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'Temp doctors' choose career for flexibility, easier lifestyle

The fact that such a large minority of LT physicians has no intention of settling down to one job has positive and negative implications for health care, according to Alonzo.

"The good news is that we get more providers who are happier with their lifestyles. But if this becomes too popular, it could lead to physician shortages in some areas," he said.

In addition, LT jobs give physicians less autonomy in how they practice medicine. Because of their short-term assignments, LT physicians have to follow practices styles of the hospital or clinic that hires them.

"That means LT physicians may have less autonomy in their temporary practice setting they have new practice styles to follow," he said. "They are giving up some of their autonomy in order to have a more comfortable lifestyle where they have flexibility and the opportunity to explore new areas of the country and different practice settings.

"There seems to be both an upside and a downside to this trend of increasing numbers of locum tenens physicians."


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Contact: Angelo Alonzo
Alonzo.1@osu.edu
614-292-6616
Ohio State University
11-Jan-2005


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