I obtain a big quantity of e-mail in response to my weblog posts about locum tenens work. Curious colleagues (from surgeons to internists and emergency drugs physicians) ask for insider perception into this “mysterious enterprise” of being an element-time or touring doctor. I’m all the time joyful to reply individually, however abruptly realized that I ought to in all probability submit these conversations on my weblog so that each one can profit.

The most typical query I obtain is: How do the businesses examine with each other? Adopted intently by: The place ought to I begin? There isn’t a on-line score system for this business, and so grade-targeted physicians (taught to worth efficiency scores) really feel at a loss as to the place to start. In the future I hope we’ll have a locum tenens high quality web site, however for now  I can give you my N=1, “case research” expertise.

I’ve been doing hospital-based mostly, locum tenens work for six years within the area of inpatient rehabilitation drugs. I’ve accepted 14 assignments by way of the next businesses:

CompHealth, Weatherby Healthcare, Jackson & Coker, Medical Physician Associates, LocumTenens.com, and All Star Recruiting

I’ve had in depth conversations with recruiters on the following businesses, however haven’t ended up taking an task via them:

Employees Care, Delta, Onyx, Barton Associates, and Farr Well being

I’ve summarized my experiences on this desk:

Company Identify Variety of Assignments High quality of Shopper (Hospital or Employer) High quality of Recruiter(s) Wage Offered (% of what I might think about commonplace)
Comp Well being four B,B,C,C A eighty-one hundred%
Weatherby Healthcare three A,B,C A eighty five-one hundred%
Jackson & Coker three A,C,D C eighty five%
Medical Physician Associates* 1 A+ A one hundred%
LocumTenens.com* 2 A,D B 50-one hundred%
All Star Recruiting* 1 B- A one hundred fifty%
Self-Negotiated three A,B,D N/A one hundred seventy five%

*These businesses use VMS methods.

These “knowledge” are extremely subjective, in fact, however there are a couple of necessary factors to be gleaned:

  1. Dangerous shoppers are arduous to keep away from. Once I give a shopper a “D” score, meaning a hospital or employer that’s so dangerous, you will have considerations on your medical license or don’t really feel ethically snug with what they’re asking you to do. These are nightmare assignments and have to be rigorously prevented. I describe my expertise with one of many “D’s” right here. Massive identify businesses (and even I alone) may be duped into accepting dangerous apple shoppers. Because it’s exhausting to know which of them are really dangerous (even after a telephone interview), I now solely decide to a brief (about 2 week) preliminary task after which prolong as soon as I really feel snug with the match.
  2. There are good recruiters in all places. Though the bigger businesses delight themselves in excellent customer support, the reality is that I’ve had nice relationships with most recruiters at most businesses. From a doctor perspective, the “buyer expertise” is pretty uniform.
  3. Vendor Administration Techniques (VMS) don’t create the race to the underside I anticipated. The most important businesses are strongly towards automated doctor-shopper matching software program (which is actually what VMS does) and argue that they destroy the customer support expertise for each hospitals and physicians. Though I’m philosophically against being listed on a hospital buy order together with IV tubing and non-latex gloves, the reality is that such matching has introduced me larger-paying assignments at good high quality hospitals that don’t rent locum tenens physicians outdoors of a VMS system. I see no purpose to exclude businesses who use VMS, although there’s a danger of being in a bigger aggressive pool for every particular person task. This implies that you could be waste a while earlier than being positioned, however in the long run if the pay is $one hundred fifty% of base, then its in all probability value it.
  4. Boutique shouldn’t be higher within the locum tenens world. Until you’re in a specialty that’s so small you require recruiters who can carry out extremely custom-made job matches, boutique businesses could be residence to a few of the most miserable assignments in America. Determined shoppers who haven’t had success in filling positions by means of the (extremely motivated) huge businesses will flip to boutique ones, hoping that their sheer drive of character will cowl for the issues that make their hospital’s hiring troublesome. I’ve discovered to avoid the boutique allure offensive.
  5. You can also make a better wage when you discover your personal job. Businesses present vital worth to physicians. They do the exhausting work of finding and updating job assignments, aiding with credentialing and licensing paperwork, negotiating wage and additional time, offering skilled legal responsibility insurance coverage, and dealing with logistics (journey/lodging reserving and re-reserving).  That being stated, in the event you’re prepared to do all that your self, you possibly can negotiate a a lot larger wage when you work immediately with hospital HR.
  6. Will “gig economics” ultimately bypass the present company mannequin? On-line job-matching websites will in all probability take an enormous chunk of market share, however gained’t “personal” the area as a result of they don’t present the logistical, authorized, and credentialing providers that physicians take pleasure in from businesses.  Nevertheless, provided that company charges add about forty% prices to doctor hiring, there’s robust motivation to seek out various hiring methods, and I think that Millennial physicians gained’t thoughts doing additional work for greater pay. Web sites like Nomad Well being are affected by inadequate consumer enroll (each on the shopper and employee aspect), however will possible attain a tipping level when a VC agency offers the advertising capital to boost adequate consciousness of the brand new hiring market that bypasses recruiters and saves hospitals cash. Till then, dipping your toes into the healthcare gig financial system is best to do via an company – and the large ones (CompHealth and their subsidiary Weatherby Healthcare have about 50% of the market share, adopted by Jackson & Coker as the subsequent largest) present the most important variety of choices.

The underside line is that half-time and brief time period doctor assignments can forestall doctor burnout and overwork. The pay is usually excellent, and businesses could make the expertise as painless as attainable. Those that want greater hourly charges can obtain them in the event that they’re prepared to tackle extra duty for paperwork and logistics.  Whether or not this “do it your self” motion is enhanced by on-line marketplaces, or good quaint chilly-calling to seek out work – physicians maintain the playing cards on this excessive demand sector. I think that extra of us shall be able to play our playing cards within the locum tenens area within the upcoming years, as a result of full time medical work (on the present tempo) is, fairly mockingly, merely not wholesome.

Supply hyperlink