When you were young, and adults asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, did you grin proudly and announce that you wanted to be a locum tenens physician? Of course not. Unless you were Doogie Howser, you probably didn't even know what "locum tenens" was yet.
Today, more and more doctors—both those in the early stages of their career and those with more experience—are considering locum tenens job opportunities over more "traditional" employment. So what is it about working locum that makes the idea so attractive to established physicians?
Top Reasons to Work Locum Tenens
Reason #1: Flexibility. The ability to choose your own schedule is an incredibly attractive part of a career in locum tenens work, particularly when you consider that "free time" is a foreign concept to most doctors. The lengths of locum assignments vary, so it's fairly easy to choose contracts that fit into the schedule you want. Working locum tenens also allows you flexibility in location and practice area, as well, which brings us to...
Reason #2: Travel Opportunities. Healthcare organizations hire locum tenens physicians for a wide variety of reasons, and so locum contracts can take you pretty much anywhere. You have the chance to work in different environments, facilities, and regions, all while maintaining a career as a physician.
Reason #3: Focus. Doctors have told us that working locum tenens allows them to truly focus on patient care, wherever they are. Physicians in private practices or working full-time at hospitals often find their time and attention tugged in several directions, which can take its toll.
Reason #4: Supplemental income. Some doctors use locum tenens work as additional income when they're on staff at a hospital or even after retiring from private practice. Locum contracts can be as short as a week, and can be great for young doctors trying to pay off medical school while still obtaining experience.
Reason #5: Burnout. Being a doctor is incredibly demanding work, and the day-in, day-out of it all can really wear on a person. For some physicians, working locum tenens and having the ability to switch up location, facility, or practice area helps hold off the burnout of seeing the same old problems every day. The additional freedom of being able to take time between contracts for family or simply for yourself is also a great prescription for tiring doctors.
Talk to our recruiters about available locum tenens positions and see if a career in locum is right for you.