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More physicians are taking locum tenens assignments, and more organizations are using these short-term assignments to fill critical roles. According to CHG Healthcare’s 2023 State of Locum Tenens Report, roughly 7% of physicians worked at least one locum tenens assignment in the past year, representing an 88% increase since 2015. More than 4 in 10 (43%) physicians who work locum tenens assignments do so full-time, up from 30% in 2019.

Physicians are also starting to take short-term roles earlier in their careers —59% of physicians with locum tenens experience took their first role within 10 years of completing their training. “Locums in the past were typically older, more tenured physicians looking for a way to ease into retirement. Today, we’re seeing more and more young physicians who want better work/life balance and flexibility in their lives,” Luke Woodyard, President of Weatherby Healthcare, said in a press release.

The demand for locum tenens remains high. More than half (64%) of organizations surveyed said they used locum tenens in 2021, and 82% of this group said their use was going to remain constant or increase in the future.

Scott Beck, CEO of CHG Healthcare, commented: “Influential association and healthcare organization leaders understand the value of a strategic, proactive approach to temporary staffing and flexibility, especially when partnered with a strong and caring staffing partner. Locum tenens provide a crucial safety net for continuing patient access to care while also giving physicians facing burnout a flexible way to continue practicing.”