By Christine Whitmarsh, RN, BSN
In researching topics like health care reform, the physician shortage, and other topics hopefully of interest to Locum Tenens physician job holders, I have noticed a pattern amongst the medical specialty areas most in need of physicians. The areas where physicians, other primary care providers such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners, and Locum tenens physicians are needed the most, include general practice, pediatrics, emergency and geriatric medicine. The pattern is the health Care cycle of need.
When we are born, we rely on doctors to bring us into this world, help our bodies adjust to a harsh, new living space and provide the necessary preparations so we can make it through to the next stage of life. Children need doctors to survive and thrive. Then, as we age, we rely on doctors to put us back together when we are broken, head off serious illness before it surfaces and ensures that we survive the middle part of life’s gauntlet. Finally, when we reach the home stretch we need – and quite frankly, have earned – doctors the most. We are not asking for eternal life, simply for a respectful and dignified quality of life until we reach the finish line.
All doctors practicing in all specialty areas serve an important role in health care. However, the ones who have a front row seat to the cycle of life – obstetricians, pediatricians, family medicine doctors, emergency department doctors and geriatric specialists – truly hold a special place in the circle of life. I can only hope that the powers that be who control compensation and reimbursement will see this and show these physicians the respect they so deserve.
Christine Whitmarsh is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from the University of Rhode Island. She is a freelance health journalist and medical writer and a contributor to Travel Nurse Source and Allied Travel Careers.