Nearly four decades ago, a small-town Texas physician practicing solo family medicine decided it was time to change his career path. Ken Teufel, M.D.'s practice was busy, excessively so at times, and since it included a heavy dose of obstetrics, there was no time for vacations or weekends off. It was the same in many other surrounding towns. Many of his colleagues practicing in rural and small communities around the state also had to be available at all hours of the day, seven days per week.
After an especially busy night on call, he had an idea: Why not sell the practice and offer to cover for other solo practitioners who could use some relief? It didn’t take long for word to get around: “Need a vacation or long weekend? Dr. Teufel cover your practice. Not only will he care for your patients, he will house-sit and even feed your dog” (or cat…or horses).
As the saying goes, “It was a marriage made in heaven.” In 1980, Dr. Teufel sold his practice. Soon, he was so busy he had to recruit other doctors, or "locum tenens" to meet the demand. As more and more locum doctors came on board, a company was formed, and in 1982 Physicians Relief Network, better known as PRN, became official. Within just five years, PRN became larger than Dr. Teufel ever imagined and by the mid eighties, only a few companies, including PRN, were taking a business-like approach to the locum tenens staffing industry. The industry was in its infancy, though, and there was nothing but growth ahead.
Jump to 1989, when PRN and Western Physicians Registry were acquired by Interim Healthcare. Although its roots weren't in physician staffing, Interim Healthcare quickly acquired two companies that did – and went on to become one of the most-respected locum tenens staffing agencies in the U.S.
In the early 1990's, the company went through a number of owners and name changes, giving birth to what we all now know as Interim Physicians. What has not changed, however, is the company’s reputation as one of the nation’s leading locum tenens organizations, with Dr. Teufel serving as Medical Director.
From humble beginnings in 1979 through today, thousands of doctors in virtually every specialty now supply the ever-increasing demand for quality locum tenens services. Interim Physicians has seen the transition from part-time “freelancers” to a respected career path for today’s physicians who choose fewer administrative headaches, more time with patients and a better work-life balance. We believe the future of locum tenens medicine has never been brighter.
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