Locum tenens work is a great option for medical practitioners looking for a boost in income, increased flexibility and a break from their norm. Rewarding opportunities abound nationwide for locum physicians to work in all types of care settings. Understaffed facilities rely increasingly on locums to help with the growing number of baby boomers in an ever-changing healthcare demographic.
To make the most of being a locum tenens physician, consider the following tips.
Get Great Representation
Choosing a reputable locum tenens staffing company helps you find and land the most rewarding assignments to match your needs and expectations. Before picking a representative, take the time to research their record. Check if the companies you’re looking at are members of the National Association of Locum Tenens Organization (NALTO). NALTO members adhere to the highest ethical and industry standards, giving you the best chance to find quality work. Companies that maintain strong relationships with partner facilities and physicians provide the best opportunities, and do more to benefit you, including the processing of licenses and credentials, facilitating travel, arranging housing, providing malpractice insurance, negotiating top pay for you, and paying on time.
Choose the Right Assignment
Some hospitals are in dire need of additional staff and are willing to pay more for locum physicians. As a locum tenens practitioner, you get paid hourly and earn about 33% more than resident doctors. However, you need to remember that hospitals vary in quality and service. Research the hospitals that your agency offers before you agree to take any assignment. Choose a hospital that is efficient and has a great workplace culture. Balance the pros and cons and make sure that the hospital you choose closely matches your personal work criteria and ideal work scenario.
Reap the Rewards of Experience
Since locum doctors can work in a variety of settings, they regularly have to adjust their workflow and get accustomed to different types of processes. Learning to adapt quickly in any work setting will help you do your job more efficiently. Also keep in mind that work culture varies in every setting. Establish a good relationship with the management and staff early on to be understood and supported. While familiarizing yourself with new systems, you never know when you are going to need help from your new staff members. Those friendships could also lead to future career opportunities you might never have imagined.
ENJOY THE BENEFITS
A great advantage of becoming a locum tenens physician is the ability to gain more control over your life. You can travel and experience different places and lifestyles, decide where you work, and how much you work. That much freedom may take some getting used to, but it gives you the luxury of real fulfillment—career and personal.