Locum Tenens Physicians: Who They Are and What They Do

PhysiciansThe need for more physicians continues to grow in the U.S., as several medical and healthcare facilities still suffer from understaffing problems. As a result of this insufficient doctor to patient ratio, many patients report poor satisfaction with their medical care.

The good news is locum tenens physicians are here to make it possible to close the gap between the number of doctors and patients. What exactly is the meaning of a locum tenens physician?

Defining locum tenens

Taken from the Latin language, the rough translation of “locum tenens” is “to hold a place” in the English language. In layman’s terms and definition, locum tenens physicians serve as a substitute for in-house or resident physicians, usually on a short-term or temporary basis. In some cases, they take on the workload of these medical and health professionals for only a few days, while in some situations, they can hold this place for half a year or even longer.

What they mean for healthcare facilities

When healthcare employers, including emergency departments, hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes, face staffing shortages, they can rely on locum tenens physicians. Whether the reason for the shortage is an illness, a sudden need to go on leave, or anything else, locum tenens practitioners can help maintain balance as they have the same qualifications as their permanent peers.

It is also cost-effective for medical facilities to get the services of locum tenens physicians to supplement their permanent staff during peak seasons.

Keeping patient care quality at optimal levels

Because understaffing causes major problems for both patients and healthcare providers, it is vital that employers approach this issue promptly. By enlisting the services of locum tenens physicians, patients will continue to receive the high-quality care they need and deserve.