Locum tenens use on the rise; employers cite doctor shortage

March 10, 2011

The use of locum tenens is rising, underlining the ongoing shortage of doctors nationwide.

The use of locum tenens is rising, underlining the ongoing shortage of doctors nationwide, according to survey results by Staff Care, a national temporary physician staffing firm of AMN Healthcare.

The survey polled hospital and medical group managers about their use of locum tenens. The majority of those surveyed (85%) said their facilities had used locums in the last 12 months, up from 72% the previous year. The primary reason, cited by 63% of those surveyed, was to fill in until a permanent doctor could be found. The top requested type of provider on the list was psychiatrists and behavioral health specialists, followed by primary care physicians (20% of requests), and internal medicine subspecialists (12%).