Locum tenens is a Latin word that means “place holder.” The modern definition, though, is to take the place of someone temporarily. Today, the term applies to members of the clergy and physicians working transitory assignments.
Many physicians know little about this career alternative. They do not know they could stand to receive more benefits, such as minimal administration, flexible work hours, and better compensation if they pursue this option. In addition, locum tenens offers opportunities to care for underserved patients in other communities.
What you should know about locum tenens
It is worth understanding what locum tenens is and how it could be a career option. If you are at the crossroads of your career and want a change of pace, locum tenens work could be the answer. Maybe you are thinking of raising a family where the environment is more suitable for children. Whatever your reasons for changing jobs, consider signing up with a medical recruitment company, which will look after your career journey. Here are facts about locum tenens:
1. Most healthcare facilities use locum tenens to fill gaps
Currently, locum tenens is a growing industry as there are considerable gaps to fill in the healthcare field. For various reasons, nearly all healthcare facilities around the U.S. use locum tenens physicians each year.
2. It could become a full-time job
An increasing number of doctors look for career alternatives because they want to hurdle some occupational obstacles. Many have stated that they typically feel burnout, career fatigue, or that they spend limited time for themselves. Physicians may soon need to choose between their personal lives and jobs. With that said, accepting a locum tenens job may become a full-time career choice if the physician wants a change of pace.
3. You can accept a temporary assignment
Locum tenens jobs are not only for retired doctors. A temporary assignment can offer several opportunities at every stage of a physician’s career. In fact, many residents right out of training are working locum tenens jobs. It is one route to test different clinical locations and settings for them. Others consider locum work as better than a permanent position. Some doctors also enjoy locum tenens work throughout their careers because they like its flexibility and the valuable experience they gain from it.
4. Locum tenens doctors are independent contractors
Facilities will not consider you an employee if you are a locum doctor. Rather, they will treat you as an independent contractor. Therefore, you do your taxes and handle your benefits, which the medical staffing agency negotiates. The facility where you work will not deduct social security, federal or state taxes from your paycheck. At the very least, a locum doctor will need an updated tax calculator to handle deductions; although most opt to have a tax professional handle their tax obligations.
5. You can take your family and pets to an assignment
Working a locum contract can feel like having a working vacation as you can travel with your family and pets. You can request your staffing agency representative about what you want to do, and they can help make the housing and travel arrangements for you.
Look for a medical staffing agency that will support you throughout every step of your new career journey. You can continue working while the agency processes all the paperwork.