As the physician shortage steadily worsens, physicians find themselves with ever more options regarding how they manage their careers. One question that many physicians ask is if Locum Tenens is a practice that makes sense for them. Our goal here is to lay out the pros and cons and so you can have all the information needed to make an educated decision.
The Pros of Locum Tenens:
- Earn Extra Income. If you are simply looking to make some extra money in your off time then Locum Tenens is an excellent way to do so. Chances are you will find needs for your services regardless of how many shifts per month you are available to work.
- Practice Pure Medicine. If the business and politics often associated with your work as a physician are weighing you down then you might like the idea of work as a Locums physician because you are there to deliver quality care without getting dragged into many of the outside interferences that many physicians would prefer to do without.
- See What’s Out There. Whether you take a Locums assignment across town, across country or on the other side of the globe, Locums affords you a unique ability to earn a living and explore new places while working.
- Explore Practice Settings. Many new physicians finish residency and don’t know if they would be best suited in a smaller clinic or a large hospital. Their not sure whether they really want to stay in a major city or if the countryside is better suited for them. The ability to work Locums and test out various locations and practice settings is an excellent way to find your ideal fit.
- Expand Your Skills. Locums physicians by nature will work with various EMR systems, types of physicians and see varying patient populations all of which should serve to make you a stronger all around physician.
The Cons of Locum Tenens:
- Choosing Who to Work With. There are nearly 200 Locum Tenens firms out there today and the differences between them can be staggering. Knowing who to work with and why is an important issue as you will be entrusting your livelihood to your Locum’s partner.
- Credentialing. Credentialing. Credentialing. The more firms you work with and the more assignments you pursue the more you are going to have to undertake what could amount to some serious amounts of paperwork in order to get credentialed. Of course the Locums firms will mange and help but there will still be work to do.
- Assignments Change. Most clients tend to over recruit for their Locums needs, meaning you might get all the way through credentialing only to find out their needs have drastically changed and the 10 shifts you thought you would have are now only 5.
- Travel Time. Since most locums assignments tend to be beyond a drivable distance, working a Locums assignment will often require some hassle full travel. From flying, to getting your rental car to sleeping in a hotel, the travel considerations that need to be evaluated are often overlooked.
Like anything in life working Locum Tenens has it’s pros and cons so at some point it’s best to jsut give it a shot yourself and see how it works for you.