Debunking Locum Tenens Myths


There are numerous locum tenens myths that circulate throughout the community, shedding a negative light on the career. Many who aren’t familiar with the career see locum tenens as nomads, wandering around until a job happens to fall into their lap. Others see locum tenens as physicians that “weren’t cut out” for a traditional physician career, basically the healthcare JV squad. Fortunately, neither of these rumors are truth. We’re here to debunk these locum tenens myths so you can pursue a rewarding and exciting career as a locum tenens. Here are just a few myths that need to be put to rest.

Locum Tenens Myths

Locum Tenens is For Physicians That Couldn’t Make It

This is just simply not true. Locum tenens is a career for all types of talented physicians. Perhaps you want the thrill of traveling and exploring new cities while still getting the opportunity to help those around you. Or, it’s possible that you specialize in a specific practice that could lend its hand elsewhere in the country.

This also allows flexible hours for those who want to spend more time with family. You’re able to create your own schedule so your work-life balance can stay intact. While these locum tenens myths are designed to scare you away from the career, just remember that it takes highly skilled, ambitious physicians to take on the task of becoming a locum tenens.

Locum Tenens Doesn’t Look Good On a Resume

A unique and diverse medical experience such as locum tenens are exactly what many healthcare professionals look for. Furthermore, physicians can tailor their locum tenens assignments to fill in any gaps in their credentials. Many physicians and medical facilities will view your willingness to travel and flexibility as ideal employee traits to join their practice.

Locum tenens will actually give you an edge later in your career because you’ll be able to use your specialties and skills in a live setting. Many locum tenens are used to fill positions that require a specific set of skills, and this will look great on your resume.

Schedules are Too Unpredictable and Infrequent

The beauty about locum tenens is that you can make your own schedule and you can travel much or as little as you want. Locum jobs are always in demand so this is one of the locums tenens myths that can easily be debunked. Locum tenens positions award the flexibility and freedom for those clinicians who desire to take off large blocks of time for children, volunteering, and hobbies.

Locum tenens physicians work directly with a National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO) member. These members help physicians facilitate a schedule that fits their desired lifestyles.

Physicians Can’t Live Off the Wage

This is probably one of the biggest locum tenens myths. Many assume that these jobs are just a stopgap to take advantage of while a physician is in between jobs. However, with the physician shortage continuing to rise, locum tenens are needed more than ever and this desire means an increase in wages.

Many think of this work as “freelance,” but there are tons of physicians who have made a comfortable living by traveling the country as a locum tenens. Many are compensated as independent contractors, so they’ll actually be paid higher than a traditional physician job.

You’ll Be Stuck In a Boring Place

The point of taking a locum tenens job is to work in a place you enjoy, and that’s exactly what you’ll get. You pick exactly where you want to work, so whether it’s the beaches of Florida or a quieter place in the northeast, you get to choose your destination. You actually don’t have to go anywhere. With the rapidly growing demand for locum tenens telemedicine providers, you don’t even have to leave your home. This is a great job that will allow you to essentially choose your own adventure.

Author: Troy Diffenderfer

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