News & Views

Perspectives on the locum tenens industry

Thinking about going locum? You’re not alone.

Moonlighting, freelancing, substituting, contracting whatever you call it, physicians working as locum tenens dates back to the seventies, 1979 in our case, and in this year more patients need health care and more healthcare facilities need your medical skills. It’s a growing job market!

The pool of qualified doctors who want to work as locum tenens is growing, too, in part because the medical profession is plagued by dissatisfaction, depression, and burnout. In fact, burnout rates are twice as high for medicine than other fields (per the Medscape National Physician Burnout & Depression Report). It’s one reason locum tenens holds such appeal for doctors of all ages and experience levels. Healthcare experts even suggest that bringing in locum tenens doctors can elevate the quality of a care at hospitals because it gives staff physicians time off (to help prevent burnout). 

There’s a common refrain we hear at Interim Physicians: Whenever I see one of your job ads, I’m tempted by the pay and some familiar, new, or incredible location, and working fewer hours. Physicians who’ve worked as locums say conclusively that the perks are undeniable: they often earn a higher hourly wage, they don’t have coding/billing hassles, they don’t have to wait for insurance reimbursements to get paid, and they decide where and when they work.

It’s why more and more doctors are choosing locum tenens as a full-time career option (yes, contract work all the time). Some work to accommodate shifts in their family or lifestyle (one doctor worked locum stints during a move from one job and state to another).Doctors who finishing residency training love locum work, too. After all, discovering ways to help doctors expand work opportunities is what locum tenens is all about.

The need for locum tenens physicians is based on a few things, including scarcity of doctors and a shortage of in-demand medical specialties. Hospitals rely on Interim Physicians in the midst of a doctor shortage that could grow to more than 100,000 by 2030, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. In fact, 94% of healthcare facilities reported using locum tenens physicians in the past 12 months and healthcare facility managers rate continuity of patient care as the main benefit provided by locum tenens physicians. 

At Interim Physicians, we believe locum tenens is much more than simply filling a shift; we believe in patient care that goes beyond the bare minimum and strives to set a new precedent. 

Are you ready to gain a work/life balance while you earn a great living? Do you want to travel (you can go far or stay in your own backyard) while you get paid? Do you want to help a vulnerable population? Do you want to earn extra money to pay off your medical school debt? If you answered “yes” then chances are locum tenens is a great fit for you. Let us help you find an opportunity that fits your medical skills, family, and lifestyle. Call 800.226.6347 to speak with a recruiter or to see jobs available in your specialty now.