At SteadyMD, we have been fortunate to experience strong interest from clinicians in joining our Care Team. We wanted to better understand who was interested in telehealth and why. So we analyzed responses from a sample of over 1,700 clinicians who were interested in working for SteadyMD, which included doctors (35%), nurse practitioners (52%), and therapists (12%).
WHAT WE SET OUT TO LEARN:
- Who, in terms of clinicians, are interested in working in telehealth?
- Why are clinicians interested in telehealth?
- What kinds of schedules are clinicians looking to work?
- Are clinicians interested in pursuing telehealth full-time or part-time?
Experienced Doctors and Therapists are Most Interested, NPs Less Experienced
By separating our data by both clinician type and years of practice, we found that doctors with 15 or more years of experience had the highest interest. “They may be looking for a different way to practice after going the traditional route and exploring new opportunities. That was true for me,” says Dr. Chardonnay Vance, Medical Director of Clinical Programs at SteadyMD. Therapists, like doctors, also skewed on the higher end. But for nurse practitioners, about half had 5 years or less experience in their field. We can partially attribute this to the growing number of nurse practitioners who have recently completed their training. SteadyMD NP Adam Helm, APRN-CNP, adds, “Many NPs were negatively affected by COVID-19 with layoffs, burn out, and changes in their positions from full-time to part-time. So many are exploring all opportunities, including telehealth.”
Flexible Schedule, Working from Home Attracts Clinicians
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered and popularized working a more flexible schedule from home across all industries. Healthcare is no exception. We have found that having a flexible schedule, working from home, and gaining experience in telehealth were the three most common reasons for clinician interest in telehealth.
To dive further into flexible schedules, we noticed a lot of interest in evening and weekend work. In general, the healthcare industry as a whole seems to be open to schedules outside of the 9-to-5 model that is common in other industries.
Therapists Prefer Night Shift
A whopping 86% of therapists were interested in night shifts. Many are looking to moonlight while keeping their day jobs. Summer Buck, LMFT, SteadyMD Mental Health Director, adds, “It is not uncommon for therapists seeking to make extra money, check out telehealth, and maintain their benefits from their daytime employer.” Meanwhile, over half of both doctors and NPs are interested in night shifts.
Doctors and NPs Prefer Weekend Shifts
Alternatively, though all three clinician types were open to weekend shifts (85% overall), the data skewed the opposite direction with more doctors and NPs being interested than therapists. For doctors, it is easier to do telehealth on the side on weekends and for a little extra cash. Nurses are more accustomed to shift work that normally spans weekends at clinics. Anecdotally, we know nurse practitioners who are juggling child care prefer weekends when their spouses tend to provide coverage for their children. Whereas therapists want predictable schedules and seldom do shift work.
Nearly 2/3 Interested in Full-Time Telehealth
When it comes to the option to work part-time or full-time in telehealth, clinicians were open to different options.
Overall, 63% of our participants were interested in full-time if it was an option. NPs showed the most interest. Doctors were a little bit lower. Dr. Vance adds, “If you’re a primary care physician with a panel of patients, it is hard to leave them.” Therapists were the lowest at 50%.
NPs Seek Most Time Commitment
If only part-time was available, in general, clinicians were interested in more hours. Out of the 1700+ participants, less than 5 people were interested in fewer than 10 hours per week!
Nearly two-thirds of NPs were interested in 20+ hrs per week. This did not appear to vary much based on years of experience. This correlates with our finding above. NPs are looking for meaningful part-time opportunities with a lot of hours to replace their day jobs and are drawn to the flexibility of telehealth.
More than half of therapists were interested in 10-15 hours per week, which aligns with their desire to “moonlight.”
Doctors, especially those who have worked for a long time in the traditional system, are interested in telehealth as a better way to practice medicine. Dr. Vance adds, “Because telemedicine is still relatively new, we have the opportunity to define a new process and culture for providing care. And that’s very hopeful and exciting!”
Nurse Practitioners are very interested in a full-time career as a telehealth clinician and open to various shifts that fits their schedule.
Therapists prefer to “moonlight” in teletherapy on weeknights.
Overall, what our analysis shows is some are looking for a 9-to-5, dependable paycheck, while others are interested in a “side hustle.” And SteadyMD aims to support both types of clinicians.
We strongly believe telehealth represents a great opportunity to meet individual clinician needs, and it can help address the shortage of clinicians in the industry; and in turn, increase access to better quality care across the country.
Are you a clinician interested in telehealth job opportunities? Learn more about the SteadyMD Care Team.