Locum tenens is a phrase from Latin that means "to substitute for." It is used in the medical field to describe a physician that helps to staff medical facilities in times of need. The goal of locum tenens is to increase access to care during a shortage.
These assignments are typically short-term staffing solutions that are used if a physician takes a long vacation, goes on sabbatical or in case of emergency or death. Locum tenens physicians are used as a place holder or substitute. Recruiting programs that specialize in locum tenens match jobs to physicians. All types of physicians can be locum tenens, from pediatricians to neurologists specializing in strokes.
There are many benefits to locum tenens work.
It is flexible.
Locum tenens physicians can accept or decline offers when they come in. They are not stuck in a job for long periods of time and can pick and choose where they go without being locked into a long-term commitment.
They can travel.
These physicians are able to accept assignments all over the country. They can see and experience a variety of places and environments. Locum tenens physicians also get travel, housing and insurance costs paid.
It can be extra money.
Even full-time physicians can work locum tenens jobs locally in order to make some extra money. If they aren't already working weekend hours, they can find an assignment to pick up some extra cash. Some even choose to use vacation time.
It provides valuable experience.
Since the work is temporary, locum tenens work allows physicians the opportunity to try different types of settings before settling down. Perhaps they realize that they really enjoy working in a hospital setting and dislike working in an office setting. This can help them narrow down what type of long-term job they'd like.
It is great for old and new physicians.
New physicians can use this type of work to figure out what they would like to do for their career. Older physicians can use this type of work at the end of their career when they don't want to do full-time work but still want to contribute.
It can be fulfilling.
Locum tenens are used when a physician is really needed in a position. This can give the person filling the job the feeling that they are really helping where it is needed. They also get to work with and help new people. They see a variety of cases. All of these things can be personally fulfilling to a physician.
Locum tenens stroke doctors, pediatricians, and other specialists are necessary and very helpful in the medical profession. They help out during shortages and can literally be lifesavers.