Doctors are finding themselves spending more and more time on non-clinical tasks, and less time doing what they love best — caring for patients. Not only does this negatively affect patient care, but it has also been undeniably linked to greater stress and burnout among physicians. They want to focus on patient care, not administration.
One way many doctors are finding relief is by working locum tenens full time, instead of running a practice or accepting employment at a permanent position. Locum tenens providers don’t have to deal with hospital bureaucracy and are in control of their own schedule, deciding when, where, and how often they want to work while still earning a comparable salary. And when they are at work, they can focus strictly on patient care.
Countless physicians say they find a renewed love of medicine when they can focus on patient care without worrying about administrative hassles. This is the case for Dr. Stanley Green and Dr. Pierre Moeser, both of whom found immediate relief and revitalization through working locum tenens.
Focus on patient care
Hospitalist Dr. Stanley Green discovered locum tenens during his residency — and has worked locums full time ever since. And despite other physicians’ concerns about continuity and quality of patient care, Dr. Green says he’s found that’s never been an issue.
“People say that you can’t establish quality patient relationships as a locum, but that’s totally untrue,” he says. “I’ve been able to establish significant relationships and as an independent actor I find that I can advocate for my patients without worrying about interoffice politics.”
Dr. Green says that having the ability to focus solely on patient care has made him a better patient advocate. “The only thing that really matters to me is the quality of patient care.”
Not having to attend meetings or concerning himself with hospital administration or interoffice politics has made him a better physician. He can now focus on what he loves — practicing medicine.
Uninterrupted patient time
“When you step into a new practice or one you only occasionally go to, every patient is new,” says rheumatologist Dr. Pierre Moeser. “The way my schedule is, I’m never going to see the same patient. So when every patient is new — which is a challenge that some physicians don’t like — it takes more patient time up front. Every case is new.”
Dr. Moeser says that locums gives him this incredible opportunity to look at each patient’s case through a new lens and possibly rethink their treatment. It’s an opportunity and a challenge that he’s grateful for. But it takes time that most physicians in permanent positions don’t have.
“It does take more time. You can’t see a new patient in 15 minutes, and sometimes you get a little behind,” he says. “But the big difference between being a locum and a staff physician is I don’t have to conduct interviews, participate in committees, do a bunch of administrative work, have a lot of responsibilities. My job is to focus on the patient. I have the luxury of dedicated, uninterrupted patient care.”
Shift your focus
If you’re frustrated with the amount of time you’re spending on administrative duties, discover how locum tenens can help you shift your focus back to patient care.