the supply chain shortages, comes increased demand and increased cost for those items and services. The same applies to the clinical provider: less supply, more demand, and increased rates.
The locum agencies took a big hit last year, but most of them survived and adapted. Their regular clients are coming back with a list of needed providers. With locums and telemedicine, there has never been a time like now to declare your independence, maximize your income and see the USA.
Carmen A. Renaldy III has been in the physician staffing business since 1980 and has been an early leader in developing locum tenens, anesthesiology practice management and staffing; and more recently pioneering many aspects of telemedicine. He is now in a strategic partnership with Innoneo based in Boston, Massachusetts.