A locum tenens, meaning “one holding the place”, is a physician who helps another physician by substituting for him or her on a temporary basis. Although the practice is not new, the demand for locum tenens has increased recently. It allows physicians an opportunity to test their skills by working in a temporary position. It also lets them use the work to gauge their attitudes about their future career choice. Retirees, or those who plan to retire, may also find such a position to be ideal. Some physicians prefer to work as a locum tenens when they are between jobs.
Although primary care physicians make up the majority of locum tenens, specialists are also increasingly needed in certain healthcare jobs. Some physicians also choose to take long-term positions, even though the locum tenens concept was originally intended for temporary ones.
Agencies Offering Locum Tenens Job Opportunities
A number of agencies typically offer locum tenens opportunities, like international, state, federal, hospitals, for-profit organizations, and individual physicians. The greatest number of job openings are found with federal agencies. State agencies and academic healthcare facilities normally are quite cost-efficient and allow physicians the opportunity to increase their skills and experience.
Global Medical Staffing – a Utah-based international organization – offers highly skills locum tenens in areas that are understaffed, like the South Pacific, Caribbean, New Zealand, and Australia. Locum tenens who are international typically must have at least four years of experience with postgraduate work. However, osteopathy doctors and mid-level practitioners are barred from these types of jobs.
Locum Tenens Job Opportunities
Job opportunities for locum tenens can be found:
* On local government websites
* Through locum tenens agencies
* Numerous other job search websites
Duration of employment and employment location may vary depending upon the position. Since locum tenens is considered as an independent contractor, health insurance is not normally offered. Locum tenens are subject to taxes, and paid sick days are not included.
Choosing an agency or work location is a critical first decision regarding locum tenens jobs. One important consideration is that the desired locum tenens job should be one that is legitimately needed. For example, a permanent physician may need a temporary replacement, or an understaffed facility may need help. Another consideration is the assignment duration, which can range from two days to six months. For those gauging their suitability for the field, local or short-term jobs are usually ideal. Another factor to consider is the compensation. Locum tenens typically will be receiving a flat rate and transportation and boarding when it is applicable.
Locum Tenens Outlook
Locum tenens are increasingly needed since permanent physicians are in short supply in certain specialties or certain geographic regions. They allow young physicians to increase their skills, older physicians to work in situations that are non full-time, and transferring physicians to experience a certain practice before entering into a long-term commitment. A wide range of opportunities is available for locum tenens, and the attainment of a position that is suitable is very rewarding.