If you're looking for that perfect long-term job, you'll find locum tenens assignments a good way to supplement your income while you look. Some people work locum tenens assignments to stay solvent during the gap between ending one job and beginning another or while they manage a change in their personal life.
The freedom locum tenens offers from the stress of running a practice makes it a good way to avoid burnout. Or if you're a physician who wants to postpone retirement, locum tenens is a great way to keep your skills and license active while working less, traveling, and still earning the income you need to be comfortable.
“I am very glad that I heard from CompHealth when I did. Locum tenens practice saved me from a retirement I was not ready for.”
Flexible Work Schedule
Does a flexible work schedule appeal to you? Dr. Kent, who is 37, enjoys traveling. She began working locum tenens while in her residency and returned to it after spending time at a practice. She loves having flexibility that allows for opportunities like a recent cruise with her dad.
“I feel like I have a lot of flexibility with my schedule.…I can fit other things in while I’m working.”1
As you approach retirement, permanent jobs rarely offer the flexibility to allow you time for travel or other worthwhile pursuits. If you want to cut back on work hours but continue to feel financially secure, locums assignments let you do so in a low-stress environment. You decide where, when, and how often you practice medicine.
“My favorite locums assignment was within a 250-mile drive of 7 national parks, and I saw them all. One was 20 minutes away. I literally could leave my assignment, pick up my wife, drive out, watch the sunset, and drive home.”
1 Childress, Karen. "Finding a Practice That Fits Your Life," PracticeLink.com, Winter 2013.
Aid for Underserved Areas
Locum tenens doctors see nearly six million patients annually in underserved areas like rural farm communities and low-income city centers—and that's only counting the doctors placed by CompHealth. Whether your assignment is to give a full-time staff member a little R & R or to provide the skills an inner-city clinic lacks, these communities will welcome you with open arms and open hearts.
“[In rural communities] I have more time to spend with each patient, and I get to really connect with them and give them the attention they deserve. I find that my rural patients are exceptionally respectful of the treatment I prescribe.”
Did you know that your active state license is valid for locum tenens assignments at Indian Health Service and tribal healthcare facilities, Veterans Administration hospitals, and Department of Defense facilities across the nation? Less red tape means you can go to work faster. Your single active state license means you can work in many locations.
Working locum tenens allows you to experience how medical professionals in different geographic regions and diverse practice settings deliver patient care. Whether you are right out of school, a few years into your career, or well established, working locum tenens helps you make an informed decision when considering a permanent position or setting up your own practice.
“I worked as a locum tenens physician following graduation at the age of 29. By working as a doctor who temporarily fulfilled the duties of another, I was able to gain more hands-on experience in a variety of settings and circumstances. I never would have expanded my horizons in such a way had I gone straight from residency to a full-time job.” 1
If you'd like to develop a broader knowledge base in your specialty, we will find locum tenens assignments that help you do that.
1 Rimawi, Bassam. “How Locum Tenens Helped Me Land My Dream Fellowship,” HealthNewsDigest.com, July 2013.
Try before You Buy
Working locum tenens helps you experience the variety of settings and geographical locations available in your specialty. If an assignment turns out to be the right setting and community fit for you, we will help you turn it into a permanent position. We call it Temp to Perm. One of the most frequent reasons healthcare facilities give for utilizing locums physicians is to help them maintain patient care while they find a permanent candidate, so Temp to Perm is a realistic possibility.
You can also think of your locums assignment as a kind of working interview you conduct with a setting or location. It helps you determine the best fit for your lifestyle, practice preferences, skills, and experience. You'll have better knowledge to base your decision on when it's time to take a permanent position.
“It's a wonderful chance to go to some unique practice settings. The best way to know what's right for you is to do locums for at least a year.”