Healthcare Insights

Number of locum tenens by state

Locum tenens are healthcare providers that work on a short-term, contractual basis. These providers are important to healthcare because they can help fill critical roles when a provider leaves a facility, takes a vacation or goes on sabbatical. Locum tenens workers also offer extra support during peak seasons or public health emergencies.

As the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the U.S. in 2020, hospitals began to see increased rates of physician burnout and departure, exacerbating a physician shortage that had begun prior to COVID. As a result, demand for locum tenens increased dramatically and has shown no signs of slowing down. The increased utilization of locum tenens to fill physician vacancies shows up in hospital costs, with contract labor spending by hospitals and IDNs increasing by 9% between 2019-2021.

Definitive Healthcare predicts utilization of locum tenens physicians based on a proprietary algorithm that analyzes a physician’s recent billing activity and network affiliations. Organizations use this data for staffing planning.

Below, we rank all states’ 2022 locum tenens physician engagements, including the District of Columbia:

2022 state rankings by number of predicted locum tenens physicians

RankStatePredicted number of locum tenens physiciansExplore dataset
1Texas8715Explore
2California7765Explore
3Ohio4809Explore
4Pennsylvania4484Explore
5Florida4442Explore
6New York3640Explore
7Michigan2736Explore
8Georgia2446Explore
9Illinois2198Explore
10Massachusetts2196Explore
11Wisconsin1906Explore
12Kentucky1807Explore
13New Jersey1752Explore
14Louisiana1711Explore
15Washington1680Explore
16Minnesota1646Explore
17Indiana1615Explore
18Tennessee1441Explore
19Maryland1308Explore
20Missouri1270Explore
21Colorado1181Explore
22Virginia1154Explore
23South Carolina1128Explore
24North Carolina1089Explore
25Arizona1057Explore
26Alabama1011Explore
27Oklahoma863Explore
28Connecticut749Explore
29West Virginia745Explore
30Oregon663Explore
31Mississippi591Explore
32Utah585Explore
33Maine563Explore
34Iowa492Explore
35Kansas473Explore
36Nevada417Explore
37Arkansas413Explore
38New Mexico352Explore
39New Hampshire344Explore
40Delaware342Explore
41Idaho291Explore
42Nebraska262Explore
43Washington D.C.221Explore
44Hawaii165Explore
45Montana147Explore
46South Dakota137Explore
47Rhode Island112Explore
48Vermont95Explore
49North Dakota54Explore
50Alaska42Explore
51Wyoming38Explore

Fig. 1 - Data is from the Definitive Healthcare PhysicianView Product. Data is predicted based on a proprietary algorithm that analyzes a physician’s recent billing activity and network affiliations. Accessed August 2022.

Which cities have the most locum tenens physicians?

The top 5 U.S. cities with the most locum tenens are: Houston (1,144), Los Angeles (742), New York (635), Dallas (631), and Chicago (612).

Top primary specialties of locum tenens

Currently, the three specialties in the U.S. with the most active locum tenens are family practice (13,222), internal medicine (12,325), and emergency medicine (6,349).

Learn more

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.

Explore our data