If you haven't heard of locum tenens before, it essentially means you’re filling in for other physicians on a temporary basis. Locum tenens work is not just for the semi-retired or the in-between-jobs physician. It is a great way for new physicians to start their careers.
Why should you try locum tenens?
Try out new practice settings
Most residents are exposed to large academic settings, but wind up practicing in a variety of different settings after residency. Locum tenens work can be a great way to see the inner workings of a small group practice, a rural hospital or a community clinic without having to make a long-term commitment. If you’re thinking about solo practice, but don’t know the first thing about running a business, a small group practice could you give invaluable exposure to the day-to-day aspects of running a small business.
See the country
You’ve been busy working on your education for the last 12 years. You may not have had the opportunity to see much of the country outside of those academic settings. Ever dreamed of being a country doctor? Check out rural Wyoming. Been landlocked for decades? Try a coastal city. A locum tenens agency will help you get a license in a new state, so don’t be afraid to make a cross-country move. After all, it’s only temporary.
Earn extra cash
Most locum tenens assignments pay rates are as much or more than permanent positions, plus you get paid housing, travel transportation, a per diem and paid malpractice insurance coverage. (We help with licensing and credentialing as well!) Working locum tenens can be a great strategy for the debt-laden physician, allowing you to maximize your savings to pay off debt, make a down payment on a house or set up a private practice.
Maybe you just need some R&R after 12 years of grueling academic work. The beauty of locum tenens work is that you can do as much or as little of it as you would like. It can give you the opportunity to take a breather while still making some money part-time. Or it can give you the time you need to prepare for your board exams. Call it subsidized studying.
Interested in learning more about locum tenens opportunities?
Get set for the job hunt
While searching for a locum job is not nearly as challenging as looking for a permanent position, there are a few things you should do.
Prepare your CV
Summarize your education and experience in one page. Put the most important information at the top: education, residency, fellowships, board certifications and licenses, followed by skills and practice experience (or employment history). Publications or academic positions can go at the end of your document.
Get your references ready
Speed up the credentialing process by having your references ready ahead of time. Better yet, if you can get pre-credentialed with a locum agency, you will be on assignment that much faster.
Get on the phone with a recruiter
Make sure to establish a relationship with your locum tenens recruiter. Keeping in touch not only lets them stay up-to-date on your availability and location preferences, it also helps you to establish a rapport and keeps you top of mind for when the perfect opportunity comes along.
If you'd like to learn more about what it's like to work as a locum tenens contractor, make sure to view our all-encompassing guide to locum tenens work, based on our company’s 25-year history of working with physicians and advanced practitioners across multiple specialties. This guide is designed to help you find all the answers to questions you are asking or should be asking. Don’t see what you are looking for? Contact us and we’ll get back to you.