Whether they work in a permanent position or as a locum tenens provider, doctors save lives every single day by leveraging their clinical knowledge and experience to identify and treat illness and disease. But there are some stark differences in how doctors who travel to assignments and those who work in permanent roles describe their work lives. We recently conducted a survey of our network of physicians and found some interesting comparisons between locum tenens physicians and permanent doctors—read on to learn more.
Locum Physicians Report 38% Higher Job Satisfaction
We asked the physicians in our database to agree or disagree with eight statements about the healthcare industry and their jobs in general. One of the most interesting insights we were able to uncover is that locum tenens physicians are 38% more likely to be happy in their current position than doctors in permanent roles.
In total, 90% of the 68 locum tenens doctors with an opinion agreed with the statement that they are happy in their current position, while 65% of the 78 permanent physicians with an opinion agreed.
Locum Tenens Doctors Report Better Work-Life Balance
A higher job satisfaction may be attributed to locum tenens physicians feeling as though they have more work-life balance than their permanent counterparts. In fact, locum tenens doctors are 41% more likely than permanent physicians to say their work-life balance is satisfactory, according to our survey results.
According to the survey, 61 of the 74 locum tenens physicians with an opinion agreed that their work-life balance is satisfactory, compared to only 46 of the 79 permanent physicians with the same opinion.
Locum Tenens Doctors Are More Likely to Say They’re Fairly Compensated
When it comes to whether they’re fairly compensated, locum tenens doctors have a different opinion than their permanent counterparts. Between locum doctors and permanent physicians with an opinion, locum tenens providers are 33% more likely to say they are fairly compensated as a healthcare provider.
The numbers break down like this: 40 of the 62 locum tenens doctors with an opinion agreed with the statement shown above in the graphic, while only 41 of the 84 of permanent doctors with an opinion agreed.
All Physicians Are Concerned About Staffing Levels
Physicians are in short-supply in the United States and the problem is only forecast to grow—in fact, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the country is projected to have a shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034.
Our survey results showed that 95% of physicians with an opinion are worried about whether healthcare facilities can maintain adequate staffing levels in 2024.
In total, 176 of the 186 physicians with an opinion agreed that they’re concerned about staffing in the coming year.
Other Key Survey Results
Our survey also tested the waters on whether physicians are considering taking a locum tenens job in 2024 and found that about half plan on accepting an assignment in 2024.
The numbers break down as follows: 49% of all physicians with an opinion on the topic (33 of 68 doctors) say they plan on taking one of these assignments in 2024.
In addition, our survey uncovered that the vast majority of physicians with an opinion agree that they are concerned about their workload as a healthcare provider in 2024.
According to the results, 88% of doctors with an opinion (151 of 171 physicians) agreed that they are concerned about their workload.
Our survey was conducted on SurveyMonkey from November 17 to December 4, 2023 and garnered responses from 245 physicians in Barton Associates’ network. These doctors include full- and part-time locums, retired professionals, and professionals in permanent positions aged 18 to 65+.