“It was so painful.”
That’s how Dr. Alexi Nazem summed up his almost year-long
experience trying to get freelance work as a doctor.
Nazem had to work with brokers, who shepherded him through
a process that eventually led to a 94-page contract that had
to be filled out by hand and mailed in.
Realizing there had to be a better way, Nazem created Nomad
Health, a site that helps connect freelance doctors to work in
Connecting doctors to hospitals that need them is critical in the
US, especially as the country is expected to face a
shortage of 90,000 physicians by 2025.
And starting Tuesday, Nomad’s extending that service to nurses
who are looking for short-term work, an area where there
which raised $4 million in funding in 2016, currently
works with doctors and hospitals in 14 states. Nazem said the
company wanted to wait to launch into the nursing market, but
because there’s been such a demand already, the company will get
started in Texas ahead of schedule.
How freelance healthcare works
Right now, temporary healthcare jobs are usually connected
via agencies. The process can take a long time, and it
requires doctors to provide a lot of information along the way.
It can also be expensive for the health systems who have to pay
to find the workers.
Altogether, the temporary healthcare staff market is
roughly $15 billion, according to Nomad. Of that market,
nurses make up about $7 billion, Nazem said.
Instead of going through agencies, Nomad uses a site to connect
doctors to healthcare systems directly. Doctors can filter
searches for gigs by specifying which state they want to work in,
or which electronic medical records system they know best, among
others. On the flip side, healthcare providers can supply a lot
of information about the job in hopes of finding someone who’s
Through the site, the two parties can directly negotiate a
contract that works for them, with Nomad helping out by providing
malpractice insurance for the doctors. In the end, Nomad takes a
15% cut, a rate much lower than the typical
30-40% commission brokers and agencies take.
For nurses, things will be slightly different, because Nomad will
have to outright hire nurses and provide benefits to them
(doctors are part of the system as contractors). Otherwise, the
system is pretty much the same.
Eventually, Nazem said, the hope is to take the company’s
namesake to a whole new level by promoting “travel nursing,” in
which nurses who want to see the world (or in this case, just the
US) can move around while staying employed with temporary nursing
gigs. “It’s a really interesting slice of the freelance market,”
For now, though, Nomad will start by working with nurses and
healthcare systems in Texas before eventually going
Disclosure: Kevin Ryan, a cofounder of Business Insider, is
Nomad Health freelance health care work for nurses