Most physicians are knowledgeable about what locum tenens is, and have likely heard about the benefits in passing from other healthcare professionals. Perhaps a peer or colleague has told you about how they were paid to travel as they gained experience in an array of different work environments; or maybe you received a call from a recruiter who told you about the advantages of trying locum hospitalist jobs. Regardless of where or how your interest in locums was originally sparked, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of the locum lifestyle before officially making the switch.
The Pros of Locum Tenens Hospitalist Work
Whether you choose part time, full time, moonlighting, or per diem locum hospitalist work, in comparison to a full time, permanent provider, the increased earning potential as a locum tenens hospitalist is nothing to scoff at.
According to The Hospitalist.org, hospital based locum physicians can increase their yearly gross earnings by 30-40% for the same number of shifts as their full time counterparts; and that’s just for temporary 8am-5pm coverage! Many providers also mix part time locum work into their full time schedules by doing locums during weekends, nights, or holidays. These part time providers are not only earning extra income, but they’re also earning it at a higher hourly rate than a typical full time hospitalist.
Abundant Job Market
The high demand for locum hospitalist coverage for urgent vacancies means that you and your professional skill set will always be coveted. In fact, Merritt Hawkins’ 2021 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives reports that hospitalists were among the top 20 most requested specialty within the pool of search assignments, and hospitals were the number 1 facility type searching to fill openings.
Taking into consideration the fact that a huge mass of physicians went into retirement during the Covid-19 crisis, hospitals are experiencing a physician shortage, and HM staffing needs have never been higher. Reopened facilities are struggling to resume procedures as normal with a smaller pool of returning providers, and new graduates entering the workforce. As a locum hospitalist, this translates into a wealth of new and varied hospitalist positions consistently available for you to choose from on your job search for a steady stream of employment after each assignment ends.
Extend Your Healthcare Skills & Life Experience
One thing that any locum tenens provider can attest to is that the locum lifestyle is anything but boring. Every new assignment brings new experiences, learning, and networking opportunities for seasoned hospitalists and new grads alike. Trying out new practice settings, mastering new EMRs, and working with varied patient populations not only advances your professional skill set, but in doing so, also increases your marketability for future locum opportunities.
For the adventurous soul, locum tenens work is also the perfect opportunity to obtain additional licensure and explore across the states, all while simultaneously earning income. Whether you’re looking to experience a new culture in Alaska, or simply get paid to be on call while lounging on a beach in the Virgin Islands, Barton can place you with clients from the east to west coasts, and everywhere in between!
Patient Care, Not Politics
Let’s be real, hospitalists don’t go through extensive amounts of schooling just to go to staff meetings and take part in workplace popularity contests. Like most other clinicians, you likely worked to do what you love: provide quality patient care.
Full time, permanent providers often experience Physician Burnout; an absence of feelings of personal accomplishment along with increased emotional exhaustion. Much of the feeling of burnout can be traced back to the time pressure, poor pace control, and overall chaos of traditional hospital bureaucracy.
A large part of a full time provider’s focus is getting in with the boss for the raise they’ve been striving for, or making nice with hard-to-work-with colleagues in order to avoid making waves.
On the contrary, locum hospitalists are brought on for the sole purpose of covering patient care over a certain span of time. Their responsibilities, schedule, and terms of employment are negotiated with a recruiter and contractually laid out before they even step foot into the facility.
As a locum tenens hospitalist, you not only know exactly what to expect and what is expected of you well before your start date, but you have no obligation to over extend yourself on any assignment.
Doing Your Locum Homework
The decision to fully transition into locum work as your main employment should not be taken lightly as it involves large changes to your way of life. While the locum lifestyle is packed with advantages and can be the perfect fit for tons of providers, it certainly is not for everyone.
In our next article, we will discuss the cons of taking a locum tenens hospitalist job!
To learn more about whether becoming a locum hospitalist is the right path for you, give one of Barton’s skilled recruiters a call and chat more about how locum work can fit into your unique situation!
Ready to get started as a locum hospitalist? Check out our open hospitalist listings now!