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Physician Shortages: Are You Prepared?

By: Alan Ashby | Updated on 4/12/2022

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Healthcare organizations are not immune to the shortage of workers available due to the pandemic the rest of American businesses are facing. As the COVID cases continue to rise and we approach flu season, it’s more imperative than ever we are prepared to care for patients.

Is your organization prepared for a physician shortage?

The AAMC has updated its prediction for available physicians, recently publishing an expected physician shortage of up to 124,000 by 2034. This will affect patient care when needed most. Incorporating locum tenens clinicians into your business strategy could ensure continuity of care, decreasing the likelihood of patients turning elsewhere for available appointments.

According to our 2021 salary and employment survey report, 41% of physicians and advanced practitioners are planning to make a job change within the next year, compared to only 36% planning the same in 2019. Of those who are burned out due to COVID-19, that number rises to 45% of healthcare providers planning to change jobs. More than half (63%) of healthcare providers who responded to the survey said they have already or will soon be taking a vacation, with another 10% unsure at the time of the survey. Of those who said they were burned out due to COVID-19, 68% were planning to take time off this summer or fall from practicing medicine.

With 63% of physicians and advanced practitioners planning to take time off work in the next few months and almost half of respondents looking to find a new job, healthcare organizations will be short-staffed as patients feel more comfortable scheduling their appointments they put off during the pandemic.

While many healthcare administrators and physician recruiters are concerned with finding the perfect permanent candidate to join their full-time staff, patients are being left unseen during a time when rising COVID cases are hitting every part of the country, just before flu season arrives. Organizations need to be prepared and make decisions quickly. Hiring locum tenens clinicians, utilizing advanced practitioners and incorporating telehealth services into your business plan will improve patient access to care during a time when it’s needed most.

Learn more about incorporating locum tenens into your business strategy.

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About the author

Alan Ashby

Vice President, Primary Care

After starting his career at LocumTenens.com in 2008 as a Research Consultant for the Surgery Division, where Alan quickly moved up the ranks to Managing Director. In November of 2016, he transitioned to the Primary Care Team where he served as Managing Director until being promoted to Associate Vice President. In 2018, Alan became Vice President of the Emergency Medicine Division and in 2021 Vice President of Primary Care, continuing to oversee Emergency Medicine. Since joining LocumTenens.com, Alan has been the recipient of numerous awards, including “Producer of the Month” and “Manager of the month,” and was recognized as the 2012 LocumTenens.com Producer of the Year. Alan graduated magna cum laude from Georgia State University in 2005 with a B.B.A. in Risk Management and Insurance. Prior to joining LocumTenens.com, he spent three years in the insurance industry serving small- and medium-sized businesses with commercial insurance planning.