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Is Working Locum Tenens Right for Me?

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You love what you do for a job, but there are days when you wonder if you could be doing more. You’re not necessarily looking for a career overhaul but wouldn’t mind changing things up a bit. At this stage, a bit of travel would not be a bad thing.

If these ideas sound familiar, maybe working locum tenens is a good next step for you. Locum tenens is Latin for “one holding a place.” Locum tenens providers are independent contractors in the medical field who fill in for physicians or advanced practice clinicians. Assignments can last for a specified amount of time and, in some cases, can become permanent.

A locum tenens position is an excellent way to build a solid foundation for a new career or make a successful transition into a new job or part-time care. Medical professionals who work locum tenens enjoy flexibility, competitive compensation, and they get to help where their services are most needed.

What would lead a healthcare provider to consider locum tenens as a career option?

The desire for change is probably one of the leading reasons for seeking out a locum tenens position. The time-specific nature of locum tenens assignments gives healthcare providers the freedom to choose a work schedule that fits their particular needs. Factors that lead to burnout, like bureaucratic responsibilities, long work hours, and large patient loads are greatly lessened if not eliminated. In addition, practitioners are exposed to different patient populations, areas of the country, and cultures. The opportunity to travel is also there.

What are the advantages of working locum tenens?

Flexibility is one of the advantages of working locum tenens. The freedom to choose a work schedule that best fits with one’s lifestyle or work part-time is desirable for many healthcare providers. In addition, locum tenens providers can travel and work in places they maybe had never before considered. Exposure to different patient populations, cultures, and work environments is a big plus for many.

No matter what stage of your career you are currently in, post-residency, mid-career, or entering into semi-retirement, locum tenens positions offer improved quality of life, control over your work schedule, and the opportunity for higher pay. On your CV, locum tenens experience demonstrates that you are independent, flexible, adaptable, and widely experienced. This will set you apart from the competition.

How do you get started with locum tenens?

The best way to get started with locum tenens is to contact VISTA. Ask to speak to a recruiter who will get to know you and learn about your specific situation and interests. Together, you will complete your application and plan your transition to locum tenens. Your recruiter will then keep you informed of potential opportunities and connect you with those that interest you.

VISTA offers carefully screened work sites that match your interests, experience, and skills. Paid professional liability insurance plus paid travel, housing, and local transportation are all part of the package. In addition, providers receive excellent compensation with no placement fees and help with licensing, credentialing, and securing privileges.

Locum Tenens FAQs

When considering locum tenens, you may be wondering how to plan for taxes, where you will work, and who will arrange travel and accommodations. Find the answers to these commonly asked questions and more below.

Where do locum tenens providers work?

Healthcare settings such as hospitals, clinics, telemedicine, and governmental organizations employ locum tenens providers. Professionals provide relief in these settings when staffing is low due to absences, sabbaticals, peak seasons, or location. They will also fill in when a healthcare facility is recruiting permanent providers.

How much money do locum tenens providers make?

The amount of money earned for a locum tenens position depends on the specialty, the type of assignment, and the number of hours worked. VISTA’s package includes competitive hourly or daily rates, paid travel, housing, local transportation, and professional liability insurance. We will be happy to assist you in finding the best rates on health, life, disability, and long-term care insurance. We can also guide you in terms of retirement and comprehensive financial planning.

How can I plan for taxes while working locum tenens?

Items such as work-related clothing, stethoscopes, medical journals, and health insurance premiums are all tax-deductible. If you drive your vehicle to assignments, you will receive reimbursement up to the current IRS allowable amount per mile. Consult with a trusted tax advisor who can answer any questions you may have.

How much information does a provider receive before having to commit to a worksite?

Pertinent information such as patient volume, ER visit-to-admission ratio, number of physicians available for backup, number of calls you will be expected to take, and hours of lab and radiology coverage is provided to professionals before a contract is entered. In addition, a phone interview can be set up to discuss both sides’ expectations and give more information about the organization. Orientation takes place on the first day of every assignment.

What about accommodations and travel assistance?

The in-house travel team at VISTA arranges all travel to your assignment. Comfortable housing in apartments, extended-stay hotels, or vacation houses available in the community will be provided. For onsite interviews for permanent positions, the interviewing client will cover the cost of travel, hotel, and related expenses. We are happy to help make travel arrangements so that your family can join you, but you will be responsible for their expenses.

No matter where you may be in the course of your career, moving from residency to practice, from full-time to part-time, from one practice to another, or into pre-retirement, VISTA can help you make a smooth transition. Contact us today to learn more about all the exciting opportunities that await you.

VISTA Helped a Locum Tenens Physician Reinvent Her Career

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