Best Specialties for Locum Tenens in 2018

There’s no doubt that there is a physician shortage in the United States. According to a survey conducted by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) in 2018, the country could see a shortage of up to 120,000 physicians by 2030. Fortunately, locum tenens physicians can help ease this shortage. Whether you’re an experienced physician or just stepping into the locum lifestyle, it’s important to take note of which specialties are in demand for locums. Below, we’ll outline some of the best specialties for locum tenens physicians in 2018, so keep reading!

Best Specialties for Locum Tenens in 2018

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1. Family Practice

The top specialty for locum tenens this year is family practice. On, we have over a thousand positions in family practice. Primarily, these physicians work in doctor’s offices until the practice is able to find a permanent replacement. Family practice physicians work with patients of all ages with a broad range of ailments. From sinus infections to broken bones, these doctors see it all. Most of the time, patients’ injuries and illnesses are minor. Otherwise, the family practice physician will refer them to a specialist.

Travel Tip: The highest paying state for family practice physicians is California. Here, doctors make a mean annual wage of $198,380, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2. Psychiatry

With the number of patients diagnosed with mental health conditions on the rise, psychiatrists are more in-demand than ever. There are openings for locum tenens psychiatrists all over the country. Sometimes confused with psychologists, psychiatrists specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental health disorders. Their jobs are less about counseling and more about diagnosing patients and prescribing medications.

Travel Tip: Again, California takes the cake for the highest paying state. For this specialty, physicians make around $250,090 per year on average in the Golden State.

3. Anesthesiology

Every day, hundreds of patients undergo surgical procedures with the help of an anesthesiologist. However, there is a lack of physicians who are qualified in this area. That said, anesthesiology locum tenens jobs are abundant. Anesthesiologists specialize in caring for surgical patients before, during, and after surgery. They develop anesthetic plans, administer the anesthetics, and closely monitor the surgical patient.

Travel Tip: West Virginia is the most lucrative state for anesthesiologists. Here, these physicians make upwards of $208,000 per year.

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4. Emergency Medicine

Among the best specialties for locum tenens in 2018 is emergency medicine. There are hundreds of locum jobs for emergency medicine physicians listed on These physicians are most commonly found in hospital emergency rooms, so they must be prepared to deal with serious injuries and illnesses at a moment’s notice. Emergency medicine physicians work in a very fast-paced environment. Therefore, it’s important for them to be able to multitask and perform well under pressure.

Travel Tip: Emergency medicine physicians earn the most money in New Hampshire. The annual mean wage in this state is $275,050.

5. Hospitalist

Hospitalists are similar to general practice physicians, but they work exclusively in a hospital. Over the last decade or so there’s been an increase in demand for this specialty, and hospitalist locum tenens jobs are plentiful. A hospitalist’s activities generally include patient care, teaching, research, and leadership related to hospital medicine. Hospitalists are not to be confused with emergency medicine physicians since they care for patients who are already hospitalized.

Travel Tip: While the BLS didn’t have state data for this specific specialty, the job outlook and pay for this specialty are high for all states.

6. Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB-GYN)

Next, we have obstetrics and gynecology, or OB-GYN. These physicians provide a wide range of care to women in pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum health, and beyond. Primarily, these physicians focus on the female reproductive systems and the breasts. There’s certainly no shortage of babies being born, so locum tenens OB-GYN jobs have a promising outlook.

Travel Tip: Since physicians in rural states are in demand, OB-GYN physicians make the most money in West Virginia.

Hopefully, you now are much more informed about the best specialites for locum tenens in 2018. On average, locum tenens earn a higher income than physicians with permanent positions! As always, be sure to check out our jobs page for the top locum tenens positions in the country!

Author: Locum Jobs Online

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