Back Nationwide Physician Shortage Increases Demand for Locum Tenens Primary Care Doctors

Nationwide Physician Shortage Increases Demand for Locum Tenens Primary Care Doctors

The nation's ongoing physician shortage is not only real, as an abundance of recent reports indicate, but it's escalating, creating more demand than ever before for qualified locum tenens primary care physicians across the United States.

Like any social crisis, there are a variety of reasons for the rural physician shortage. As we pointed out here at Locum Leaders recently, one of the primary reasons is that the nation's physician workforce is aging, with fewer new physicians slotted to replace those set to retire.

Just as there are many causes to the ongoing primary care physician shortage, so too are there many proposed solutions. Many state university systems have already implemented new programs to train medical students; since 2001, "there has been a 26 percent increase in the number of medical students, with increases in the number of medical schools and class sizes," as Physician's Weekly reported in June.

Indeed, the nation's rural physician shortage is a crisis that's garnered increasing levels of attention in recent years. "It's not uncommon for Main Street in rural communities throughout South Dakota to have a post office, a gas station, a small grocery store or market, and possibly a traffic light or two — not much more than that," U.S. Senator John Thune recently wrote for South Dakota's Daily Republic in a commemoration of National Health Center Week 2016.

"Just because some South Dakotans choose to call small town America home doesn't mean they're less deserving of the health care that's often available in more populated areas," Sen. Thune added. "The health care professionals who choose to practice in these smaller communities should be applauded because without them, the community members who rely on these facilities would be forced to travel long distances and likely incur higher costs along the way."

The Physician Shortage in West Virginia

“There are people in West Virginia going without care because of rurality and geography,” commented Dr. Dana King, professor and chair of the WVU School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine, per a report by the Exponent Telegram. “One thing that makes our state unique is we’re the third oldest population, so they have more medical needs,” he added. The state is actively recruiting new residents and out-of-state primary care physicians to fill the void, creating opportunities for locum primary care physicians looking for work in the area — or just the satisfaction of helping a community in need.

Locum Primary Care Jobs in WV

The Physician Shortage in Arkansas

Like many other states, Arkansas is facing a "serious physician shortage," reports UALR Public Radio, which cites Arkansas State University's Dr. Jason Penry in claiming that the state "was ranked as one of the worst states with a low physician per capita ratio." The state is ramping up its residency programs — but in the meantime, opportunities for locum tenens primary care physicians are abundant statewide.

Locum Primary Care Jobs in AR

The Physician Shortage in Texas

"Texas ranks behind nearly every state in the number of physicians per capita," points out the Texas Insider in an article highlighting a program to train more new residents, "one of many strategies to curtail the shortage of primary care physicians in Texas." For the meantime, though, Texas healthcare employers are eager to land locum tenens primary care physicians — the state offers more opportunities than most others.

Locum Primary Care Jobs in TX

The Physician Shortage in New Mexico

New Mexico is one of the hardest-hit states in the country, with only about 1,900 primary care physicians statewide. "Compared to the state's population, that means there's only one primary care physician for every 1,100 New Mexicans," reports Albuquerque's ABC affiliate, KOAT. "Yeah, that is not enough doctors," said one ABQ resident, per the story.

"If your condition isn't urgent, Lovelace Hospital says it will take between 2 and 5 weeks to get an appointment to see a primary care physician," the report adds. "At Presbyterian, it's anywhere from a week to a month." Needless to say, opportunities for locum PCP doctors abound, as hospitals scramble to meet patient needs across the Land of Enchantment.

Locum Primary Care Jobs in NM

The Physician Shortage in Wisconsin

Add Wisconsin to the list of states that have recently boosted medical student enrollment to fight a statewide primary care physician shortage. Leaders of the new program emphasize the need for new physicians who want to practice "in small towns, in family medicine and psychiatry," according to a report by Wisconsin Public Radio. In the meantime, there are plenty of opportunities for locum tenens physicians interested in relocating to Wisconsin.

Locum Primary Care Jobs in WI

The Physician Shortage in Minnesota

Just over the border from Wisconsin, Minnesota is also facing a project primary care physician shortage of its own. "Minnesota alone will be short 1,200 primary care physicians by 2030, according to a study from the Robert Graham Center," reports the Mankato Free Press. Noting that the shortage "disproportionately affects Greater [read: rural] Minnesota," the report quotes Minnesota's state demographer Susan Brower: “Some of the shortages that we are seeing that are emerging in health care are really only just beginning.”

Locum Primary Care Jobs in MN

The Physician Shortage in Iowa

"There is a great demand" for family practice and primary care doctors in Iowa — now more than any time in recent memory, according to a report from Iowa ABC affiliate KCRG News. The report quotes Assistant Dean of the University Of Iowa Carver College Of Medicine Greg Nelson to make its point: "We survey all of the hospitals and providers in the state of Iowa every year and this last year was probably the highest demand in family medicine that we've seen in the last ten years or so."

Locum Primary Care Jobs in IA

This list is by no means comprehensive — the primary care physician shortage is nationwide, and opportunities exist in most states. To discover an opportunity for locum primary care employment near you, connect with a Locum Leaders recruiter today.

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