Some physicians cannot decide whether or not they are ready to move and explore an unfamiliar environment. They want to work, but they want to try other posts before making a final decision. Maybe they want to test the waters or look for a job that fits them better. Some of them want variety in their career at the moment.
Locum tenens is a short-term job that can contribute to your CV and your career. Locum tenens means ‘’to hold the place of’’ and while the position may be temporary, for the medical practitioners who practice this way and the patients they serve, the value is more than enough.
Where do locum tenens fit in?
The scarcity of physicians and other healthcare practitioners makes the work of locum tenens companies difficult. So many facilities are looking for temporary medical professionals to fill up vacancies. Locums are becoming popular because they provide excellent service. They provide much-needed assistance to clinics, hospitals, and facilities across the nation. There are locum doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners that cover shifts for a day or a year because of seasonal outbreaks, vacancies, and vacations of regular medical practitioners.
Vital role in the healthcare system
Today, locum tenens is a vital part of the healthcare system. They provide essential care for many patients and enjoy the benefits that their posts give them. But what is more important is that locums can tackle some of healthcare’s biggest challenges, especially when there are health crises.
Help cover the doctor shortage
They may not want to work full time, but locums help address doctor shortage. According to the 2020 report of the Association of American Medical Colleges, the U.S. will experience a shortage of about 139,000 physicians, mostly in primary care by 2033. Two factors adding to the shortage are the aging population in the U.S. and doctors reaching their retirement age. They see locums as the solution to fill up the gaps.
Locums make a difference in the healthcare system
Wherever they are working, locum tenens provide the care that would not be available if they were not assigned there. They give patients quality time, making them have a better experience while in the physician’s care. They relieve the shortage of physicians, improve patient care, strengthen underserved areas, help in humanitarian missions, and provide support during catastrophic events.
The benefits of working locum tenens
Many physicians who worked as locum tenens said they tried it to supplement their primary income. They also said they accepted locum tenens assignments while they were between jobs or looking for full-time positions.
Working as locums is like having a freelance job. They have better control over their schedules. And because the assignments are short-term, many locums say that they rediscover the joy of medical practice. The change gives them time to overcome burnout and find renewed satisfaction in their work. The exposure they gain from different facilities, advanced equipment, and new procedure gives them new experiences that they might not get when they are in one facility.
Locums can enjoy traveling around the country for a new assignment, making them enjoy different lifestyle opportunities and trying different practices before committing to a long-term engagement.
You can accept locum tenens assignments at whatever stage of your career. It is vital to find a locum tenens company that can find you the best position and benefits package to match your experience and skills.