22 Sep Looking for Job Security? Become a Locum Tenens Physician
Healthcare facilities rely on locum tenens to ensure they’re able to meet patient demand.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit – with many doctors and other clinicians leaving due to burnout, furlough or layoffs – locum tenens opportunities have become more plentiful than ever. Physicians who take advantage of locum tenens work can expect a secure future in the healthcare field – and positions are available everywhere from rural areas to busy cities.
Let’s say a hospital or practice is down two physicians. With the shortage of doctors in today’s market, the hiring process is taking much longer – yet patients still need uninterrupted care.
When caseloads can’t wait for newly hired doctors to come on board, many hospitals, clinics or practices fill the gap with locum tenens physicians.
What Does a Locum Tenens Do?
Locum tenens is Latin for “placeholder” and is the medical version of a temporary employee. As a locum tenens physician, you work a temporary assignment anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months. Locum tenens physicians travel to various medical facilities and treat patients, order and interpret tests, write prescriptions, and handle related administrative duties.
The need for locum doctors is high. In fact 88% of healthcare facilities have used locum tenens in 2021 and 2022 to fill gaps caused by a shortage of physicians due to job burnout.
Here are a few reasons why doctors in all specialties and career phases — from residency to retirement — often work as locums:
1. Good Pay
In many cases, the number one reason doctors choose to work locum tenens is to supplement their income. Others choose to leave a permanent position to become a locum tenens.
Due to the difficulty of finding a long-term doctor for a position, employers generally have to pay locum tenens doctors very well. This higher income allows clinicians to achieve their financial goals more quickly. The position also generally covers substantial living expenses, including travel costs, a place to stay, and even a stipend for food. Credentialing and licensing costs are also frequently covered.
2. Flexible Schedule
As a locums tenens, you can choose which assignments to take, in what location, and for how long. It’s an ideal option for those with commitments outside of practicing medicine — like taking time to travel, serving medical missions, or just looking for a better work/life balance.
3. Less Administration, More Patient Time
One of the most rewarding aspects is practicing “pure medicine.” Without having to worry about paperwork or other administrative duties, locums physicians can spend more time with patients. Successful locums are often asked by facilities to return for repeat assignments – as a result, some physicians work with the same patients for years.
4. No Need to Worry About Insurance or Overhead
Unlike physicians who run their own practice, locum tenens don’t have to worry about overhead or putting money back into the business. In fact, many locums receive comprehensive malpractice insurance that covers them even after their assignment ends. Locum tenens is also attractive to young physicians who haven’t established a patient base.
Contact Our Experts at Annashae
At Annashae Healthcare Staffing and Consulting, we’re dedicated to the placement of highly-skilled clinical practitioners in short and long-term positions. As a nationwide medical staffing and consulting firm, we provide a range of services that enable our candidates to quickly find the career opportunity that fits their needs. For information on how you can further your clinical career, contact us today.