To pursue locum tenens as a medical career is to embark on an adventure that is quite different from many of the traditional careers in the healthcare sector. It can be quite similar to nurses that might be used to working in a medical facility changing things up and working as a private nurse. While many of the processes might be the same, there are also more than enough differences that it can come as a form of a culture shock to most physicians.
The reason why it is crucial to consider your medical path moving forward is that a career in the healthcare sector is not to be taken lightly. The path you choose might end up being the very same path several years down the line, which is why it is crucial that you are fully committed to what you intend to do for the foreseeable future. While it might be possible to change things up in the middle, it is often better to already be aware of what you want from the start — though such a thing is easier said than done.
While locum tenens might be somewhat different compared to a traditional career as a physician, it is still well worth the price of admission. That said, here just a few things to consider before pursuing locum tenens as a medical career.
Is it possible to start my career with locum tenens?
Yes, it is entirely possible to start in the healthcare sector with a career in locum tenens. Based on the locum tenens companies and your personal preference, you will be allowed to choose from a set of assignments. The first assignment tends to be the most overwhelming no matter the occasion, though it does get easier as you get used to it.
Typically, much of the effort has to do with filling a void in your chosen medical facility. You have to deal with the facility’s politics, as well as ensure that you can get the job done without issue. Much is expected of a locum tenens physician, but the same thing can be said about most other healthcare careers out there.
Is it possible to have a full-time career with locum tenens?
It is possible. The moment that your tenure ends in one assignment, you can immediately choose another and be sent to a location of your choosing. As a matter of fact, it can look better on a physician’s resume, as it shows that they are collecting as much experience as possible from different locations. Some might last a few months, while others might last more than a year.
It is the ideal career for those who never want to stay stuck in a position for too long, as well as those who want to make a difference with their talents. While the same can be said for traditional careers, it can be easy to get lenient and cushy in a single facility for several years.
Can industry veterans try for a career in locum tenens?
It is entirely possible for an older physician to try to apply for locum tenens — especially those who are beginning to feel that the regular job is getting stagnant. Considering that people work extremely hard to become licensed physicians, it is only natural to want to make the most of the opportunities provided. The career in locum tenens helps older physicians wind down their career by choosing a remote location that is most in need of their services. It can be an exciting time not just for rookies, but for those who have already built an established career over the years. Without a doubt, locum tenens can be an exciting way to breathe new life into a career that has grown stagnant over the years.
Does a career in locum tenens pay more?
The reason why some might think to go for locum tenens is due to the increased pay when choosing busy/remote locations that are most in need of their skills. After all, many new physicians are still paying off student loans, which means the quickest path is to go for locum tenens and choose a remote location to start their practice. While it might be akin to a trial by fire for new physicians, it is an extremely enriching experience and one that will undoubtedly make it quicker for the physician to eventually pay off any loans they might have.
Last but certainly not least, for those who might be wondering if a career in locum tenens is fulfilling — it most certainly is. It is not something to be taken lightly due to the many responsibilities that come with such a career, but it can also be an entirely different (and exciting) direction for many.