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Finding the right staff is difficult.  Finding the right physicians can be even harder.  But what if your staffing need isn’t permanent, you’re just testing the waters in a new setting, or you want to bring in new staff for a short period? 

Locum tenens can be a good alternative in the private practice setting, and is used widely worldwide, creating a $1.6 billion industry in the United States.  This newswire from Vista Staffing Solutions comments on some of the benefits of locum tenens placements, and references some of the practice and assignment preferences of locum tenens physicians.

Locum tenens may extend the medical careers of physicians and help them avoid burn-out, according to a survey commissioned in January 2008 by VISTA Staffing Solutions. Physicians surveyed indicated that locum tenens would be most attractive to physicians considering semi-retirement, those making a professional transition from one position to another, and residents completing training who want to try out diverse geographic settings and practice types before settling down.

Locum tenens – Latin for “one holding a place” – is the industry term for physicians who fill temporary assignments, covering for a colleague during medical or military leave, for example, or staffing a healthcare facility while that facility recruits a permanent physician. The practice is worldwide, and a $1.6 billion industry in the US alone, according to Staffing Industry Analysts. Interestingly, however, 69% of survey respondents said they had no personal experience working as or hiring locum tenens physicians.