8 Reasons to Consider a Locum Tenens Career in 2021
New year, new decade…new you? 2021 may officially be half-way over, but if you’ve been looking to shake things up in your career or your lifestyle, it might be the time to consider locum tenens opportunities.
One of the many benefits of working as a locum tenens provider is that you’re not limited to just one city, one state, or even one part of the country. Locum tenens physicians have the unique opportunity to continue caring for patients while traveling the nation, experiencing different geography, landscapes, patient populations, and cultures on a regular basis.
Locum tenens jobs can provide an entirely new perspective on work-life balance, allowing you to grow both personally and professionally. They can even open up new doors in your career.
In fact, there are several reasons to consider this unique practice model for yourself in 2021. And as they say, there is no time like the present!
Here are 8 reasons to try the locum tenens lifestyle this year:
1. More Control Over Your Schedule
After years of intense medical school, residency, and real-world experience, physicians often find themselves once again locked into a particular organization or schedule. While career stability is definitely a good thing for most, it’s not always the best thing for everyone. Working in a place where feeling stuck or devoid of options, can ultimately lead to physician burnout.
Locum tenens positions can be a welcome break if you’re ready to switch up your routine or want the flexibility of setting your own schedule. Doing what you want, when you want, and where you want to do it, is one of the biggest advantages of being a locum tenens physician. How would you like to never be on call again?
2. Give Back Under Growing Demand
Healthcare providers are in short supply throughout the U.S., with many areas of the country, such as rural communities, hurting for doctors and advanced practitioners to care for their communities. The patients in these areas often have limited access to services and the medical talents you can provide.
As the general and aging population continues to grow, so does the demand for physicians. The U.S. is projected to reach a shortage of 120,000 physicians by 2030!
The increasing demand due to COVID-19, also has facilities increasingly turning to locum tenens physicians right now to provide for much-needed care, as well as more assignment choices for locum practitioners
3. Boost Income With Competitive Pay
There can be several financial perks from working locum tenens jobs! A part-time locum job may involve working extra shifts at a local hospital or clinic on your days off, adding an extra bonus on top of your regular salary. If you are looking to pay off medical school loans, build a nest egg, or save up for a major expense, earning extra income can be a real boost!
Full-time locum assignments usually involve a longer commute or a travel position that often includes free housing and additional reimbursements for travel expenses. These positions also offer competitive hourly pay which is often higher than the salary rates for similar permanent positions due to their temporary nature and the high demand for covering vacancies.
4. Enhance Your Resume/CV with New Experiences
If you’re looking to increase your skills as a physician or learn new procedures not available in your current position, working with different health systems and facilities can offer a great boost for your medical career. These assignments expose physicians to a wide variety of practice settings, procedures. and treatments.
Whether you work as a locum tenens physician at a top research and teaching facility, community clinic or rural hospital, you’ll be able to broaden your skill set and learn from new experiences. Locum Tenens physicians have the opportunity to learn from new mentors, care for diverse new patient populations, train on different equipment and add more varied work experience than physicians who stay in the same role year after year.
5. Test Drive Career Transitions
Locums assignments are a great way to try out a new community or employer before making a permanent move. It gives you the opportunity to have a working interview, per se, to determine if you would like to transition into working there long-term. This option can be particularly attractive to recent graduates trying to figure out what they want in a career path before locking into a multi-year contract.
The flexibility of locum tenens can also be the perfect fit at various stages in your career. Physicians can use locum positions to gain work experience while waiting for the right long-term opportunity to open up, or as a way to continue earning income between permanent positions. Physicians and clinicians near retirement can use locum tenens assignments as a transitional step between full-time practice and retirement.
6. Avoid Physician Burnout
Many doctors that suffer from burnout find that rather than making a career change, they really just need to change their environment. Taking a temporary job in a new facility or trying out a new city or state, can reignite your passion for healthcare and make practicing medicine enjoyable again.
A 2018 survey found that 78 percent of physicians and advanced practitioners often or at some point experience feelings of burnout and health care leaders are now recognizing that burnout is a key issue for practitioners, employers and patients alike.
Whether you’re feeling worn down by your current work situation, or simply need a change of pace in your medical career, locum tenens may be just the revival you need. Continuing to do what you love most while experiencing new faces and places, can make for a healthy and positive step forward.
7. Satisfy Your Travel & Adventure Wanderlust
The world out there is big and ripe for adventure, and there’s always more to see and do. Working as a locum tenens physician will give you the opportunity to travel across the country, all while practicing medicine. Maybe you’re from the Midwest and have always wanted to live on the West Coast, or big city living has you stressed out and you long for an escape to a quieter place to spend your days off. As a freelance physician, you have your pick of entertainment and new experiences.
And the best part? How far you want to go, or how close you want to stay, is all up to you. There is no reason to wait for retirement or an extended vacation to satisfy your wanderlust.
Working as a locum tenens doctor can give you the chance to travel, see the world, and have a rewarding and fulfilling experience at a job where you’ll be appreciated. You can check locations off your bucket list, try out a city where you might want to move or let yourself be surprised by exploring a new area you never would have imagined otherwise
8. Enrich Your Personal Life + Relationships
A number of personal benefits can be provided at each locum tenens assignment location. You can use your time off to learn a new hobby or skill, feed your love for theater or culture, explore national parks, experience new types of cuisine or discover local treasures.
Locum work can also put you in touch with people that you wouldn’t otherwise have met, improving your understanding of patient populations while developing new friendships that will enrich your life for years to come.
Are you finding yourself a bit homesick or missing friends or family? Maybe you’re an empty nester, distant grandparent, or child of an aging parent who needs some assistance? Working as a locum tenens physician might just be just the answer to help you live closer and reconnect with loved ones for an extended period of time.
The locum lifestyle can also allow you to take your spouse or other loved ones along on your adventure—wherever you choose—creating lasting memories from your shared travel adventures.
Interested in a Locum Tenens Postion? What Happens Next?
With all the above pay rate and lifestyle factors in mind, locum tenens physicians are free to explore their options in many states, using temporary contracts as a way to test-drive new locations and see where they fit best. For better or worse, physicians are in demand right now due to an increase in physician shortages, which means you can be more selective in where you want to live, play, and practice.
Traveling to different cities and states will also mean that you have to do your due diligence with your credentials and licensing. Each state has a different approach with locum tenens physicians, with some that accept locum tenens credentialing, while others may not.
To make this process easier, reach out to a professional licensure company like Medical License Pro! We will be able to assist you with your new license application or your license renewal for the various states you might find yourself working in a locum tenens position.
The Medical Licensing process can be quite lengthy and difficult if you don’t know what you are doing. Expect to spend numerous hours preparing the application, making the verification requests, following up with your credential holders, and addressing deficiencies on your notices from your State Medical Board, but…
What if someone offered to…
- Determine your license eligibility
- Make all credential verification requests
- Follow up with credential holders
- Handle additional Medical Board requests
- Make your license process incredibly simple!
You should probably let them!
Only $597 per State
Discounts available for multiple states, training licenses, and military.