Considering working locums? No matter what your specialty, read on.
Locum tenens is the Latin term for temporarily filling a position, particularly for clerics or physicians. Locum practitioners’ work today involves a large variety of specialties: family medicine, radiology, cardiology, OB/Gyn, and also PA’s or other advanced practitioners. If you are considering a change of locale, or even if you have not yet graduated, locums work may be right for you.
Why Locum Tenens?
Facilities hire locum tenens for many reasons. Staffing shortages during peak seasons, sudden absences from illness or injury, maternity leave or sabbatical—for these and many other reasons three-fourths of the nation’s hospitals augment staffing with locum tenens physicians.
While locum positions include all specialties and experience levels, such positions are particularly beneficial to physicians-in-training.
- Immediate placement
- Many locations to choose from
- The opportunity to familiarize yourself with a geographic location
- Potentially higher pay
- Skill-building opportunities
- A chance to observe various styles of practice
- The unique freedom to “audition” a practice to find the ideal long-term placement opportunity
- The freedom and feeling of being one’s own boss, with the advantages of collaborative practice
Who is the Ideal Candidate?
Physicians and physicians-in-training enjoy locums work for all of the above reasons. With so many options available, how do you know if locums work is right for you?
Locums work may be ideal for you if:
- You haven’t really had time to consider job offers during your residency.
- You have no immediate plan for after residency, but you are ready to jump right in to practice.
- You are considering a number of locations and would like to check them out first.
- You would like to observe a practice style before settling on a particular model.
- You would like to build your skill-set and knowledge without being tied to a particular location long-term.
- You value your working environment and quality of life, and so would like to “audition” a practice before signing a long-term contract.
- You would like to work potentially higher paying temporary assignments.
If you fit any or all of the above descriptions, locums work may be particularly suited to your needs and interests.
If you are considering working locums, it is never too early to find out more. Even before graduation, you can establish a relationship with a physician staffing agency. When you do so, you gain an advocate, with personal knowledge of your preferences and interests, making placement a snap when you are ready.
You can also sign up for news, tips and job alerts, to stay on top of placement trends and opportunities.
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