Hospital medicine is one of the fastest growing specialties in medicine. As locums opportunities continue to increase, there has never been a better time to consider becoming a locum tenens hospitalist.
Locums hospitalists can be lifesavers for medical facilities who are struggling to keep up with staffing shortages. But the benefits go both ways: locums can also be a gamechanger for hospitalists, offering a way to gain experience and earn more income, while combating burnout by offering more flexibility and time spent with patients.
Here are some of the benefits of being a locum tenens hospitalist:
Gain More Diverse Experience
Every hospital is different––with varying patient populations, environments, and techniques––so working in many different hospitals can help diversify your medical skill set.
Whether it’s practicing in a smaller setting, learning a new EMR, or working with a much different patient population than you’re accustomed to, working as a locum tenens hospitalist gives you the opportunity to broaden your experience. This can help make you a more attractive candidate to future employers by expanding your toolkit of resources and techniques.
The opportunity to work with a wide variety of patients, conditions, and medical specialists, also makes locum tenens an ideal choice for physicians early in their career. Whether you’ve just finished an internal medicine residency and are contemplating whether hospital medicine is the right specialty for you, or you’re a new hospitalist and eager to expand your skills, locum tenens can help you gain a lot of experience in a relatively short period of time.
Earn More Income
Locum tenens hospitalists are often paid at a higher rate than hospital employees. According to a recent Medscape report on physician compensation, self-employed physicians––including locum tenens physicians––made 20% more than employed physicians last year.
The reasoning behind the higher pay is that locums physicians are being asked to fill a gap in coverage for hospitals––especially in this time of high demand due to increasing physician shortages––and hospitals are willing to pay a higher rate in order to fill it.
Whether you are pursuing full-time locums work, or supplementing your regular income with occasional assignments, you can earn more income as a locum tenens hospitalist, without a huge time commitment.
Enjoy a More Flexible Work Schedule
Practicing medicine––especially hospital medicine––is often viewed as a 24/7 commitment. But as physician burnout continues to be a huge issue, more and more hospitalists are looking for options that offer more work-life balance.
Hospitalist locum tenens jobs offer flexibility that is hard to find in permanent hospital positions, because you can choose when and how often you work. That means instead of being on-call 24-7, you can work an assignment for a set amount of time, and then take a break before beginning your next job.
The ability to work at your own pace may be especially appealing for hospitalists, who have taken on so much of the burden of providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic. For physicians who are feeling understandably overextended after the stress of the past few years, but aren’t ready to leave medicine entirely, locums can be a way of slowing down, without stopping altogether.
Take it from one of our Hayes Locums physicians: “I get to show up and take care of patients, and Hayes Locums takes care of everything else. I make my own schedule and have real time off. I’m happier in my career than I ever thought I could be.”
Spend More Time with Patients
One of the common complaints of hospitalists is how little time they have to spend with their patients. In a busy hospital environment, physicians can find themselves strapped for time, and unable to dedicate the amount of attention to each patient that they wish.
But hospitalist locum tenens jobs are fully focused on patient care. Because you don’t have to attend to the administrative aspects of the hospital to the same degree as a full-time employee, you are free to spend that extra time attending to your patients.
As one of our Hayes Locums physicians put it: “when I tried locums, I thought: this is the way medicine should be practiced.”
Locum tenens offers hospitalists the chance to do what they love––taking care of their patients––while taking care of themselves, too.