A locum tenens hospitalist is an internist who practices hospital medicine on a temporary assignment. Translated from Latin, locum tenens means “to hold a place”. Facilities use of locum tenens providers to fill vacancies, cover for those on leave, fulfill demands or establish new service lines.
This type of arrangement allows locum tenens doctors unparalleled flexibility and freedom because they get to choose when and where they want to work. Often, hospitalists and internists take locum tenens assignments because they want to:
Locum tenens salaries vary based on geographic area, qualifications, specializations and assignments. However, they generally reflect salaries of permanent positions and have additional perks like paid travel, housing and professional liability insurance. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the mean annual wage of internists as $196,490 and the hourly reimbursement as $94.47 for 2018. According to PayScale The average salary of a hospitalist is reported as $213,154 with an average hourly reimbursement of $111.94.
There are only an estimated 44,000 hospitalists and 42,000 general internists practicing in the United States according to the BLS. There is great demand for hospitalists due to their ability to provide services across the continuum of care, which tends to improve both patient satisfaction and hospital efficiency. As for the comprehensive knowledge and general expertise of internists, the demand for their skillset is increasing alongside the growing number of aging patients.
Within internal medicine, physicians can subspecialize in allergy/immunology, cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, geriatrics, hematology/oncology, hepatology, infectious disease, nephrology, pulmonology or rheumatology. There are even subspecialties within hospitalist medicine, including general surgery and OB/GYN.
To find the best locum tenens company, look for one that features diverse positions in a variety of locations. The company should offer competitive compensation, paid travel, housing and medical liability insurance. Its recruiters must be enthusiastic, informed, connected and eager to match you with your ideal locum tenens assignment. Partner with a company that has rave reviews, multiple healthcare staffing awards and an established and respected presence within the industry.
At Cross Country Locums, we are proud to offer: