By now, you’ve heard a lot about physicians working temporary assignments, often traveling for work. These physicians are called Locum Tenens and they have an incredible amount of flexibility and opportunity within their field.
For those physicians and medical professionals who haven’t yet made the shift toward working as a Locum Tenens, you’re probably wondering exactly what the Locum Tenens lifestyle is like.
Learn about some of the perks of being Locum Tenens and get insight from a current physician working locum tenens at a VA.1
1. Ultimate work-life balance
One of the biggest perks or benefits attributed to the Locum Tenens lifestyle is the distinct ability to have work-life balance you don’t always find at a regular clinic or hospital. Locum Tenens don’t have any teaching or administrative responsibilities and no coding or billing issues to deal with. Without these extra responsibilities and obligations, locum tenens can put all their energy into focusing on just the patients.
As a locum tenens physician, your schedule is more defined, meaning many (but not all) opportunities won’t require you to be on-call outside your schedule. This lifestyle of work-life balance is optimal for many physicians who feel overburdened and burnt out by a never-ending work cycle and responsibility.
2. Pursuing meaningful opportunities
Many people associate the term ‘temporary work’ or ‘temporary assignment’ with the idea of a job without meaning, purpose or fulfillment, but this isn’t always true. Working Locum Tenens, there are plenty of opportunities to find assignments that provide you with purpose and fulfillment, such as work serving veterans at a VA clinic or VA hospital.
Dr. Bill Caldwell, a locum tenens physician with a military background, adds that if you have military background or experience with the military, you will likely enjoy VA work because those assignments provide flexibility and the opportunity to help veterans.
Being a Locum Tenens means you can focus on patient-driven care and doing this while working at a VA clinic provides the opportunity to care for veterans and their families. Locum Tenens assignments at a VA clinic combine flexibility and autonomy with a rewarding and meaningful career opportunity.
3. Not being tied down geographically
Whether you’re searching for a place to settle down or you like the idea of traveling and exploring different parts of the country, working Locum Tenens can provide you with the opportunity to discover different states and cities.
The locum tenens lifestyle not only allows physicians to find work where they want, but it also enables them to pursue travel that relates to personal or professional goals – whether they want to see the world or perform volunteer work in another part of the world. This perk is a lifestyle choice and one that is not offered in many traditional roles.
4. Financial perks
There are several financial advantages to working Locum Tenens over the traditional setting in a private practice. Not only is the compensation rate typically higher in Locum Tenens assignments, but housing, travel, and malpractice premiums are all typically covered. This lower financial overhead means being able to put more money toward retirement, loan repayment, or simply adding to an investment. For many young physicians just entering the workforce from medical school, working locum tenens can help them manage debt from medical school early on.
If these perks sound optimal for your lifestyle, you might want to consider a career working Locum Tenens. How can young professionals get started? Dr. Bill Caldwell says the advice he’d give is to try different opportunities and if you’re from a military background, you might find your niche working Locum Tenens at a VA.