By Kelsey Wettig
So, you’ve finally found the perfect locum tenens assignment that you believe meets all of your personal preferences. Now what? Before you sign that binding contract, here are a few questions you should ask your recruiter.
1) Will you pay for and provide a top rated malpractice insurance policy with an extended reporting period?
Don’t let concerns about professional liability insurance coverage deter you from locum tenens work. As a doctor, you can’t afford to overlook insurance issues- especially locum tenens physicians, in particular. Fundamentally, there are higher risks associated with temporary practice, which is why the best recruiters make sure you’re covered. Never sign with locum tenens companies that do not cover you under their own professional liability insurance policy.
2) How do I go about getting a practice license in the state I’ll be traveling to?
As a locum tenens physician, you will need to obtain a license in every state you take on an assignment. The flexibility of having many state licenses will bring you more job offers, and in turn, higher salaries. A quality locum tenens recruiter will walk you through the process and connect you with a licensure service. They will not only save you the headaches from having to deal with all that paperwork, but they will always get them done quickly and efficiently. This allows locum tenens to begin their assignments much faster.
3) How do I get paid and how often will I be paid?
If a locum tenens organization isn’t open about how they compensate the doctors, do not associate with them any further. A legit agency will be happy to provide you all the details regarding their wage policies and process. Look for a company that has a standard pay period.
4) Do I have to make my own traveling and housing arrangements?
Many locum agencies provide you with more than just a paycheck. Housing arrangements are more often than not an added benefit to a locum tenens assignment. Don’t forget to inquire specifics as to how close your temporary home away from home may be to work, how spacious it is, and if an adequate amount of furniture is included.
5) How do I reach someone if there is a problem while I am on assignment?
As with most thing in life, locum work is not without its share of trails and troubles. How proficient is the agency you’re contemplating? Will they go out of their way to make your life easier? How fast are your phone calls and e-mails being returned? You should be able to reach your recruiter 24/7 in case you find yourself overwhelmed by unplanned instances.
6) How soon will my assignment begin and how long will it last?
You could potentially begin your first assignment within a matter of weeks. Reasons for a delay may include how prepared your documentation is and whether or not you hold a license for the state in which you will be practicing. A locum tenens assignment typically lasts around 13 weeks. Long-term jobs are also an option that proceeds significantly longer, up to a year or more. This type of locum tenens assignment offers you the stability of full-time employment without the laborious duties of managing or serious commitment to a particular facility. They also allow you the chance to set your own schedule. Ask your agency which assignment length may be right for you.
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Feel free to leave us comments on some other important questions locum tenens should ask their recruiters!