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Today many of the hospitals, clinics and other health care centers are having a great deal of trouble trying to recruit qualified physicians to join their staff. Unlike earlier times, the actual hiring and recruitment of an Emergency Room physician can take 18 months or more. Even family practitioners are becoming almost impossible to find for many of the smaller facilities. For high-risk areas and specialties some health care centers are downsizing services and referring patients to neighboring towns and facilities.

Some facilities need to have a number of available physicians just to handle the most routine concerns and patients and one or two doctors can simply not stand up to the strain of 7-day workweeks on a long-term basis. Even though some of the agents who were handling the medical recruiting jobs have not been able to provide for the permanent positions that many of these facilities had hoped for, yet there has been a respite in many cases. Today these agencies are finding physicians who are willing to work part time or full time for an agreed upon number of weeks.

Many of these physicians are specialized in obstetrics or emergency room procedures. While they do not want to commit to long term contracts at a particular hospital or health care center, they are agreeable to helping out and shouldering some of the patient load while medical recruitment efforts continue in high gear. These doctors are known as locum tenens physicians, meaning that they are just substituting on a temporary basis.



Originally used in rural areas of the western US during the 70s, the locum tenens has progressively moved into larger cities across the nation. By using the staff support that these physicians can provide hospitals are able to carry on with business as usual, maintain accreditation, and offer full services to their patient population. This helps ensure that the facilities can stay operational without resorting to shuttered windows and closings.

An easy way to describe the services of a locum tenens staff member is to say that they are operating on a contract basis. Today it is estimated that there may be as many as 10% of all physicians in the country who have performed these types of services at least once. It is also being found that a growing majority of doctors want to practice medicine as locum tenens. The amount of money that is being paid to doctors who practice on these terms has doubled in just over 3 years and it is predicted that this amount will increase drastically over the next 2 years. These contract physicians are also used if a regular staff member has to go on leave, or vacation, or becomes ill. They can even be called in as valuable resources when there are critical patient care needs or a high number of ill or injured patients coming in to the ER.

A number of the smaller health care facilities are very happy with the results of this plan because they only have to pay the physician for the period that he/she is working there and this is quite economical for many of the institutions that have to carefully balance their budgets. There are also no perks and benefits to worry about with these locum tenens staff members.

The staffing recruiting jobs are handled by trained experts who are very familiar with the standards and requirements of both the JCAHO and the NCQA. The recruiters make sure that all of the physicians that they are responsible for have met all of the necessary standards relating to education, experience, licensing, and certification. A surprising statistic has even been released which shows that almost 100 % of all of the physicians accepting locum tenens work are board certified in one or more specialties. Due to the fact that this type of work requires a number of skills, most of the physicians who choose to work as locum tenens are usually better updated on the latest procedures and they show better expertise than many of their peers.

Healthcare recruiting jobs are very stressful and these jobs require people who can function well under pressure, are motivated, and are self-starters. Not only do these recruiters focus on physicians, there are other careers in the health care field that are also being targeted. While the staffers who handle medical recruiting jobs deal with physicians, there are others who actively recruit nurses, physician's assistants, X ray techs, physical therapists, and other specialties. The pay is not as high for non-physician areas, but these workers can double their normal rate of pay in many instances by performing necessary jobs for other health care agencies. Some hospitals have an in house agency that is assigned the task of providing additional qualified help throughout the hospital, but many times the demand is simply outstripping the available resources and manpower.

With the demand for healthcare workers and physicians rising in an almost daily fashion, there are going to be more healthcare recruiting jobs opening up. Recruiting Crossing is an online posting board that can provide information about many of the jobs and needs available in this area. For people who feel that they can handle negotiations, and be attentive to small details, this industry may provide them with a job at which they can excel.
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