Survey Shows Burnout Not Common Among Locum Tenens Physicians

“Although physician burnout is common among most medical practice models, there is one niche that has thus far avoided it: locum tenens.
A survey of 2500 clinicians found that burnout is rare for doctors doing contract work. Those in non-locum jobs had a burnout rate of 40% with 17% saying they are significantly or completely burned out, but 71% of locum tenens contractors reported little to no burnout.”

Click on the link below to read the full article written by Todd Shryock:
https://www.urologytimes.com/view/survey-shows-burnout-not-common-among-locum-tenens-physicians

Locum Tenens Provider Spotlight – Dr. L

Specialty: Internal Medicine/Hospitalist
Home State: Maine
Practicing Locum Tenens Since: 2022

Getting to Know Dr. L:

Why did you first pursue locum tenens work?
During the early part of the pandemic, I had a lot of time to re-evaluate my life goals. I noticed that I needed to gain more knowledge of financial matters. So I started my journey to becoming more financially literate, and when my eyes were opened, I concluded that I could not retire comfortably based on my current savings rate. Things have to change. So I tightened my budget and decided that the best way to bolster my income would be to do per diems and locums.

Describe the most unique assignment you’ve worked.
There isn’t anything unique with my hospitalist assignments. I work in three sites, and although they’re different, they’re also similar in how medicine is practiced. However, if I have to choose, it would be the smallest critical-care access hospital where I am doing per diem work since they do not have specialists and they are also not connected to any of the bigger hospital systems in the state; thus, it is sometimes scary not to have specialty back-up and simply relying on curb-siding specialists in the other two hospitals where I work

What medical advancements would you like to see in the next 5 years?
More immunotherapies for not just advanced cancers but even for early-stage cancers. I have been a hospitalist for 13 years now. For the past 3-4 years, I have seen a gradual shift in my goals of care discussions for stage 4 cancer patients from palliative- and hospice-focused to actively treating acute issues so they can start or continue with immunotherapy. Of course, it helps that most of these new drugs are also well-tolerated and effective. I also would like to see more advancement in gene editing technology applied to fields like transplant medicine, oncology, and endocrinology.

Recipe for More Rural Physicians

“Exposure to rural medicine during residency training is associated with a significant increase in the likelihood a physician will practice in a rural setting upon entering practice, a recently published study found.

The study—published in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education—found that family medicine residents who spent 50% or more of their training time in rural settings were at least five times more likely than residents with no rural training to practice in a rural setting. The findings, gathered from a sample of more than 12,000 family medicine physicians who completed residency training between 2008 and 2012, also indicate that even a small amount of rural training time—between 1%-9%—significantly increases the odds of a trainee subsequently opting for rural practice.”

To read the full article: https://www.ama-assn.org/medical-residents/transition-resident-attending/recipe-more-rural-physicians-more-exposure
By: Brendan Murphy

Women’s Earnings in Medicine vs. Men’s?

Key Takeaways

  • On average, women earn only 83 cents for every dollar a man earns.
  • The more women in a medical subspecialty, the less money both women and men earn over time.
  • Equalizing salaries immediately after residency completion influences the wage gap more than annual salary growth rates.

By Sarah Handzel, BSN, RN

To access the full article: How much do women in medicine earn compared with men? | MDLinx

Why Diversity & Inclusion Are Needed in Medicine

“In a recent Wall Street Journal article, the authors equate teaching future doctors about “diversity, equity, and inclusion competencies” to “political re-education” and “wokeness.” They claim that “hyper-class and -racial consciousness that the AAMC wants to instill in doctors may result in worse care for minorities.” Additionally, they predict that it will be difficult to attract new students to medicine if they must “attend to their guilt as racial and political oppressors before they can diagnose your cancer.”

The predominant culture in medicine is still one lacking inclusion and equity. Just look to the last quote above and you’ll see that the authors are addressing a White culture. They fail to address Black, Latino, and other minority races in their comments. As it stands, many highly qualified individuals are left out of medicine due to inequality. It may not be intentional, but it exists. According to the AAMC, 5.8% of practicing US physicians reported to be Hispanic and 5.0% Black. These statistics do not represent our society.

Medicine is still largely a White, male culture. While many may cite other reasons that minorities represent a smaller portion of physicians, especially those in leadership positions, it stands to reason that bias plays a major role. Minorites are often passed up for competitive positions. Patients with complex diseases need a whole team to take care of them, and any bias, apparent or not, needs to be addressed and removed, along with exclusion, racism, and sexism. As the predicted physician shortage rolls out, we need the best hands on deck.

Despite being in the 21st century, people have not overcome racism. In fact, many of our political leaders still seem to struggle with this problem. When our lawmakers can’t mount the racial divide, it spurs further acts of racism. We all saw the unrest that occurred following the George Floyd incident. In medicine, the whole focus should be on treating patients. Any tension, racial or otherwise, that creates a hostile or uncomfortable environment makes it more difficult to treat patients.

With many conditions, minority patients have worse outcomes than White patients. This has been shown in hundreds of studies. Many causes potentially explain this, including distrust of medical professionals. Many female patients choose to see me because I am a woman. Patients tend to trust, and feel more comfortable seeking medical care from, those who look and talk like them. We need diversity to address this. Patients’ lives depend on it.”

Source: https://www.physiciansweekly.com/why-diversity-inclusion-are-needed-in-medicine

Solutions to the Physician Shortage

“The U.S. could see a shortage of 54,100 to 139,000 physicians by 2033, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges cited in a July 25 Time report.

The report laid out six solutions, highlighting that an “innovative multipronged” approach will be required to solve the multifaceted problem.


The solutions:
1. More funding: Some hospital systems have been working to provide more residency spots through additional funding sources amid declining reimbursement from the federal government. These efforts have helped in certain areas, the report said.
2. Debt relief: Student loan forgiveness will be a necessary consideration when it comes to lower-paying specialties like primary care, the report said. A federal funding program to reduce the burden of medical school debt is a key piece of the solution.
3. Technology: Increased use of telemedicine can help ease the burden on physicians while offering care to patients in remote locations.
4. Expanding the care team: Medicine should be moving toward a “multidisciplinary, care team approach,” the report said.
5. Reducing paperwork burden: Delegating less complex medical billing data entry and paperwork to other professionals can free up physician time.
6. Boosting diversity and equity: Working to increase the number of physicians of color should be a key consideration, the report said. Efforts to diversify all areas of medicine should “start well before a prospective doctor is old enough to enroll in medical school.”

By: Patsy Newitt
https://www.beckersasc.com/asc-news/solutions-to-the-physician-shortage.html