What Does it Mean to Work Locum Tenens Tips

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What can you learn from a locum tenens job?

What You Can Learn from Your Locum

Whether your locum tenens position lasts for a weekend, a week, or a year, you'll reap rewards that you can carry with you throughout your medical career. Some of the reasons to investigate locum tenens work at least once:

  • Sharpen a skill. Have you wanted to perform more laparoscopic procedures, but you find that the opportunities are limited in your current practice setting? A locum tenens job with a laparoscopy focus can give you the experience you want to advance your career in your specialty.
  • Get a fresh perspective. Whether you are a general practice physician or a subspecialist in pediatric endocrinology, spending some time in a different practice setting is an opportunity to gain a different perspective on your specialty by treating a different patient population and by learning new practice tips from a different set of colleagues.
Talk to a physician recruiting company about what you want to learn in a locum tenens job, and a physician staffing consultant can help you find positions that will give you the experience that you want.

How can a locum tenens help evaluate my medical career options?

Use Locum Tenens to Evaluate Your Career Options

If you are just starting out in your medical career, locum tenens work can be a helpful way to evaluate your options before settling down in a specific location or practice setting. Regardless of your specialty, a locum tenens job can show you what you don't like in a practice setting or location. You may think you want to work in a large hospital, but after a month you find you may crave the more intimate setting of a small group practice.

Other advantages of physician locum tenens work include:

  • Exploring the setting. Yes, you'll be working, but you can use your down time to check out the area and decide whether the location of your locum is somewhere you'd like to live for the long-term.
  • Assessing your colleagues. If you find a mentor during your locum tenens job, that may be a reason to seek a permanent position in that practice with an eye toward advancing your medical career.

What are some tips for locum medical practice?

Read This Before You Leap Into A Locum

Locum tenens positions can be feasible options at any point in your physician career, whether you are just starting out after residency or approaching retirement. If you are considering locum tenens work, keep these tips in mind:

  • Network for the best leads on locum tenens jobs in the locations you prefer.
  • Work with a locum tenens staffing agency; physician staffing consultants can help you identify the locum tenens positions that match your preferences.
  • Consult an accountant to avoid any surprises on your taxes.
  • Have a home base. If you plan to do several locums in succession, find a friend or family member with whom you can stash some of your stuff, or rent a storage locker.
  • Talk to your predecessor. If possible, ask a physician who has done a locum in your intended location for advice about the job.
  • Review your contract. Make sure that your agreement covers payment, lodging, and malpractice insurance, and negotiate coverage of other expenses, such as transportation, if applicable.

What information should I clarify before a locum tenens job?

Locum Tenens Tip: Clarify Details Before You Go

To make the most of a locum tenens job, be sure that you are clear on the details of the assignment before you go, so you don't have any unpleasant surprises. Some points to review with your locum tenens staffing agency include:

  • Type of practice: Make sure you know what your responsibilities will be, and how many hours you will be expected to work.
  • Travel and housing: If your locum tenens job is not in the area where you live, be sure to talk to your staffing consultant about how travel to the locum will be covered and whether you will need a rental car to get to and from work. Consider asking for a small apartment if possible, so you can prepare your own meals during your locum.
  • Payment: Try to arrange to be paid directly, on a regular basis, such as weekly or biweekly, rather than at the end of your locum. If for some reason you have to discontinue the locum early, you won't have the hassle of waiting for a backlog of pay.

Can I find season-specific locum tenens work?

Seek a Season-Specific Locum

Do you work in Minnesota but see visions of palm trees? Or would you like to help treat patients who have had winter injuries, and go snowboarding during your free time? A locum tenens job can be a way to enhance your income and enjoy some rest and recreation in a desirable setting. For example, hospitals in many ski areas, such as in Utah, may not be that busy during the summer months, but as the population swells in the winter, so does the need for additional medical staff. And beachfront areas may seek locum tenens staffing during the spring break rush.

Emergency medicine physicians and general or family practice physicians can adapt easily to seasonal medical care. Some medical problems you can treat in cold-weather climates include frostbite and hypothermia, while summer resort injuries may range from water sports accidents to heatstroke and sunburn. Like any locum tenens, you can work with a specialized physician staffing agency to identify a seasonal locum tenens job that meets your criteria for hours, salary, and location.

How can I combine a locum tenens position with a vacation?

Combine Work and Play with a Locum Tenens

Are you looking for a way to save money on your family vacation? A locum tenens job may be your ideal solution. Physicians in any specialty can find locum tenens positions in desirable vacation locations. Let a locum tenens staffing agency can help you find a locum tenens job somewhere that you'd like to visit. You will be paid for your vacation time from your regular job, but a week or two of additional pay can be a helpful addition to your income.

Many locum tenens positions in desirable vacation spots have reasonable hours, so you can have time to enjoy the local activities with your family. And you can ask your local colleagues for the inside scoop on activities and restaurants. For example, a locum tenens staffing agency can arrange a family practice locum tenens for a week or two that corresponds with your children's vacation from school. Want a beach getaway? A physician staffing consultant can identify opportunities in Florida, North Carolina, or any location that you prefer.

Can I do locum tenens work overseas?

Locum Tenens Isn't Limited to the U.S.

Many physicians may not realize that a locum tenens isn't limited to practicing medicine in the United States. If you love to travel or you feel strongly about dedicating part of your medical career to caring for underserved populations, locum tenens work may be right for you.

For example, if you have just finished your internal medicine residency, and you have always wanted to travel to New Zealand, a locum tenens staffing agency can arrange for you to spend several months working in a hospital there. You'll have a chance to learn new skills and gain perspective on U.S. medicine by working in a different medical setting. Alternatively, many charitable organizations or service groups based at American medical schools offer opportunities for overseas medical practice. If you are preparing to practice overseas for several months during the year, but you have a few months in the U.S., you can fill in that gap with a U.S.-based locum tenens job.

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