There are several reasons temporary medical staffing is becoming more popular among providers and employers alike. For providers, locum tenens (Latin for “placeholder”) jobs let hospitals and practices address staffing shortages and temporarily replace full-time job holders so they can avoid burnout. From an employee perspective, taking locum work allows for a level of flexibility and independence impossible in a traditional medical position.
1) Flexible Hours
Physicians working locum jobs have increased freedom over their work schedules. Locums decide when they work and, perhaps more importantly when they don’t work. Such flexibility is an advantage in a variety of circumstances. For example, locum work can let physicians nearing retirement age cut back on work gradually or help an overwhelmed dosimetrist avoid burnout.
2) Freedom To Travel
Locum work can also provide opportunities to travel. Some people like living in a new city every few months, and that’s an option when doing freelance work as a physician. Or locum work can allow a full-time physician to take some time and visit their elderly parents or adult children in a different part of the country. Locums work lets traveling physicians take a temporary job in the location of their visit while another locum fills their position back home.
3) Escape Bureaucracy
The increased interest in locum positions also reflects a larger trend of employees wanting to do freelance work. We like the idea of escaping dysfunctional bureaucracy and not being tied down to a single employer. Freelancing can offer less reliable work, but there’s enough of a staffing shortage in the medical field that most qualified physicians and practitioners won’t have any trouble finding someone to hire them. Especially if you get help from a dedicated staffing agency like Radcoverage.
4) Manage Debt
Taking locums work can be a great way to pay down med school debt. You can line up locums engagements right out of training and begin practicing immediately. And if you’re willing to travel, you can prioritize the highest paying options. Often, a remote location that needs physicians will offer a higher paycheck as well as cover housing, travel, and malpractice premiums. Even doctors moving directly to full-time work can sometimes use locums positions to moonlight and supplement their income.
5) Try-Out A Job
With locums work, there aren’t any long-term effects if you take a less than ideal position. If you don’t like the work environment, you’re typically only stuck there for a few weeks or months at the most. But if you do like the location, hospitals and practices may hire locus they liked to fill permanent vacancies.
If you’re looking to try out locum work, get in touch with us. We’ll help you find the best possible positions to fit your specific needs and negotiate a contract that works for you.