How can a healthcare provider choose which medically underserved patients to help?
Many medical providers feel great satisfaction in the fact that treating and healing patients in need of care is their life’s work. But of these physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other healthcare professionals, a number of them still feel called to do more.
These providers often take up locum work in place of full-time, permanent, positions, utilizing the flexibility of locums to volunteer their medical skills on international missions with organizations such as Doctors Without Borders.
Some may wonder why a medical professional would want to travel and volunteer their efforts for nothing in return, when they could get paid handsomely for their services in the U.S. and get the same fulfillment. There is no particularly good answer to this question except: it’s in our human nature to feel good when we help others, especially those who we believe to be in the most dire need of aid.
When picturing people in need, it’s easy for one’s mind to jump to severely impoverished or geographically isolated individuals overseas. It may be true that patient populations in some Developing Nations lack access to healthcare, but this thought process fails to consider the struggles of those who have fallen through the cracks of the American healthcare system.
As Defined by the US Department of Health and Human Services, medically underserved patients are populations who are faced with barriers which prevent them from getting healthcare coverage and basic health care services.
Due to a number of possible economic, geographic, cultural, and other barriers, these patients may experience a shortage of available providers, have a lack of familiarity with the healthcare delivery system, and receive fewer healthcare services. Medically underserved patients in the U.S. are struggling with the ramifications of being dealt a bad hand within our socio-economic system through no fault of their own.
The health disparities which medically underserved populations experience every day have subjected them to a greater risk for multiple health issues and/or pre-existing conditions, as well as far higher mortality rates. Numerous American academic medical institutions are making an effort to encourage healthcare students to care for these populations once in practice, but this new wave of practitioners can’t close the gap alone. Offering your services domestically gives patients access to preventative care, timely diagnosis, and a better chance at a longer, healthier life.
When you choose to do locums with Wellhart, you are choosing to give back to those who need you most right at home. Wellhart works with underserved healthcare facilities and communities across every disadvantaged corner of the U.S. to get underserved patients the medical attention they so critically need. From Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities, to refugee Humanitarian Aid projects, Wellhart’s locum tenens professionals provide indispensable medical services to make a real difference in the lives of those facing adversity in healthcare.
Locum tenens work offers medical providers rewarding job opportunities to improve community health in their own backyard, and the scheduling flexibility to pursue additional philanthropic efforts both domestically and internationally.
Ready to start filling out your locum work schedule? Fill out our contact form to get started with a recruiter!