One of the many benefits of working as a locum tenens provider is that you’re not limited to just one city, one state, or even one part of the country. Temporary contracts allow locum tenens docs to travel the nation and experience different geography, landscapes, patient populations, and cultures on a regular basis.
Each year, articles are published on the most physician-friendly states. These pieces tend to rank states based on salary, job opportunity, and cost of living. However, those metrics may not encompass all things considered in the locum tenens lifestyle, which allows doctors to focus on earning top-dollar for a few months, and then shift their priority to, say, being near the mountains during ski season or near the beach while the surf’s up.
Here we offer five lists ranking the top states for locum tenens, based on five top priorities cited by locum tenens physicians: salary, physician density, locum tenens opportunities, best state to live in, and affordability.
Top-Earning States for Physicians
According to the Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2018, the 5 states where physicians earn the most are primarily in the Midwest, with a scattering in the Northeast and out west:
Most Locum Tenens Opportunities
Well-established staffing agencies, like Weatherby, typically have contracts available in all 50 states on any given day. Although the exact number is always changing, these five states tend to have abundant offerings at all times. Check the job listings often.
Highest Quality of Life
If you’re seeking locum tenens opportunities with an eye toward finding somewhere new to settle down — perhaps to start a family or settle into retirement — you may want to consider the top picks from CNBC’s Best Places to Live in America, which factors in housing costs, school rankings, cost of living, healthcare, job opportunities, and a clean environment, as well as crime rates, tourist visits, and inclusiveness.
|State||Quality of life score out of 300 Points|
|North Dakota||A- (223)|
|New Hampshire||B+ (225) tie with Washington|
|Washington||B+ (225) tie with New Hampshire|
Most Affordable States
Since money is always a factor, our last top 5 list focuses on affordability. U.S. News & World Report looked at cost of living (prices of different goods and services) and housing affordability (how expensive home prices are in relation to the median family income) to determine which states are most affordable.
|State||Overall Rank||Cost of Living Rank||Housing Affordability Rank|
With all the above factors in mind, locum tenens physicians are free to explore their options, using temporary contracts as a way to test-drive new locations and see where they fit best. For better or worse, physicians are in demand because of the physician shortage, which means you can be more selective in where you want to live and practice.
If you’re looking to relocate or practice in a new state, try it out there first with a locum tenens assignment through Weatherby Healthcare. Give us a call at 954.343.3050 or view today’s job openings.