Contract Jobs for Doctors Are on the Rise


More and more hospitals are offering contract jobs for doctors, according to a recent survey, which is increasing job demand for locum tenens physicians and addressing the physician shortage that is plaguing the U.S. The survey, conducted by Staff Care, found that since 2002, the number of locum tenens physicians or freelance doctors has nearly doubled to an estimated 48,000. Some locum tenens doctor recruiters are predicting that the number of contract jobs for doctors will double again within the next decade. The survey brings to light not only the importance of locum tenens doctors in the healthcare industry, but it also hints at the benefits to taking freelance physician jobs. Some of the top benefits to working as a contract physician include:

  • Less chance of physician burnout. An estimated one in every two doctors is dissatisfied with their career and experiencing stress and physician burnout. Contract doctors, on the other hand, have more flexible scheduling and hours, lowering their likelihood of burnout. 
  • Better pay rates. Many hospitals are offering higher pay for contract jobs for doctors, which can range from several hundred dollars to $2,000 per day, depending on the specialty. The pay is higher because of the inconsistent hours and scheduling of the job. 
  • Travel opportunities. Locum tenens physicians have the opportunity to travel to hospitals across the country, so they get to experience many different places and meet new people all of the time. The travel doctor industry gives professionals the chance to explore while still building their resume.

There are many other reasons why you should consider working as a locum tenens physician!

Contract Jobs for Doctors and the Physician Shortage

Not only do locum tenens physician jobs benefit the doctors who are brave enough to pursue them, but these positions also help many people throughout the U.S. gain access to healthcare where there might otherwise not be enough physicians available. Right now, there is a severe physician shortage in this country. The U.S. could be short 100,000 physicians by 2030, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Locum tenens physicians can hop around and fill gaps, such as when someone is out on maternity leave, to make sure that people still have access to care. This is especially important in rural areas of the country, where there are already many barriers to health care access.

How to Compete for Contract Jobs for Doctors

The fact that locum tenens jobs are on the rise and helping the physician shortage is all good news, but there is one underlying negative that happens as a result of contract jobs for doctors. If you’re thinking more competition, you are absolutely right! As the travel doctor industry grows in popularity, and more hospitals are searching for locum tenens physicians, it’s more important than ever to have your resume up-to-date, make yourself stand out, and know how to identify a good contract from one that is ripping you off!

Here are some tips to help you compete for contract jobs:

contract jobs for doctors

  • Make sure your resume lists your specialties, the level hospital you’ve worked at and what floors you worked on, as well as anything that makes you stand out – awards won, etc.
  • When your recruiter or an agency calls with a potential job, don’t miss the call! Drop what you’re doing and be available because once they move onto the next candidate you might never get a second chance.
  • When you are offered a contract, make sure you understand whether housing and other benefits are coming out of your base salary, or if those expenses will be reimbursed separately.

Locum Jobs Online has an extensive list of open positions across the country. Search for the perfect job for you and apply online today!

Author: Lenay Ruhl

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