Locum Tenens: A Gateway to Travel and Adventure for Physicians
By Posted :

Traveling the world while practicing medicine is a dream for many physicians. However, it is not easy to achieve this dream with permanent employment. That is why more and more physicians are choosing Locum Tenens as a career option.

What is Locum Tenens?

Locum Tenens are physicians who can work in various settings, such as hospitals, clinics, private practices, or even remote areas. They can also choose the duration, frequency, and location of their assignments, depending on their availability and preferences.

Why is Locum Tenens Popular?

Locum Tenens is becoming a popular career option for many physicians, especially among the younger generation. According to a survey by Staff Care, the number of physicians who have worked as Locum Tenens has increased from 26,000 in 2002 to 48,000 in 2016. The survey also found that 94% of healthcare facility managers have used Locum Tenens physicians in the past 12 months.

There are many reasons why physicians choose Locum Tenens, such as:

  • Flexibility: Locum Tenens physicians can control their schedule and workload. They can work as much or as little as they want, and take breaks whenever they need. Locum Tenens can also choose the type of work they enjoy, and avoid the ones they don’t.
  • Variety: Locum Tenens physicians are able to explore different medical fields and specialties. They can gain exposure to new technologies, techniques, and best practices, and learn from different mentors, colleagues, and patients.
  • Income: Locum Tenens physicians can earn competitive rates and benefits. It’s possible for them to negotiate their contracts and fees, and receive reimbursements for travel, housing, and malpractice insurance. They can take advantage of tax deductions for business expenses as well.
  • Freedom: Locum Tenens physicians can escape the hassles and stress of permanent employment. They avoid the administrative, bureaucratic, and political issues that often plague healthcare organizations. Thus, focus more on patient care and less on paperwork.

How to Become a Locum Tenens Physician?

Becoming a Locum Tenens physician is not difficult, but it does require some preparation and planning. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Get licensed: A valid medical license in the state where one wants to work is required. Some states have reciprocity agreements that allow physicians to practice with their existing license, while others require them to apply for a new one. Each state’s licensing requirements and procedures can be checked on the Federation of State Medical Boards website.
  • Get credentialed: Locum Tenens physicians need a current board certification in the specialty, and a clean malpractice history is required. Proof of education, training, and experience are also needed. A credentialing service or a Locum Tenens agency can help with this process.
  • Get connected: A Locum Tenens assignment that matches the skills, interests, and goals is needed. Online platforms, networking events, or referrals can be used to search for opportunities. A Locum Tenens agency is best and can also connect physicians with clients, negotiate contracts, and arrange logistics for them.
  • Get ready: Preparation for the Locum Tenens assignment by doing some research and packing some essentials is needed. Learning about the facility, the staff, the patients, and the community where one will be working is important. Bringing personal and professional documents, medical equipment and supplies, and travel necessities is also essential.

What is the Life of a Locum Tenens Physician Like?

The life of a Locum Tenens physician is exciting and rewarding. One can expect to:

  • Work in diverse settings: Locum Tenens physicians can work in urban, rural, or international locations. They may work in large, medium, or small facilities. One can work in academic, private, or public sectors. One can work in any setting that suits one’s personality and preferences.
  • Meet different people: They can interact with a variety of patients, from different backgrounds, cultures, and walks of life. One can also collaborate with a diverse team of healthcare professionals, from different specialties, disciplines, and levels of expertise. Locum Tenens physicians make new friends and connections along the way.
  • Face new challenges: Locum Tenens physicians encounter different medical cases, from common to rare, from simple to complex. They may also deal with different work environments, from well-equipped to under-resourced, from organized to chaotic. Locum Tenens physicians adapt to different work cultures.

How Does Locum Tenens Enable Travel and Adventure?

Locum Tenens is more than just a job. It is also a gateway to travel and adventure. By working as a Locum Tenens physician, one can:

  • Explore the world: Locum Tenens physicians visit places that they have always wanted to see or discover places that they have never heard of. They experience the natural beauty, the historical landmarks, and the cultural attractions of each destination. Locum Tenens physicians can also indulge in the local cuisine, the arts and entertainment, and the festivals and events of each region.
  • Enrich the life: Locum Tenens physicians learn new things, gain new perspectives, and develop new skills. Locum Tenens physicians share their knowledge, insights, and talents with others. They contribute to the well-being, the development, and the diversity of each community.
  • Enhance the career: Locum Tenens physicians improve their clinical competence, professional reputation, and career satisfaction. They can expand the network, the portfolio, and the opportunities.

What are Some Data on Locum Tenens’ Income and Travel Expenses?

Locum Tenens is not only a rewarding career, but also a lucrative one. According to a report by Medscape, the average annual income of Locum Tenens physicians in 2019 was $228,000, which was higher than the average income for physicians. The report also found that Locum Tenens physicians earned more than their permanent counterparts in some specialties, such as emergency medicine, family medicine, and psychiatry.

Locum Tenens is a cost-effective way to travel. According to a report by CompHealth, it was found that Locum Tenens physicians saved an average of $12,000 per year on travel expenses compared to their travel plans.

Why Should One Consider Locum Tenens?

If one is looking for a way to balance work and life, to pursue interests and passions, and to have fun and adventure, then one should consider Locum Tenens. Locum Tenens can offer more than just a job. It can offer a lifestyle.

Locum Tenens is a gateway to travel and adventure for physicians. It can also be a gateway to happiness and fulfillment. So, what is stopping you? Start the Locum Tenens journey today!