Healthcare Insights

Medical specialties with the most locum tenens providers

Medical staffing and recruiting companies help ensure healthcare provider organizations can support patient care with additional clinical staff or required specialties.

In the Definitive Healthcare PhysicianView product, a proprietary algorithm analyzes a physician’s recent billing activity and network affiliations to identify those physicians that are considered locum tenens, or short-term, contract-based healthcare providers.

In addition, our claims-based specialty data categorizes the specialty of healthcare providers beyond self-reported taxonomy codes. Using the Atlas All-Payor Claims Dataset, we can better understand the actual procedures a provider performs and the patients they see to classify their expertise more accurately.

The following list summarizes the claims-based medical specialties of providers in PhysicianView with the most predicted locum tenens. Calendar year 2022 claims were used for the analysis.

Medical specialties with the most predicted locum tenens

RankClaims-based specialty% of predicted locum tenens providersExplore dataset
1Family practice15.2%Explore
2Internal medicine12.7%Explore
3Emergency medicine9.8%Explore
5Nurse practitioner6.6%Explore
6Orthopedic surgery4.8%Explore
7Diagnostic radiology4.7%Explore
8Pediatric medicine3.8%Explore
11Physician assistant3.0%Explore
12Hospital medicine2.3%Explore
15Physical therapy1.7%Explore
16General surgery1.6%Explore
22Geriatric medicine0.7%Explore
24Physical medicine and rehabilitation0.7%Explore

Fig. 1. Data is from the Definitive Healthcare PhysicianView and Atlas All-Payor Claims products for calendar year 2022. Claims data is sourced from multiple medical claims clearinghouses in the United States and is updated monthly. Accessed March 2023.

Which medical specialties have the most locum tenens providers?

Primary care doctors – family practice and internal medicine physicians – make up the highest percentage of predicted locums tenens providers analyzed. The two specialties are among the most popular by total providers and the most reported by medical school graduates.

Family practice and internal medicine doctors are also some of the specialties most impacted by physician staffing shortages – an estimated 28,000 primary care doctors dropped out of the workforce in 2021.

Emergency medicine doctors, nephrologists, and nurse practitioners (NPs) are also among the most popular predicted locum tenens specialties.

Additional medical specialties in the top 10 include:

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Healthcare Insights are developed with healthcare commercial intelligence from the Definitive Healthcare platform. Want even more insights? Start a free trial now and get access to the latest healthcare commercial intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare providers.