New Study Reveals 63% of Healthcare Providers Plan Time Off from Practice, While Demand Increases for Some Specialties
Monday, July 26th, 2021
Perhaps no other industry in the United States was as uniquely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis as the healthcare system. The effects varied vastly across the industry, causing some physicians work overload and others scarcity and job loss.
LocumTenens.com, the industry's most-visited job board and full-service locum tenens agency, has released a new survey of 2,300 physicians and advanced practitioners that explores healthcare employment trends over the course of the pandemic to date.
"We are continuing to see healthcare organizations face staffing shortages, which will likely worsen in the coming months as more clinicians take time off from practicing or make career changes," said Chris Franklin, president of LocumTenens.com. "The pandemic highlighted gaps in existing employment strategies and gave some providers time to reconsider priorities. It's now more important than ever that we are prepared to support the healthcare workforce to ensure patients have access to care."
Key findings of the 2021 Physician and Advanced Practice Salary Report include:
Current and Future Employment:
Not all clinicians are back to work. In fact, 14% of physicians and advanced practitioners are still unemployed after being furloughed or laid off last year.
Many clinicians are planning on making a job change soon, with 41% planning to change jobs within the next year.
Patient Access to Care:
Child and adolescent psychiatrists will be in continued demand. Almost half (47%) reported an increased workload due to COVID-19, highlighting the detrimental impact of the pandemic on pediatric mental health.
Nearly two-thirds of clinicians (63%) have taken time off from practicing or are planning to do so within the next few months. With a growing physician shortage and increased patient visits, the U.S. could be facing a harsh summer and fall with even fewer providers to deliver care.
Burnout and Stress
Overall, 39% of clinicians reported increased levels of stress and burnout due to the pandemic, with the most burned-out specialties being oncology, hospital medicine, critical care medicine and emergency medicine.
Millennials reported the highest level of burnout due to COVID-19 at 49%, while 43% of women felt burnout vs. 33% of men.
Many clinicians said their salaries decreased because of COVID-19. The most common reason cited was due to cut hours or reduced pay, often because of a lack of patients.
20% of critical care physicians and 11% of hospitalists saw an increase in salary due to COVID-19, as the virus led them to be vital to the influx of hospitalized patients.
Invitations for the survey were emailed to a database of more than 220,000 healthcare professionals in May 2021. Some recipients had been placed by LocumTenens.com, and some had not. A total of 2,300 respondents – both physicians and advanced practitioners, who were self-selected and spanned all 50 states – took part in the study.