Trilby Jo Tener, MD
Board Certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist
As a resident in New York City in 2003, Trilby Jo Tener, M.D., was already considering a less–than–traditional start to her career as an obstetrician⁄gynecologist. An adventurer, traveler, and explorer of new cultures, she wanted the freedom to explore diverse practice settings before committing to a long–term contract or permanent position. After hearing about locum tenens from a mentor attending, she decided that it was an ideal way to gain experience, develop and polish her professional skills, and meet new people.
"Locum tenens is like research for private practice; you experience different practices and cultures, both professionally and personally, and research how you would best like to invest your time and energy in the future," says Dr. Tener. "It gave me a unique opportunity to explore where my career could be in ten or 20 years."
After considering many temporary staffing firms, she accepted her first locum tenens assignment at a North Dakota hospital through VISTA Staffing Solutions. Since then, she has worked nearly full–time as a temporary physician and secured medical licenses in 13 states. Dr. Tener recently completed an assignment in Ketchikan, AK, and plans to return to that location several times in 2006.
Dr. Tener works through VISTA for the majority of her assignments. VISTA understands every aspect of the locum tenens lifestyle, she says, and provides knowledgeable schedulers to assist physicians as they transition from one assignment to the next. Dr. Tener considers her scheduler, Rachel, a friend and a personal advocate. "Rachel consistently looks out for my best interests, pays attention to detail, shares my work ethic, and has the same expectations for my career as I do," she says. "With VISTA, I feel like part of a family; they give me care and attention while I'm away from home."
Locum tenens also satisfies Dr. Tener's desire to travel. She has traversed the country taking assignments from California to Wisconsin and New York to Arizona. She relishes the professional and personal experiences as well as adventures her work has presented. "I particularly enjoy the challenge of acclimating myself to a new environment. I believe practicing as a locum tenens builds character and helps make me a better physician," Dr. Tener says. "It's continually a humbling experience just finding your way around a new place."
"Adventurous" barely describes the outgoing nature of Dr. Tener, who is slightly famous on the karaoke circuit. "After choosing locum tenens, I made it a personal goal to do karaoke at least once in every state I visit," she laughs.
Since her first placement, Dr. Tener has met dozens of new people in exceptional places, and she has developed a fondness for each town in which she has worked. She comments, "Each assignment has unique characteristics that make it memorable: warmhearted people in Watertown, Wis.; scenic vistas in Salinas, Calif.; the Halloween night it hit 30–degrees below zero in Fairbanks."
Through her temporary assignments, she has also practiced in a variety of clinical settings and has been shown high regard from other physicians, nurses and patients. "It is truly gratifying to be appreciated for the services I'm providing."
While in medical school, Dr. Tener chose obstetrics and gynecology because the specialty allowed her to combine interests in medicine and surgery. Today, locum tenens has helped her validate her choice. "When you are instrumental in a patient's recovery or in the continued success of a practice, you know that you have provided a valuable service and truly made a difference in someone's life."
In her career as a locum tenens, Dr. Tener finds she has gained a new confidence in handling a variety of situations. "Coming out of residency and being able to feel confident is empowering. I see myself growing quickly in my post–residency years; the variety of experiences that I have had as a locum tenens is becoming my greatest strength." Based on her rewarding experiences, she encourages other residents to consider locum tenens as the perfect opportunity to further research their medical careers.
For now, Dr. Tener plans to continue her work as a locum tenens. "It provides a flexibility I couldn't get any other way and with a competitive salary," she says. "My time is my own; I choose where and when I want to work, take a vacation as I please, and devote more time to family and to my interests. It doesn't get any better than that!"
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