Locum Tenens Jobs Offer Unique Opportunities While Fulfilling Important Needs in Healthcare
A locum tenens job allows freedoms that go beyond the limits of a permanent placement.
- Choose when, where, and how often you work
- Enjoy overhead-free income and comprehensive malpractice coverage
- Try various work settings before accepting a permanent position
- Broaden your experience and build a more impressive CV
- Travel to and explore new areas of the country
Locum tenens defined
From the Latin term meaning "one holding a place," locum tenens today is the term for a physician who works in place of another physician while that physician is on leave for any reason. A locum physician works as an independent contractor and often contracts through a locum tenens firm to provide coverage on a temporary basis.
Importance of locum tenens physicians
Locums jobs are growing at an unusually fast pace and this trend is expected to continue. Locum tenens physicians play an important role in sustaining patient care. From major city hospitals to small rural clinics, locum physicians can be a cost-saving, effective solution for facilities with temporary or unexpected physician needs.
It’s no secret that the demand for healthcare is growing faster than the supply of physicians. In the next few years, an increase of 32 million insured Americans and a 36 percent growth in the number of Americans over age 65 will increase the demand for doctors proportionately, but the number of new practicing physicians is expected to increase only 7 percent. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the nation will face a shortage of more than 90,000 doctors by 2020.
The continuation of America’s world-respected healthcare in the face of this prospective shortage requires innovative solutions. While efforts are being made to make medical training more affordable and available in the hopes of increasing the percentage of new doctors, the most immediate and cost-effective solution is locum tenens doctors.
Contributions of locum doctors to healthcare staffing needs
Locum tenens doctors are available immediately to all types of healthcare facilities. As the number of patients increases, locum physicians can be brought in quickly, allowing facilities to continue providing quality patient care while searching for and qualifying permanent doctors. Locum tenens physicians are available in all medical specialties.
Locum physicians cover gaps in staffing when a facility’s permanent physician is on vacation, ill, on family leave or the many other reasons a physician may need time away from work. This allows the facility to continue uninterrupted patient care without the need to hire additional full-time doctors. A single locum tenens doctor can cover the needs of multiple facilities over the course of a year, whereas a permanent doctor typically serves only one facility.
During flu season and other times of the year when the number of patients increases above the norm, or when catastrophes such as earthquakes or hurricanes strike, locum doctors can be brought into a facility to handle the increased need quickly and efficiently.
Locum tenens doctors can provide an additional source of revenue for a healthcare facility. If the demand for a specific procedure increases in an area, a locums physician who is a specialist in that procedure can be recruited to provide the service, allowing a facility to meet the demand instead of having to refer patients elsewhere.
Locum tenens jobs allow doctors nearing retirement age to continue working, while eliminating their overhead expenses and reducing their work hours. They can enjoy travel to many areas of the country while still earning an income. This keeps more doctors in the workforce longer than they otherwise would stay, so patients and facilities continue to benefit from their medical experience. With the results of a Harvard University study showing that almost 40 percent of physicians are currently over the age of 50 and thinking about scaling back their workload, this is an important solution.
Who works locum tenens jobs?
Physicians at all stages of their careers choose to work locum tenens assignments. They generally fall into three categories.
1. New physicians who are still deciding what type of setting they prefer:
Locums jobs allow physicians who have recently completed their residencies the opportunity to try various work settings and locations before choosing a permanent placement.
2. Physicians transitioning from a previous work environment or who have additional interests or careers:
These physicians use locum tenens as an opportunity to earn extra income while eliminating administrative headaches. Locums assignments can be as short as a weekend or as long as a year.
3. Highly skilled, older physicians who do not want to leave medical work entirely:
Physicians looking toward retirement can reduce the amount of time they work while continuing to earn an income and do the medical work they love.
What to look for when choosing a locum tenens staffing company
When choosing a locums company, it’s a good idea to ask your colleagues about their experiences. Select a company that makes the locum tenens lifestyle easy and rewarding for you. The company you choose should provide the following:
- A wide range of assignments and work settings
- Top pay for all assignments
- Comprehensive malpractice insurance from a top-rated carrier
- Credentialing and licensing services
- Air travel to your assignments, housing and public transportation
- Support 24/7 so you have peace of mind in your new assignment
- Tax information to help you understand the benefits and deductions you are entitled to as a locum tenens healthcare professional
Advantages of working with Weatherby Healthcare
Weatherby Healthcare is proud of its commitment to provide you Red Ribbon Service. A Weatherby Healthcare consultant, who is an expert in your specialty, takes the time to talk with you one-on-one and learn exactly what it is you are looking for in a job, or a candidate. Weatherby Healthcare consultants are supported behind the scenes by experts who have longstanding relationships with state medical boards and the knowledge to make the licensing and credentialing process as painless as possible. Weatherby Healthcare also provides medical malpractice insurance for each locum tenens healthcare professional for any claim of professional liability while practicing through Weatherby Healthcare.
Weatherby Healthcare has locum tenens opportunities across the country in a variety of settings. Our ability to meet your needs, even under the most extreme conditions, and make faster placements than our competitors without sacrificing quality is a valuable investment for you or your organization.
Learn more about our Red Ribbon Service, or talk with one of our consultants by calling 866.721.3937.