Many locum tenens physicians work exclusively as self-employed contractors, but that’s not the only option for physicians interested in locum work.
In fact, many physician locums are full-time employees elsewhere, but take on occasional shifts to fill gaps in their schedule.
We recently confirmed this pattern with a survey of the nation’s hospitalists. The survey, conducted for Locum Leaders by Today’s Hospitalist magazine, found that 10% of all Hospitalists worked as locum tenens in the past 12 months. Of those Hospitalist locum tenens, 82% said they were employed full-time and also working as a locum. 11% said they were self-employed—working exclusively as a locum tenens hospitalist, while 7% said they were employed part-time and also working locum tenens assignments.
It is common for locum tenens physicians to be drawn from the ranks of salaried doctors. But employed hospitalists, even more than other specialists, may be more inclined to take on locum work, according to Robert Harrington, MD, SFHM, Chief Medical Officer of Locum Leaders.
“Hospital Medicine shift patterns are the biggest reason,” said Dr. Harrington. “Since most hospitalist programs rely on a 7-on, 7-off schedule, you end up with a large population of doctors who have a lot of time-off. They want to use that time productively and so they come to agencies, like Locum Leaders, for additional work.”
If you are a full-time or part-time physician and wish to explore locum tenens options, contact our recruiters today.