The survey results are another example of the growing discontent physicians have towards their profession. Many physicians feel that recent changes to the healthcare system are making it harder for physicians to do what they love, interacting with patients, by making it necessary to devote more time dealing with regulations and paperwork.
Among the physicians who are satisfied with practicing medicine, four in 10 physicians rank patient relationships as the most important element of job satisfaction followed by protecting and promoting the health of individuals (three in 10) and intellectual stimulation (two in 10). The greatest elements of job dissatisfaction include:
- Less time with patients
- Long work hours
- Dealing with Medicare/Medicaid/government regulations
There is no doubt that the healthcare industry is changing, and physicians may need to adapt in order to continue doing the parts of the job they enjoy and limiting the elements they dislike. Based on these results, a locum tenens career would be a good fit. Locum tenens physicians do not need to deal with office politics and bureaucratic headaches that are associated with traditional positions, allowing them to spend more time with patients. Also, locum tenens physicians have the flexibility to work at a several different facilities, gaining valuable experience and stimulating their intellect.
Locums can also set their own schedule, and since they are independent contractors, they don’t need to worry about the various government requirements associated with running a practice. Lastly, 51% of physicians surveyed feel that physician incomes will fall dramatically in the next one to three years. The greatest concern among physicians with regards to payments is that the bundled payment structure will provide inadequate payments. This is another element that locum tenens physicians need not worry about. Locums are generally paid an hourly rate and are not directly affected by bundled payments, value-based payments, or fee-for-service payment issues.