Opportunities for locum tenens clinicians are more widespread and varied than ever before. In the 40 years since locum tenens first emerged as a viable career choice, the medical profession has become gradually more accepting of this model for practicing medicine. Today’s locums enjoy more clout than they ever have in the past thanks to the valuable services they supply.
Are you a clinician looking for something different? Are you just finishing up residency and started to think about the future? Are you a seasoned veteran starting to think about retirement? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these three questions, you might be a good candidate for locum tenens work.
The locum tenens industry invites you to learn more about the locum life. Whether or not you should consider locum tenens in 2019 is a decision only you can make. But at least look into what it is all about. You might discover that switching to locum tenens is the best career choice you could ever make.
Locums and Professional Growth
The locum life is one of constant change and variety. That’s good for clinicians who value each individual experience as an opportunity to grow professionally. Make no mistake about it, there is no opportunity outside of locum work that offers as much growth potential.
Realize that locum tenens practice involves working contracts ranging from 3 to 6 months on average. So on the shorter end of the scale, you could be working at up to four different facilities per year. Each one of those facilities represents an opportunity to meet new people, learn new things, and hone your skills as a clinician.
Serving Underserved Populations
Think back as to why you originally entered medicine so many years ago. If you are like a lot of clinicians, you were partly motivated by a genuine desire to help people. Locum tenens gives you the opportunity to do that outside the traditional paradigm. In short, locums have the opportunity to serve underserved populations across the country.
Rural communities are great example. They have been crying out for doctors for decades. Working as a locum gives you the opportunity to care for those populations. Needless to say your patients will appreciate the care you provide.
You Control Your Schedule
Working for a hospital or group practice confines you to schedule your employer sets. Owning a practice binds you to a business that will consume nearly all of your attention. The alternative to both scenarios is to work as a locum tenens clinician who is simultaneously self-employed.
As a self-employed practitioner, you control your own schedule by deciding which contracts are best suited to your needs. If you are not interested in a 50-hour week because you are transitioning to retirement, look for contracts that only require 30 hours per week. If you prefer to work three months and then take a full month off, you are free to do so.
Working as a locum puts you in charge of your career and life. That’s what makes this kind of work so attractive to clinicians who have struggled for years to maintain what they consider a proper work-life balance. Once you are a locum, you are in the driver’s seat. You balance your life in whatever way works best for you.
Should you consider locum tenens in 2019? Absolutely. That doesn’t mean you’re ready to drop everything and sign up right away, it just means you’re going to consider it as one of your options. The flip-side is that you’ll never know if you don’t at least give it some thought.