CHG: More career-changing physicians are choosing locums opportunities

June 10, 2024 | CHG Healthcare

Locum tenens work is becoming more popular among physicians interested in career changes. Of the 451 physicians who participated in a recent countrywide survey by CHG Healthcare, most (62%) had adjusted their careers in some significant way since February 2022. Of those, 44% reported working locums assignments full—or part-time, a sharp increase from 28% in their 2022 survey. Those now accepting side work prefer locums opportunities (60%) over moonlighting (40%).

The appeal of locum tenens is connected to what physicians reported wanting from a career change: Most sought a better work-life balance (51%) or a more flexible work schedule (34%). Others wanted a better workplace culture (29%) and compensation (27%).

The physicians most likely to have made a career change in the prior two years include emergency medicine (46%), psychiatry (45%), family medicine (41%), OB/GYN (39%), and surgery (39%). Those practicing internal medicine and pediatrics were the least likely to have made a career change.

Interestingly, only 8% of physicians reported retiring or leaving the clinical setting in the prior two years, compared with 11% in the 2022 survey. Those in the later stages of their career, defined in the survey as 26+ years of experience, are significantly more likely to cite a more flexible schedule (50%) as their primary motivation for a career change.