The Who, What, Why of Locums

Mike Plaskota

The Who, What, Why of Locums MedSource Consultants

Locum tenens work, those drop-in contract positions in healthcare are on the riseHealthLeaders quotes a hospital administrator as saying, “Virtually every hospital in the United States now uses locum tenens doctors.” The Locum Tenens arrangement appeals to a wide audience from seasoned professionals to emerging talent who value freedom, independence, work-life balance and adventure.  With many making Locums a long-time career, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at how it can benefit you. 

Who Can do Locum Tenens?
First, don’t assume you have to be a doctor to benefit from locum tenens contracting. There are dozens of positions open now for advanced practice professionals, too. Also don’t assume you have to be focused on one specialty to go locums. While primary care doctors have the most opportunities in this area, everyone from travel nurses to surgeons, nurse practitioners, and even coders, are all now in-demand. There are emergency locums, radiologists on contract, and traveling hospitalists—to name a few.

What’s It Like to Be a Healthcare Locums?
There are lots of stories on the internet of what it’s like to go on a locum tenens assignment. One doctor says, “Generally, welcoming is smooth. If locum tenens providers are utilized solely at the facility you will quickly be welcomed. If you are covering for a physician in a private practice, you will be much appreciated immediately.” Another doctor on YouTube says, “The vast majority of facilities have an excellent onboarding process so you show up and they know exactly what they need to do.” One anesthesiologist took on locums directly out of residency and writes, “When my friends were applying for full-time jobs, I was applying for 10 state licenses. When they were interviewing with potential partners, I was interviewing staffing companies. Before I finished residency, I had my first three assignments lined up.”

Why do Locums?

  • Financial freedom. These roles pay very well and many come with bonus structures, paid living expenses, and many more perks. This allows you the opportunity to build income quickly to pay off student loan debt or even retire early. Could you work in the winter and take the summers off like teachers do? Why not?
  • Location freedom. What part of the country would you like to work in? From rural mountain towns to urban bustle, there are locum tenens positions available in a variety of places around the country. Imagine living in an RV, traveling to a location to take advantage of ski season after work for three months. Consider trying out new communities as you decide where you want to settle after residency. You can do all of these things and more if you opt for a locum tenens lifestyle.
  • Broaden your horizons. The beauty of locums is that you get to experience a variety of work environments. This can inform your decisions to select a full-time role later on. Every hospital is different. Every medical practice network has a story. Locum tenens gives you the opportunity to sample work environments without the risk of signing on full-time.
  • More job security than ever before. The healthcare industry is growing at a higher rate than many other comparable fields. Everyone from hospitals to private practice is clamoring to hire temporary workers.  This translates to more opportunities for physicians, nurses, and other clinicians. Over the next few years, hundreds of thousands of Locums jobs will be added to each facet of the healthcare work, making this type of career path one that is rooted in security.

MedSource offers clinicians a chance to try the locums lifestyle. Talk with our team today about your options.