If you’re a physician, you may be familiar with locum tenens assignments, but unfamiliar with what this career path really entails. In recent years, locum tenens physicians have been in great demand among healthcare organizations across the country as physician shortages become worse. There are many facets to a locum tenens career, most notably traveling and flexibility, both key factors which make it unique. As you educate yourself on locum tenens opportunities, here’s what you should know:
Locum tenens physicians are in high demand
Locum tenens work is one of the most widespread forms of healthcare employment, as thousands of locum tenens physicians are constantly needed in virtually every state. Many healthcare facilities of all types – from large metro hospitals to rural solo practices - are increasingly turning to a locum tenens workforce to fill vital staffing needs. Locum tenens physicians frequently fill facilities’ vacancy needs when full-time providers are on vacation or maternity leave, for example. They are also used to fill staffing needs during peak times of the year (such as flu season), as it’s more cost effective for organizations to supplement full-time staff with locum tenens providers. This means that there are many opportunities to choose from for a provider looking to get started taking locum tenens assignments.
Locum tenens work comes with many perks
Though locum tenens is a temporary form of work, it offers numerous perks - including a flexible work schedule, travel opportunities, extra income and clinical experience. Depending on a physician’s career goals, taking on locum tenens assignments can help you advance professionally and achieve a better work-life balance. What most physicians enjoy about locum tenens employment is the freedom to align their work with their lifestyle preferences – from choosing where they’d like to work to maximizing their income potential.
Locum tenens physicians get more “patient time”
What separates many locum tenens jobs from full-time provider positions is the opportunity to connect more with patients. Because locum tenens physicians are free of many administrative duties, they have more time to care for their patients on a deeper level and ultimately improve the trajectory of patient care at their facilities in which they work. In addition to enhancing patient care, this allows for locum tenens physicians to experience more meaningful and rewarding work experiences in their day-to-day routines.
The multi-faceted nature of locum tenens employment is what makes it such an appealing career option for so many physicians. Whether your goal is to secure additional work or simply break away from your full-time job, locum tenens work truly offers something for everyone.