Locum tenens: A growing option with good pay

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Locum tenens is a good-paying option for some doctors.

More doctors are working locum tenens, taking a temporary job in hospitals, group practices and clinics.

They choose locum tenens work for a variety of reasons: good pay, the freedom to live in a new place or the chance to have a more defined work schedule, according to Medscape.

A growing number of healthcare organizations are looking to locum tenens to fill gaps on their staff and more doctors are opting in. One locum placement firm, Staff Care, reported that more doctors than ever—about 48,000—were working locum tenens in 2016.

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2019 Drug Pricing and Reimbursement Stakeholder Summit

Given federal and state pricing requirements arising, press releases from industry leading pharma companies, and the new Drug Transparency Act, it is important to stay ahead of news headlines and anticipated requirements in order to hit company profit targets, maintain value to patients and promote strong, multi-beneficial relationships with manufacturers, providers, payers, and all other stakeholders within the pricing landscape. This conference will provide a platform to encourage a dialogue among such stakeholders in the pricing and reimbursement space so that they can receive a current state of the union regarding regulatory changes while providing actionable insights in anticipation of the future.

Impending physician shortages and other changes in the healthcare landscape are driving increased use of locum tenens physicians. Many physicians who are coming to the end of the end of their careers are keeping their hand in medicine by doing locum tenens work.

The assignments pay well and that’s a big draw. Locum doctors can earn almost as much doing the same work or less as they would in a full-time position.

For instance, one full-time obstetrician-gynecologist left a Vermont hospital system to work locum tenens. "He decided, with all of the increasing expectations by way of productivity, that he could be a locum hospitalist every other week, working 26 weeks a year, and make the same if not more money as he did as a full-time ob/gyn, without being pressured about what his relative value unit production was last month," Thomas Crawford, Ph.D., clinical instructor and administrator at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston who was CEO of a rural health system in Vermont, told the publication.

Locum tenens is not for everyone, however, and doctors are advised to do due diligence before accepting an assignment. For example, doctors will likely deal with a locum tenens firm that places physicians and will have to negotiate a contract. And the work also has a drawback: Full-time employers may be reluctant to hire you down the road if they see locum tenens jobs on your resume and question your work ethic.

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