The high pay is one of the reasons many physicians choose locum tenens. Locum tenens physicians in the United States frequently make more per hour than their employed counterparts, whether they work locums on the side or full-time. In addition, the demand for locum tenens physicians has increased.
There are various reasons for this increase in demand and compensation in 2022:
- Patients are less hesitant to seek treatment.
- There is still a backlog of non-emergent procedures in many specialty areas.
- Inpatient physicians are in high demand.
Emergency medicine and orthopedic surgery were the specialties with the highest increases in locum tenens compensation this year. Anesthesiology, neurological surgery, pediatric anesthesiology, and urology are among the other specialties with a high demand for locum tenens physicians.
Here are some of the locum tenens compensation patterns.
This specialty saw a significant increase in locum tenens compensation during the pandemic. On the other hand, Anesthesiologists’ pay stabilized in 2022 at $238-$275 per hour. A typical shift runs from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., with assignments lasting an average of 20 days.
The daily compensation for locum tenens cardiac surgeons is $2,000-$2,500, the same as in 2021. Due to the strong demand for this high-paying specialty, locum tenens cardiac surgeons generally have the freedom to work when and where they wish. A 24-hour call shift is the most common locums schedule, and these are frequently available as long-term assignments.
Heart and circulatory problems
The hourly rate for this specialty increased from $125-200 in 2021 to $175-200 in 2022. Doctors that specialize in cardiovascular problems are usually in great demand. There are more long-term locum tenens employment available in 2022 than we’ve seen in a long time. The work hours are generally Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with invasive assignments lasting roughly a week and non-invasive assignments lasting two to three months.
Intensive care medicine
Critical care medicine pay is $225-$275 per hour, which is about the same as in 2021. The good news is that this specialization is in high demand, with a thriving locum tenens industry.
Medicine in an emergency
While the pandemic had a detrimental impact on emergency medicine locum tenens income in 2020 and 2021, locum tenens’ pay has rebounded to $100-$300 per hour in 2022. The second good news is that, with emergency department traffic rebounding last year, locum EM physicians are again in high demand. The majority of assignments are 12 or 24-hour shifts with a four- to six-month duration.
While locum compensation for family medicine physicians has been stable at $90-$125 per hour in 2022, it is a perfect job market with many vacant positions. Assignments typically last two to six months and are scheduled Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with some calls).
Obstetrics & Gynecology (OB/GYN)
Locum tenens income for obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) has been consistent at $100-$140 per hour, but demand has surged this year. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., including call time, are typical locum OB/GYN hours. The average duration of an assignment is three to six months.