IRVING, Texas – Thirteen percent of medical professionals hired by the Department of Veterans Affairs drop out of the employment process before actually starting work, according to recently published National Public Radio data. Despite the large shortage of medical professionals at VA facilities, accepted candidates frequently face a months-long delay between the initial job offer and scheduled start date. Sami Alford, government hiring expert at Consilium Staffing, explains how connecting new hires with locum tenens (temporary) healthcare opportunities in the interim could increase the number of medical professionals who ultimately accept permanent employment offers at Veterans Affairs facilities.
“Any time you offer someone a job and tell them they can’t start for another six months, you run the risk of losing that candidate,” said Sami Alford, government account manager at Consilium. “Government processes often take a long time, which can cause financial hardship for a physician expecting to start a new job. Consilium can eliminate that burden by connecting providers with locum tenens opportunities in the meantime, so they can continue making a living until the VA position starts.”
Locum tenens, a Latin phrase meaning “to hold the place of,” refers to the temporary placement of healthcare providers. Locum tenens professionals cover shifts at understaffed medical facilities on a short- or long-term basis, for days, weeks, months or even years. Although locum tenens providers already work at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities to mitigate the physician shortage, Alford said there is also potential for the locum tenens industry to reduce the number of healthcare professionals who drop out of the VA hiring process altogether.
“One solution is to connect newly accepted candidates with contract opportunities—even those outside the government sector—during that gap so they can afford to weather the wait,” said Alford. “Consilium places physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants in public, private and government facilities throughout the United States, so we certainly can find short-term positions for providers who cannot afford to go months without work. Veterans deserve the best care available, and we should do everything possible to get quality doctors in positions to provide that care.”
Consilium, Your Partner in Locum Tenens, connects contract healthcare professionals with understaffed medical facilities across the country. For more information about Consilium and to view career opportunities for nurse practitioners, physicians and physician assistants, please visit: www.consiliumstaffing.com.