Locum Tenens Made Easy: How Agencies Can Help (2024)

Locum Tenens
Source: pathologywatch.com

There are many times in the career of a physician when change is necessary.

Whether that change is finishing residency and starting a new career, wishing to change paths, or even deciding on retirement, change is inevitable.

At these junctures, considering locum tenens may be the best option for one’s career path or even to fill the gaps between a change.

What is Locum Tenens?

Locum Tenens
Source: freepik.com

Locum tenens is a physician who provides temporary services for healthcare facilities or clinics. The term locum tenens is a Latin phrase meaning “to hold the place of.” For more information about the history of locum tenens, visit locumstory.com.

Many hospitals and healthcare clinics have doctors that need a vacation or just need some time off.

These locations will then hire locum tenens to fill in for those physicians. By having a physician fill in, the facility is not left short-handed, and the community has the doctors they need.

Many small and rural communities depend on locum tenens to provide needed care. Many communities cannot afford to attract and keep a variety of full-time physicians on staff.

Locum tenens allow these communities the ability to provide care, especially specialized care, more affordably. Although not the best long-term option for these communities, it is the best option to fill the gaps in care.

When a person completes their training but before they choose a location to practice permanently, physicians can choose to be placed temporarily at various hospitals or clinics around the country or even the world.

For those wanting a career change or even those wishing to retire, locum tenens is an option to travel to different locations and provide services for as little or as long as a person wishes.

Career Benefits of Locum Tenens

There are many career benefits for those choosing to work a locum tenens position. One big boost to a person’s career is versatility.

Whether planning to work at a hospital in a major city or even as part of a private practice, a locum tenens position could provide experience in various facilities without committing to a particular job.

Locum tenens also allows a physician the ability to work in different areas to gain experience with the various needs of the community.

For example, there is a big difference between working in a major city versus a rural community. Some doctors may find they have the opportunity to learn about different areas of medicine they did not previously experience before their position.

With the wide range of opportunities available, physicians can gain the skills many facilities are looking for when hiring a permanent staff member.

These opportunities may even be a major career boost when planning to make a change in the middle of a career.

Personal Benefits of Locum Tenens

Benefits of Locum Tenens
Source: healthjob.org

There are also many personal benefits physicians can find working locum tenens positions. For those just starting their career, these positions provide a great way to continue to earn money while searching for the perfect permanent position.

It can sometimes take months before the right job offer is found. With these positions, young doctors can hone their skills while making some money to get them through.

Another great benefit of a locum tenens position is the flexibility. There are times when life requires more focus that working a full-time job will not allow. With these positions, individuals can choose to work when they are available or even with large gaps in between to provide time for life events.

Sometimes, a locum tenens position is the perfect way to prevent burnout. It can be hard doing the same thing day in and day out. By taking such a position, individuals can get the change they need to keep them active and happy in their job.

These positions also provide an opportunity to see different areas of the country. They may even offer the ability to leave the country. Many people would enjoy experiencing a new area or culture but cannot take the time off work to do so. With these types of positions, individuals can get the best of both worlds.

A locum tenens position is also a great benefit for those winding down their career in preparation for retirement. Physicians can work when they want and experience the joys of retirement in small increments. This option allows a physician to continue to work, but without the pressure of a permanent position until they are ready for retirement.

Finding a Placement

Locum tenens positions are not difficult to find. Many healthcare facilities post these jobs on various job search boards. A potential candidate simply needs to find the job that interests them and apply. Once accepted, the physician can review the terms with the facility and start their new placement.

Although these jobs are plentiful and relatively easy to find, it can be difficult finding the right position. Some physicians want certain locations or specialized fields. Some need specific timeframes to work.

Searching through various job boards to find the right fit could take a lot of time that often a physician does not have. A locum tenens agency may be the solution.

What is a Locum Tenens Agency?

Locum Tenens A Physician
Source: freepik.com

Some agencies work directly with healthcare facilities to find physicians to fill roles. These agencies have access to many current and even future positions that may not be posted in public forums.

These agencies will often provide potential candidates with a recruiter. The recruiter will work directly with the physician to help find the placement they need. Often, these recruiters build great relationships with their clients and help them reach their career goals.

When working with an agency, physicians can provide their specific needs to their recruiter. Whether they need to be in a certain location or want to work in a specialty field, the recruiter is able to match them with a position that will work for them.

Physicians can even specify ranges of pay or the amount of work they can offer. In some cases, physicians may be able to work part-time so that they can gain a better work/life balance. Working with an agency ensures the physician gets the right position every time.