A Successful Transition to the Locum Tenen Career Path Requires Forethought and Planning

The journey of a locum tenen physician can be an exciting and anxious time for people. The process of uprooting oneself and becoming a temporary, traveling medical professional is a major life decision that requires a lot of preparation. It can be unnerving to head out on an unknown path while trying to ensure that everything related to travel, accommodations, permits, and contacts is properly set up.

Fortunately, many online resources can help people keep up to date with the latest locums news and guide them along this new career path. Studying these sources of information will pinpoint important factors to consider when entering this new career path. 

Finding the Perfect Fit is Possible

The first step is to survey the available medical positions and decide which best fits into one’s skill set and desired lifestyle. Locum tenen positions are available at almost all levels of medical care, from private practice work to a large hospital. This type of contractor work allows a person to “test the waters” at different levels, providing the opportunity for the person to leave one type of position and relocate to another if the workload is too overbearing, the environment is toxic, additional responsibilities are expected without adequate compensation, or the pace is too slow. The flexibility is beneficial because it enables a person to find the perfect position without being tied into a multi-year contract.

Setting Personal Work Limits is a Perk

Practicing medicine can be emotionally and physically taxing for a lot of people. The amount of working hours a physician wants to attempt without dealing with mental or physical exhaustion is an essential factor to consider. Establishing the perfect work-life balance is a major benefit to the locum tenen program. Physicians can seek out the positions that fit their desired part-time or full-time status and, in many cases, establish the exact amount of time off that they feel is needed to remain at the top of their game.

Educate Oneself on the New Location 

Preparing for a traveling medical career is very important since a person will be relocating to an unfamiliar area and will need time to get oriented to their new living and work situation. Individuals starting a locum tenen journey should research their new city to determine the best route between their job and residence, including the surrounding amenities immediately available to them. A little environmental research helps identify a safe and efficient traveling route in addition to the location of restaurants, groceries, gas stations, and other important businesses that are a necessary part of life. Arriving in town and casually depending on GPS to guide one through the city may send people through some less-than-desirable areas.

Always Consider the Cons Before Accepting a Position

There can be some downsides to becoming a locum tenen. First, a person has to be willing to uproot their life and travel frequently. Anyone who wants to remain near their family may have trouble finding positions in suitable proximity to home. Another factor to consider is the continuous need to learn and adapt to a different computerized and manual work system at the new facility. A facility’s method of information logging, accessibility, and transmission varies from place to place. People must modify their working habits at each new job and can’t bristle at methods they do not like. Finally, managing personal health benefits can be challenging. As a “temporary” worker, finding affordable health insurance is a responsibility that falls outside of the employer and can significantly affect a person’s income.

A Little Risk Can Pay Off

Although a lot of preparation goes into starting a locum tenens career, the results can be particularly rewarding. Being able to manage the most important factors of a new job can mean the difference between loving what one does and dreading each day of work. Individuals ready and willing to work “outside of the box” will find that the positive aspects far outweigh any negatives.

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