Locums Tenens was not something on my radar when I was in the middle of my family practice residency five and half years ago. My presumptions were that every graduating physician would either be employed by a hospital system or join a group practice. Honestly, before the concept of locums hit my consciousness, neither of those two routes were appealing to me.
Over the years of shadowing different kinds of physicians. I noticed an overlying theme of resentment, jadedness, and exhaustion from their experience with medicine. Sure, the life of a physician is very challenging, and everyone works very hard to make sure that he/she addresses each and every one of their patients. However, patients weren’t the cause of their exhaustion, what I sensed was that many physicians are tired of the healthcare system. After that realization, I decided to learn more about locums tenens and then eventually jumped in with both feet.
Trending: Take back control of uncompensated time
In the beginning, one of my professors introduced me to the idea of locums. I came to find out that she had worked locums for two years before starting her own practice in Manhattan. I had researched many locums companies online and asked many of my colleagues to give me their thoughts on the field. Based on that input and my own research I ended up reaching out to one of the largest and oldest locums tenens companies. After expressing my interest, I was soon contacted by my future recruiter.
At first, I was apprehensive about not only the concept of locums but wondered how much work I was going to have to put into it. My recruiter put me at ease, however. She asked me which states I would like to practice in, shared how attaining licenses work, and what it would be like to work temporary assignments.
So, I gave it shot. I told my rep my preferences on where I would like to work, in what type of setting, and how often I would like to work. What threw me the most was being asked how often I wanted to work. It was totally up to me. From my time shadowing physicians as a pre-medical student, I thought most physicians just lost themselves as they dedicated more and more time to their careers.
After being presented with a few choices, I was able to narrow down my job assignments to just a few. I chose my assignments based on location, availability of work, patient load, and ease of job requirements, amongst other things. Even after all that, I would sometimes find that the process of credentialing would affect whether I accepted a job because credentialing can often be lengthy.
Continue reading on page 2...