Radiologists thrive in temporary positions

December 1, 2005

The number of physicians working as locum tenens has reached an all-time high, and the call for radiologists specifically has hit a record peak. Recent survey findings from Texas-based Staff Care suggest that these physicians want rewarding medical careers without the hassles associated with full-time clinical practice.

The number of physicians working as locum tenens has reached an all-time high, and the call for radiologists specifically has hit a record peak. Recent survey findings from Texas-based Staff Care suggest that these physicians want rewarding medical careers without the hassles associated with full-time clinical practice.

Radiology temps were the third most-sought-after medical specialty in 2004 (15%), behind anesthesiology (31%) and psychiatry (29%). Radiology was the top temporary staffing need in New York, Florida, and Texas.

The survey included telephone interviews with nearly 600 physicians from a pool of 7500 locum tenens recruited in 2004. It showed that older physicians see temp work as a form of semiretirement, while younger ones consider it a way to find the practice setting that fits their lifestyle needs.

Healthcare institutions spent a record $3 billion on locum tenens physicians during 2004, more than doubling the $1.25 billion spent in 2001.