Some people work as a locum tenens in addition to their full-time job. Others want to get away from the hospital politics of a full-time position. Others want to get back to providing patient care without being weighed down with paperwork. No matter the reason for becoming a travel doctor, more and more physicians are making the switch! For a growing number of U.S. physicians and advanced practice workers, joining the lucrative field of travel healthcare is just the ingredient necessary for spicing up their career. For those interested in becoming a travel doctor, check out the four steps below and be sure to listen to the exclusive interview with an industry expert at the end of this blog!
Four Steps to Becoming a Travel Doctor
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Here are three steps to becoming a travel doctor.
1. Find a good recruiter
The first step to take if you want to work as a locum tenens is to find a recruiter to work with. It’s extremely important that you pick a recruiter who is easy to talk to, reliable and who knows what they’re doing. They’re pretty much going to be your lifeline when it comes to finding temporary work. Although the company that you’re working with is important as well, your recruiter is who you will talk to the most. Keep that in mind when looking for locum tenens positions.
2. Update your CV
The second thing you should do is make sure that your CV is up-to-date. Make sure you have a detailed description of your work history, and you organize it by the year and month of which you worked there. In addition to your CV, you should also have hard copies of all of your certificates and licenses. Keep in mind you will need to be licensed in every state that you wish to practice in, so you could have several states licenses to keep track of. You don’t want to apply for positions only to realize your CV isn’t up-to-date or one of your certificates is expired.
3. Be flexible
Switching from a full-time position to a temporary spot can be an adjustment. It’s important to know that contracts can be canceled, with notice, if a facility no longer needs locum tenens coverage, according to Lindsay Harris, director of sales operations at Medestar Locum Tenens, so it’s a good idea to be flexible when entering the locum tenens industry. If your location requirements are flexible, there will always be more opportunities available. If you are someone who has a hard time adjusting to change or going with the flow, locum tenens will definitely test those attributes for you. You’ll also need flexibility when arriving at new assignments and working with totally different groups of people.
4. Do it!
Lastly, keep in mind that you don’t have to give up your full-time position to be a locum tenens. Some doctors keep their day job and then work as a locum tenens on nights or weekends in urgent care or a hospital that’s dealing with an influx of patients. Depending on your situation, this could be a better option for you. It’s also a good way to test the waters and see if working as a locum tenens is best suited for you or not. Also, don’t forget that working as a locum tenens can be long term. For example, VA hospitals tend to require a 3-month minimum commitment but would prefer much longer commitments. However, doctors in these long-term positions are still technically considered locum tenens providers.
Exclusive Interview: Listen Here for Tips on Becoming a Travel Doctor!
We recently had the chance to sit down with Lindsay Harris from Medestar We talked everything about becoming a travel doctor, from what exactly it means to be a locum tenens, to why hospitals hire locum tenens, and finally, the steps you need to take to work as a locum tenens. So, get comfortable and be ready to take notes! Check out our exclusive conversation below!