Why More Providers are Choosing the Locum Tenens Lifestyle
Locum tenens, which offers temporary assignments to healthcare practitioners, has become an increasingly popular lifestyle choice for medical providers. Annually, more than 40,000 physicians work locum tenens assignments, and 90 percent of U.S. healthcare facilities use temporary physicians. The locum tenens workforce is comprised primarily of doctors just out of training and those nearing retirement. But recently, there has been an increase in mid-career providers seeking the locum tenens lifestyle.
There are many advantages to becoming a locum tenens physician. Most doctors who choose this career path report significant personal and professional satisfaction. If you’re considering the locums tenens lifestyle, here are six compelling reasons to join this unique workforce.
Opportunity to travel
If you love to travel, locum tenens can be an ideal opportunity. Whether traveling in the USA or around the world, there are a variety of options available. Locum tenens physicians can fulfill both personal and professional goals and desires, such as international travel, humanitarian work and highly specialized medical teaching and training.
Choosing locum tenens assignments also affords the opportunity to balance long-term, short-term, full-time and part-time experiences so you can balance your travel adventures with your workload.
Burnout among medical providers is a constant concern in the healthcare system. Hours can be long and the demands high, taking a considerable toll on practitioners. Delivering optimum care in the face of burnout can be challenging, putting additional stress on medical providers.
Physicians are committed to providing the best patient care possible, which burnout may hinder. The ability to develop a work schedule that allows for your personal needs, including work breaks or short-term assignments, can help combat professional burnout.
Maintain a work-life balance
As a result of burnout risks, achieving and maintaining a work-life balance is an increasingly important goal among health care professionals. The flexibility of your work schedule can be based on your personal demands. Whether you are single, starting a family or have small children, mid-career or planning retirement — there are a variety of ways you can create an ideal work life.
The freedom and flexibility to work as much — or as little — as you choose while still contributing to your professional calling allows you to achieve career satisfaction and work-life balance.
Avoid office politics
If you hate office politics, a locum tenens lifestyle can be a dream come true. Non-patient care expectations — like meetings, staff supervision and writing or reviewing policies and procedures — aren’t to everyone’s liking. If you’d like the professional purity of just practicing medicine, being a locum tenens physician makes that possible.
Additionally, you’re able to observe the business management practices of a variety of healthcare systems. This gives you a unique chance to make better-informed decisions should you eventually decide to leave the locum tenens lifestyle and accept a permanent position at a healthcare facility.
Try out a job
The ability to try out a position is especially compelling for those just beginning their careers. A locum tenens physician can choose to practice in urban, suburban or rural communities as well as in a hospital, private practice, public health care clinics or other medical settings.
This freedom, coupled with choosing different geographic locations, can help refine medical career choices for new physicians. For those doctors considering a mid-career change or making working retirement plans, locum tenens also offers this opportunity.
Career satisfaction is essential for combatting burnout, so the ability to make a professional assessment can go a long way in helping you achieve your ultimate career goals, direction and work-life balance.
Learn new skills
With a variety of settings and challenges, you are bound to learn and improve new skills. If you want to learn a new specialty, best practices or standards of care, a locum tenens lifestyle can expand your opportunities for doing so.
Locum tenens physicians can also choose to work at highly regarded medical and teaching facilities and learn the latest techniques in technology and medical advances. The ability to learn new skills furthers career goals and personal satisfaction as a dedicated medical provider.
The bottom line
As you can tell, becoming a locum tenens practitioner offers many personal and professional benefits. These benefits are interrelated, and depending on where you are in your career path, some may take precedence.
The use of locum tenens medical providers continues to grow each year. In fact, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, by 2020, we may see a shortage of 149,000 physicians throughout the U.S. Hospitals, private medical practices and other health care settings will depend on the locum tenens workforce to staff their facilities.
More medical providers are choosing the locum tenens lifestyle and interested in exploring medical staffing options. Weighing the benefits is an important step in making this critical career decision.
Are you ready for your next locum tenens assignment? Contact Tinkbird Healthcare Staffing to find out about career opportunities and all the adventures that await!