So, you are thinking about retiring from traditional family medicine and switching to locum work. Going the locum route is beneficial inasmuch as it will give you more control over your schedule and allow you to transition into retirement. Or maybe you are considering locum work as a new doctor just out of residency. Either way, locum family medicine is a legitimate option that can benefit both you and your patients.
Believe it or not, locum family medicine can actually improve healthcare to some extent. Here are three ways it does just that:
1. It Reduces Wait Times
One of the most pressing problems in family medicine right now is the amount of time patients have to wait to see their doctors. Whether they have to schedule appointments 6 to 8 months in advance or they get to the doctor’s office and wait an hour to be seen, waiting is simply not good for the industry or patient health.
Working as a locum gives you the opportunity to work side-by-side with local doctors who need help getting their practices caught up. There are private practice owners who bring in a steady stream of locums who can help them keep up with patient loads. And as long as the physician shortage continues unabated, the practice of using locums to reduce wait times will continue.
2. It Can Increase the Quality of Care
When private practice family doctors are stretched to their limits on a daily basis, the quality of care they offer obviously suffers. This problem is even more serious than long waiting times, as you can imagine. You can step in and be a tremendous help as a locum practitioner.
Locums offer private practice owners some room to breathe. Family doctors can step back and see fewer patients each day, giving more opportunities to spend time with those they do see. And with time spent is improved quality of care. There is no denying that. Quality of care increases with time spent, it is just that simple.
3. It Can Improve Patient Outlooks
Lastly, locum family medicine can improve patient outlooks by reducing waiting times and increasing the amount of time spent visiting with the doctor. Why is this important? Because patient outlook affects both outcomes and how the success of the private practice is measured. Remember, we are now in the era of outcome-based medicine, a new dynamic that measures success as much by patient perception as the number of procedures performed.
Survey after survey has found that patients are more than willing to see nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and locum doctors rather than their GPs as long as the person they see gives them the time and attention they need. Doctors do not have to worry about offending their patients by not seeing them directly. They have the freedom to bring in locums for as long as they are necessary.
A Great Way to Work
Locum tenens work has certainly come a long way in the last decade. It is not only a legitimate way to practice medicine, but it’s also an excellent way to work. Locum doctors have an opportunity to make real contributions without being tied down to a private practice or a single employer. And they are making a real difference in the way routine healthcare is delivered.
As a family medicine professional, you deserve the opportunity to work in a way that best suits you. If that means locum tenens work, Vista Staffing is here to help. We can introduce you to the locum way of working and help you get started.