One of the jobs any physician or medical professional can have is called “locum tenens,” which is basically a medical professional who can fill the gaps in the medical facility’s full-time employee schedule. Facilities use a locum tenens staffing agency to fill in when their normal staff are on medical leave, maternity leave, or otherwise unable to fulfill their contracted schedules. Here are some of the reasons locum tenens physician staffing may be beneficial for new doctors:

The money.
Medical school is expensive. There are things like grants and scholarships to help pay tuition, but the reality is that most people who go into the medical field require loans to get their degree. By using a facility that has locum tenens physician staffing, they can have a side income to help pay off the loans that got them there in the first place.

To try something new.
Although physicians go through a variety of specific training programs in nearly every medical field that exists, some doctors like a little variety. If a doctor becomes an OB-GYN, they may want to dip their toe in the world of pediatrics or ER medicine.

To decide if they want to change specialties.
Let’s say the young doctor has decided to go into a specific field, like orthopedics. At first they like it, but then they may get bored with it or decide it’s just not what they thought it would be. By taking locum tenens positions, they may expand their education and find a different specialty they like more.

To network.
There’s a lot of networking that goes on the medical world, but one of the best is being a floating doctor, which is essentially what being locum tenens physician is. Rotating between different facilities will help the doctor meet other doctors, other staff, and build their reputations as a strong, intelligent, and confident doctor. If the facility has an opening for a full-time staff doctor, they may go to the ones who fill in the gaps and turn it into a permanent position.

To accommodate their family life.
Working as a locum tenens physician, you can typically choose your hours. This can be perfect for those with children or those who look after elderly relatives. Locum tenens physicians can make their work schedule around their family schedule, which will help them maintain a work/life balance.

Avoiding burnout.
Working in the medical field is stressful, and many healthcare providers develop burnout, which means they are doing their job with no real enjoyment or fulfillment. By working a variety of jobs, the chance of burnout will drastically decrease.


Being a locum tenens physician has many benefits, but it’s not for everyone. Before you go that route, ask questions to a lot of people. Make sure your family is on board, and make sure you are properly licensed to work in that particular state. Remember, different states have different rules. Make sure you follow all of them and enjoy your new adventure.