Locum Tenens: What to Expect from the Lifestyle

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These days, more and more medical professionals – both rookies and seasoned veterans alike – are switching to the locum tenens career path. And for a good reason: not only does it offer much better pay and flexibility in time. But it also presents doctors with an opportunity to experience a variety of different working environments without being forced to commit to a permanent position at a specific healthcare facility.

But just because working in locums provides many benefits normally unseen in more traditional, full-time careers, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s an easy road to take. The lifestyle comes with its own fair share of challenges and difficulties, after all. And in the interest of easing you into the job, I have listed some of the most notable things that you’ll likely experience if you choose to become a locum tenens practitioner through a physician recruiter.

1. Higher paying assignments in remote locations

A higher earning potential is one reason why many healthcare providers choose to take the locum tenens route rather than stick with their full-time job. And if you’re prepared to travel and work in remote locations, you’ll be able to take advantage of the pay increase, which can make it much easier to pay off any school loans or debts that you may have, fund a private practice, or plan for your eventual retirement.

With that being said, you’ll undoubtedly still have an option to work in facilities that are located in more familiar places. However, don’t expect these assignments to pay as well as jobs in rural areas.

2. You’ll need to constantly adapt to different assignments

Having the option to travel to and work in different healthcare facilities might seem like an excellent way to build up a career and practice medicine. However, this means that you’ll need to constantly adapt to different working conditions too. And if you take your assignments lightly, there’s a good chance that you’ll have a harder time fitting in with the culture, politics, and staff of your chosen assignment.

As such, it’s critical to learn as much as you can about the place that you’ll be working in beforehand. Request documentation and other reference materials from your staffing firm if you can. It may sound like a lot of extra work now, but you’ll be surprised at how much easier you’ll be able to adapt as a result.

3. Very little to no administrative duties

Administrative duties are the bane of every physician. Not only is bureaucratic work often responsible for the long hours of work that many full-time medical specialists have to deal with, but it also keeps them from staying engaged with their respective patients. Fortunately, you won’t have to shoulder these responsibilities as a locum tenens practitioner.

There’s no denying the fact that locum tenens work can be advantageous. And by preparing for the lifestyle now, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble and headaches later on.

 

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