What is the Difference Between Locum Tenens and Per Diem Providers?

Difference Between Locum Tenens and Per Diem

Because there is such a wide variety of temporary job opportunities available within the healthcare field, it can often become confusing to differentiate between similar temporary healthcare roles. Understanding the primary differences between locum tenens providers and per diem providers is essential for knowing what to expect from each position when looking for your next opportunity. Here are two of the most notable differences between these two types of temporary healthcare roles:

Locum tenens providers are in higher demand.

There tends to be greater demand for locum tenens providers at healthcare facilities across the United States, especially for highly paid medical specialties such as emergency medicine, cardiology, pulmonology, and neurology, among others. This demand drives more competitive salaries for these types of providers in locum tenens positions, offering a greater selection of job options than typically available to per diem employees. Depending on factors like the employer and the location, locum tenens providers in certain medical specialties can negotiate premium pay rates before accepting their next locum tenens opportunity.

Locum tenens work can replace full-time employment.

Many providers doing per diem work hold permanent positions in addition to their temporary assignments, whereas locum tenens work often serves as full-time employment in its own right. This is generally because locum tenens work offers more long-term benefits than per diem work, including opportunities for travel and greater scheduling flexibility, allowing providers to earn a competitive income all while working full-time on their own terms. In fact, many locum tenens providers opt to leave their permanent roles to pursue the locum tenens lifestyle.

While per diem and locum tenens jobs both have their individual benefits, working in a locum tenens capacity may offer the ideal lifestyle for providers seeking a more fulfilling and traditional, yet flexible and exciting career.

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