Things You Should Know as a New Locum Tenens Provider

Locum tenens, a Latin phrase meaning placeholder, offers temporary assignments for physicians and other medical practitioners in locations nationwide in a variety of specialties. The locum tenens lifestyle can be very enticing to providers. This career option offers choices for travel assignments, full- or part-time assignments and assignments close to home. While many providers are drawn to the flexibility of locum tenens, there are a few things you should know before taking steps to become a first-time locum tenens provider.

Find an agency you trust

Locum tenens providers look to healthcare recruiting agencies to help them find the perfect fit. But not all recruiting agencies are created equal. Look for clear, honest communication with your recruiter. A quality recruiting agency will take the time to understand your specific career goals and the type of placement you are seeking. Choose an agency that will walk you, as a new locum tenens provider, through the entire hiring process step-by-step. Having confidence in your recruiting agency is one of the most essential factors in creating a positive locum tenens experience.

Be open to new experiences

Part of the allure of the locum tenens lifestyle is gaining new experiences. Whether it’s a new city or a new specialty, be open to the possibilities. Stepping out of your comfort zone is an excellent way to grow personally and professionally, and it could be one of the best decisions you will ever make as a physician or physician extender.

Accepting an assignment in a new city or state can broaden your horizons and make you a better doctor. Medical practice styles can vary depending on the part of the country you are in, as well as differences found in rural vs. urban settings. As a new locum tenens provider, be open to travel assignments in cities or states that will broaden your perspective.

It is also possible to receive a position in a specialty that is new to you. Take this opportunity to expand your resume and gain valuable knowledge. As a new locum tenens provider, you have the chance to learn best practices, work in highly acclaimed facilities, utilize the latest medical technologies and work with other providers who will educate and mentor you.

It’s not always easy

Although many are flocking to a locum tenens career, you should know it will not always be easy. While your recruiter will be working hard to iron out all the details and prepare you for your locum tenens assignments, there will likely be factors out of your control. Credentialing can hit snags, travel and living arrangements don’t always work out, and you may not love every assignment. Be prepared for these obstacles, but rest assured that significant issues can be worked out by you, your recruiter and the hiring facility.

Document everything

Working as a 1099 provider, possibly at multiple facilities, means you will encounter some paperwork. Although your staffing agency will keep track of documents and contracts, you should also keep a full history of your malpractice insurance and all communication with your agency, as well as any business-related expenses. In addition, get everything in writing from both facility managers and your staffing agency.

You may like it more than you think

One thing we regularly hear from our new locum tenens providers is that they enjoy it even more than they thought. Traveling and seeing new places while working is a benefit many can only dream of. The constant challenge of a new facility and connecting with numerous new people are just a few of the things that are most loved about the locum tenens lifestyle.

Finding a locum tenens recruiting agency

If you are in need of a medical recruiting agency to start your locum tenens journey, Tinkbird Healthcare Staffing can help you. We offer an extensive network of facilities across the country to find the perfect placement for your situation.


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