What is locum tenens?
Locum tenens is a Latin phrase that means "to hold the place of, to substitute for." In the early 1970s, a federal grant was awarded to the University of Utah for the purpose of providing physician staffing services to rural health clinics in medically under-served areas of the western United States. The program proved so successful that many hospital administrators and physicians began calling for locum tenens physician staffing assistance. Today thousands of physicians, CRNAs, PAs, and NPs use Locums Practice® for all of their locum tenens needs.
Is locum tenens right for me?
Whether you are a resident, mid-career practitioner or semi-retired practitioner, locum tenens work could be a perfect fit for you, enabling you to work as little or as much as you want.
Most agencies cover travel fees, lodging costs and malpractice insurance to help reduce logistical worries. Recruiters learn your interests in order to match you to the perfect opportunity, credentialing specialists handle credentialing privileges with healthcare facilities and customer care teams take care of logistical tasks to ensure an assignment goes smoothly. Benefits include:
- After medical school, test drive different positions or sample different practice settings before settling on a permanent one.
- Earn extra income – locum tenens pay can help pay off medical school debt, or adds an extra financial cushion for you and your family. After retiring, locum tenens work is great for supplementing retirement income.
- Enjoy a flexible schedule – you choose where and when you go. You can even consider combining family vacations with a locum tenens assignment.
- Network with new colleagues and medical staff while caring for patients.
- During a mid-career stage of your life, you can learn new skills or contemplate a career change, while keeping your skills sharp and maintaining your license.
- Travel to new locations throughout the country (or even across the globe) on someone else’s dime.
- Improve patient access to quality healthcare, especially in poor or rural communities.
- Gain more clinical experience without worrying about the business side and extra paperwork involved in a healthcare practice.
- Balance your work and family life.
Why should I use a locum tenens agency?
Major recruiting firms take care of most business aspects of practicing medicine so you can focus on patients. These include:
- Negotiating contracts with hospitals or medical groups (on your behalf, but as an independent contractor)
- Purchasing medical malpractice insurance
- Getting licensed in a new state
- Getting credentialed at the assigned medical facility
- Arranging transportation to/from the assignment
- Securing housing during the assignment