Jane is shy. She doesn’t like engaging with new people or putting herself in unfamiliar places. Jane doesn’t work well under pressure, and she is easily distracted. She’s afraid to ask questions or admit when she doesn’t know something. She also lacks confidence and a positive outlook on life. Jane likes to be around her family, and she doesn’t venture far from home.
Jane probably wouldn’t make a very good locum tenens physician. It takes a special kind of person to embrace a transient lifestyle, and recognizing if you’re cut out for the job is the first step to take when contemplating a travel career in healthcare. So, who can be a locum tenens physician? Here are the ideal characteristics that a traveling doctor should have!
Who Can Be a Locum Tenens? Top Five Personality Traits
Someone who is fast-thinking, detail-oriented, adventurous, positive, and humble is someone who can be a locum tenens. Here’s why someone with these personality traits will succeed in a travel doctor role.
Locum tenens arrive on-site and immediately start working. They’re thrown into all kinds of situations, from fast-paced urban settings to rural hospitals where they will wear many hats. This is why someone who thinks fast on their feet is ideal for this position. Being flexible and having enough hands-on knowledge in your field is critical if you want to be a locum tenens.
Paying close attention to detail is a skill that all doctors should have, but it’s especially important for locum tenens. Not only do you have to pay close attention to detail when it comes to your patients, but you also will need to pick up on new things quickly. For example, you’ll have to learn a new electronic health record system and where everything is located within your unit, as well as be able to read new people. Someone who is detail-oriented will have better luck at getting acclimated to new places, and they will provide more efficient care to patients.
Someone who seeks and thrives on an adventure is someone who can be a locum tenens. Since locum tenens physicians are constantly traveling and working in new places, they need to be open to new experiences both professionally and personally. For example, part of the perk of being a travel doctor is getting to live in new places. If you’re not adventurous enough to learn the Subway while working in New York City, you’re not going to gain as much from your experience as those who are open to adventure. It will also limit what you do and see while you’re there, and it’s important to keep busy while on the road to avoid feeling homesick or lonely in a new place.
Someone who can admit when they’re wrong, or when they don’t know something, is someone who can be a locum tenens. You want to ask questions so you can keep on pace with your coworkers, and you also don’t want to walk into a new place and act like you know everything. Being humble and exposing humility will be helpful as you try to blend in alongside permanent physicians that you’re joining. Humility is also a helpful trait for travelers in general because it will help you to easily engage with locals and accept help if you are lost.
Let’s face it. When you’re traveling, you have little control over how things go. You have to be able to roll with the good and the bad that happens while you’re on the road. Having a positive outlook on life and not allowing yourself to get bogged down by the bad will help immensely in this career path.