Last month we told you how locum tenens could help with the physician shortage. If you couldn’t find enough reason to work locum tenens, we are now providing you with 7 great reasons why you should consider working locum tenens whether you are a doctor right out of residency, or a retired physician still looking to care for patients.
1. Test Drive a New Job
Doctors coming right out of residency may not know exactly what it is that they want to do. Instead of feeling overwhelmed looking for their first job, they can choose locum tenens as a way to “try out” a position. They can choose their job location, the size of the facility, and the numbers of hours they are working a day. This helps them ease into a new job. New doctors can get a feel for different work settings and determine what sort of experience they would like to have in a permanent position.
2. Curb Physician Burnout
Physician burnout is becoming a very large issue in our country. Physicians are working long, tiring hours and not feeling recharged after having days off or working in the office. It is categorized by three distinct symptoms: physical and emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment. Doctors begin to feel cynical and negative about their patients, and even though they are helping to save lives, they feel as if what they are doing does not matter. Physician burnout can lead to doctors wanting to leave medicine altogether, and with our country in a healthcare shortage, that is the last thing we want to see happen.
Locum tenens positions allow physicians to work hard at a position for a couple weeks or a month, and then between assignments they can recharge. For physicians thinking about leaving the healthcare industry, it is a great way for them to get a mid-career change of pace with the schedule flexibility they need to be able to recover. They don’t have to feel ‘stuck’ and traveling to different locations can help them see that what they are doing is actually important.
3. Supplemental income
Some doctors will use locum tenens positions as a way to earn extra income on the side. They can choose a local assignment that they can use to help pay off their medical school debts, save money for their children’s college education, or just to have another paycheck under their belt.
4. Opportunity to give back
Physicians working locum tenens can use locum tenens to travel to underserved areas like Native American communities or rural understaffed areas. It gives physicians a chance to work in new challenging environments and give back to these resource-poor communities. With the income earned, physicians can then fund mission trips to travel the world helping other communities in various countries such as Africa or India.
5. Improve skills
Doctors that work locum tenens have a chance to improve their skillset. Visiting several places and learning the various hospital systems, patient populations, and other physicians with different specialties and subspecialties other than your own can help you become a better doctor. Physicians can broaden their knowledge and hone their craft, making themselves better at what they do.
6. More time at home
For physicians with families, a rigorous work schedule can make it really hard to spend quality time with their family. For some doctors, they may not realize just how much time their work or practice is taking from them. Even when they go home, they may not really be home mentally. Working locum tenens positions allows doctors to go on assignment and do the fulfilling work they need. Then, when they go home, they don’t have to worry about work and can spend the time with the ones they love. If traveling far from home on assignment, they can even bring their kids on trips on occasion.
7. Stay active when retired
Retired physicians are usually happy to let go of the hassle of running their own practice, but if they’re not ready to stop caring for patients, locum tenens is a great way for them to stay active. As a retiree, they can have total schedule flexibility and continue practicing medicine where they like. This can give them an opportunity to visit kids that have grown and moved away, or visit places they never got the chance to see during their time as a permanent doctor.