Sunday, December 17

What is Locum Tenens?

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Locum Tenens is a term used to describe physicians who work as independent contractors, hired via agencies specialized in this field. This initially was introduced in the early 1970’s to University of Utah, brought in due to a shortage of physician staffing services in the areas of western United States. Due to its success, physicians along with hospital administrators now want more Locum Tenens to substitute these shortages or cover for another physician on vacation or on sabbatical.

Getting started as a Locum is a very simple process, where you need to register yourself with a private agency that looks after recruiting physicians via the national framework agreement. This can be completed via websites such as, awarded in the ‘Best of Staffing’ talent list, efficiently providing quality of work to both locum tenens as well their healthcare clients. According to the American Medical Association, there are 30,000 physicians working as substitute doctors at any given time.

There are three main benefits to being Locum Tenens:-

– You are able to enjoy flexibility, especially when planning vacations with the family. Doctor jobs usually are full time and extremely demanding due to on call or long shifts. This means that they are unable to provide quality time to their families. This is why locum work is such a popular choice among physicians.

– You can control the working schedule at any time and increase your chances to earn extra income.

– You can travel to different parts of the country to further enhance your skills and knowledge or provide your valuable expertise that may not be present at a certain hospital.

Doctors specialized in certain skills, such as internal or hospital medicine, are wanted in all parts of the country, especially rural areas where staff volumes can be quiet low. Healthcare facilities usually require a physician to substitute for a temporary period of time, rather than hire a permanent physician to make it more cost effective. This in turn provides an opportunity for the doctors to earn extra income, whilst enjoying the benefits of having flexible career without taking a break. Agencies like provide their assistance to physicians who want to know as to how to get started as a Locum with one to one support, clarifying all that’s required to initiate this work. The success reflects in figures recently published by NHS (National Health Services), where 80% of the hospital locum jobs have been engaged via agencies, which provide doctors with the locum work.

If you are a GP, getting started as a Locum is exactly the same procedure and is explained thoroughly via North-East Employed and Locum GPs (NELG). You are provided with extensive information, such as guidance from BMA and National Association of Seasonal GP’s on fees to charge, educational events and contacts of doctors who can help you get started with their guidance and support. Another helpful organization is, providing excellent service and seminars throughout the country, with interests in all fields of medicine, like training for physicians choosing non-clinical careers and extensive training for IME Doctors.

The locum tenens process is extremely efficient with recruitment agencies and healthcare clients presenting a great interest in those who wish to select this as the next career path. According to launching a career as a locum tenens is not even closely challenging as trying to get into a medical school. This is ideal for doctors who wish to supplement or replace their income with Locum Tenens jobs. You can also be nominated by the MD for the Physician of the Year Award, which honors physicians who have contributed their time to help undeserved patients in the United States and abroad, receiving $10,000 to donate to the medical missions-related charities of your choice.

Locum tenens works is well compensated for, where you can select your own working hours in any particular city, state or region. Once you are open to flexibility and are well organized, locum work can be both personally rewarding and lucrative, benefiting both Locum tenens and healthcare organizations. Healthcare organizations benefit from locum tenens contracts as well, as they are able to cover gaps in patient care during periods of growth or when there are physician shortages. As more physicians are selecting locum tenens route to practice medicine, health care organizations are discovering the value of locum tenens staffing, which in end is helping to grow the industry as a whole.


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