When you’re looking for a locum tenens position, it’s tempting to just look at the larger cities. There are more people in urban areas and so you assume there’d be more work and higher pay. But in reality, that’s not always the case.
There’s a high demand for qualified medical professionals in rural areas. And that demand opens up amazing opportunities for you to really make a difference in a community. Plus there are some other perks, too.
1) Rural Areas Need Medical Care
Rural areas are often under-served in terms of medical care. According to an article in The Atlantic, “about a fifth of Americans live in rural areas, but barely a tenth of physicians practice there.” Without someone like you coming in, people in rural areas might find themselves an hour’s drive away (or more) from medical care. If you take a rural locums position, you know you’re going to be in a location where you’re needed.
2) Good Pay and Low Cost Of Living
It’s a myth that you have to work in an affluent area to make good money. Many rural areas are so desperate for good medical help that they’re willing to pay top-dollar. Plus, cost-of-living is often lower in rural areas so your money goes farther than it would is you were working an equal-pay job in a larger city.
3) You Can Connect With Patients
Working in a smaller community gives you the chance to build relationships with your patients. You’re likely to see the same patients more than once and they’ll often refer friends and family in the local area.
4) Opportunity for A Quiet Lifestyle
If you’re looking for a more laid-back lifestyle and the opportunity to cultivate work-life balance, rural areas can be perfect. You’ll still be working in a high-stress profession, but in a less busy area. And on top of that, you’ll have a shorter commute and will be living in an area with ready access to recreation like fishing, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
5) Vary Your Medical Experiences
Working in a rural area presents some unique challenges. You’ll be working with a population that’s at a higher risk for injury, diabetes, and coronary heart disease than non-rural areas. Also, rural youth are more likely to smoke and are at a higher risk for suicide. Since there are fewer medical specialists available in the immediate area, you’ll get the opportunity to broaden your experiences treating patients with a variety of medical conditions.
Rural areas are full of opportunities for physicians. Whether you’re a recent medical school graduate looking to pay off debts or an experienced doctor looking for a change of pace, staffing in a rural area might be just what you’re looking for. RadCoverage can help connect you with locums positions in rural locations to find the best fit for your needs.