As many physicians begin to approach retirement age they may start thinking about trips they want to take, family they want to visit or hobbies they may want to explore. However, based on a recent survey we took of physicians over the age of 50 it looks like many physicians aren’t ready to retire.
Putting off retirement may be a good choice for physicians but it is a great choice for healthcare facilities. Hiring a locum tenens physician that is later in their career brings a lot of benefits.
Physicians with 20- or 30-years-experience have seen a lot. They have advanced in medicine as technology has improved and bring a level of knowledge that can’t be gained any other way. They likely have seen it all and done it all and can bring that experience to bear for your facility and patients.
Another benefit some of these physicians can bring is greater experience than your facility usually is able to offer. For example, you may get a locums that traditionally works as a specialist or sub-specialist in a perm job but when they travel they work as a general practitioner but can still bring their experience as a sub-specialist to bear. Otolaryngologists are a good example of this, all are trained as ear, nose and throat docs but many choose to sub-specialize in one of many options including head and neck oncology, facial plastics and reconstructive surgery, rhinology sinus and allergy, and more. An otolaryngologist with 25 years of experience in one of those sub-specialties is going to be able to help your patients far more than someone just getting established in their career.
A different outlook
Some physicians may find themselves diagnosing or treating the same illnesses time and time again. Different parts of the country face diverse ailments and bringing in someone who has worked in other states or practice settings can bring in new treatments or variations on your tried and true methods that might prove to offer great improvements.
Older physicians that come into your practice also give your younger permanent physicians an opportunity to learn from someone who has been there. Often physicians with a lot of experience enjoy an opportunity to share their knowledge and demonstrate how to do different things.
There are many physicians with years of experience and vast amounts of knowledge that they are ready and willing to share. Dr. Michael Higginbotham is one such physician. While retired he still works occasional locum tenens assignments and enjoys the opportunity it gives him to both share his knowledge and still be useful.
Locums or perm physicians offer the same benefits
Whether they are locums, part-time or a full-time permanent employee all of these same benefits apply. For locums you know that your patients and facility are in good hands with a well-seasoned physician who has likely seen anything that may come their way. For permanent hires you are bringing a wealth of information into your facility that can be used to educate and demonstrate to your younger physicians and staff.
You may think bringing in a more experienced physician will be expensive. However, there are many options that will allow your facility to benefit from these healthcare providers. Bringing in a locums for a temporary assignment is a great way to learn from a physician during a short stay. Many older physicians are also looking for work with part-time or less hours and would be happy working just a few days a week or a month. This can be an economical way to bring in someone with a lot of experience without all of the cost.
Physicians later in their careers still have a lot to offer your patients and the field of medicine. Combine that with a desire of many physicians to work beyond retirement age and your facility can benefit from their experience and knowledge.