How to Become a Locum Tenens Physician

How to Become a Locum Tenens Physician

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You’ve completed all the necessary schooling to obtain your degree and are ready to begin a career, but now what? Typically, the next step is to find a job and settle in to one spot to begin working. Sure, you get to build strong connections to your workplace and coworkers. But what if you’re searching for something a little more unpredictable? If setting down roots doesn’t seem like the ideal scenario for you, then consider becoming a locum tenens physician. Explore the country while doing the job you love – sounds like a win-win! And the best part is that you are in total control of where and when you travel.

For a growing number of U.S. physicians, joining the lucrative field of travel healthcare is just the ingredient needed to spice up their career! Some people work as locum tenens in addition to their full-time job, while others choose to travel full time for their career. No matter the reason for becoming a travel doctor, more and more physicians are making the switch!

Key Characteristics of a Locum Tenens Physician

The very first thing you have to determine if you’re considering a career as a locum tenens is whether this is actually going to be a good fit for you. While traveling around the states may seem like a dream come true, it’s not your typical lifestyle. There are a few definitive characteristics of a locum tenens.

  • Adventurous: Adventure is the defining characteristic of traveling as a locum tenens physician! If your ideal lifestyle includes exploring new places, then this might be the right fit for you.
  • Comfortable with change: For some, bouncing from residence to residence sounds like a true nightmare. But locum tenens aren’t bothered by temporary accommodations. There are a lot of moving parts when taking on a new assignment, so if you’re comfortable with the unknown, then you’ll do well in this role.
  • Team player: Working well with others is an essential characteristic. You don’t get much time to build connections with your coworkers when you begin a new assignment. You must be confident in your ability to work with a new group of people, quickly adapting to their way of life.
how to become a locum tenens physician

How to Become a Locum Tenens Physician

Here is the breakdown on how to become a locum tenens physician!

Choosing the right locum tenens position

It might feel overwhelming to pick a starting point to begin your search. That is where we come in! is going to be your starting point. Here you can search for your dream locum tenens physician job with only a few clicks. Filter out your jobs based on your license type and specialty. Then, decide which locations you want to browse first. You can choose between city life or rural vibes, or something in-between. It’s your assignment, you call the shots!

Once you have found a few assignments that pique your interest and fit your needs, get in touch with a recruiter that works for those specific agencies. Since you’re working through an agency, your recruiter is who you will talk to the most. They will be able to walk you through the details of a specific assignment and answer all your questions you may have about housing, stipends, pay, and more. It is extremely important that you pick a recruiter who is easy to talk to, reliable, and knows what they are doing, as they will be crucial in determining if an assignment may be a good fit.

Update your CV

When you are searching for a locum tenens assignment, it’s crucial that your CV (curriculum vitae) 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. Having a professional, detailed CV is an easy way to expedite the process and help you stand out as a candidate. In addition to your CV, you should also have hard copies of all 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 state 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.

how to become a locum tenens physician

Be flexible

Switching from a full-time position to a temporary locum tenens assignment can be a major adjustment. It’s important to note that contracts can be canceled, with notice, if a facility no longer needs locum tenens coverage. So it’s essential to be flexible when entering the locum tenens industry. If your location preferences are adjustable, there will always be more opportunities available. Going with the flow and being able to adapt will lead to success!

Give it a try!

So, what are you waiting for? Now that you understand the process, make the switch and become a locum tenens physician! Locum tenens assignments are a great way to visit new parts of the country. Who knows, you might fall in love with a location and stay for good! The good news is that locum tenens physician jobs are always in demand, so you can choose to continue doing the work if you discover that you really love the freedom of the job.

how to become a locum tenens physician

But, also keep in mind that you don’t have to give up your full-time position to become a locum tenens physician. Some doctors keep their day job and then work as 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 physician is best suited for you or not

Exclusive Interview: Listen Here for Tips on Becoming a Locum Tenens Physician!

We had the chance to sit down with Lindsay Harris from Medestar. We talked about everything it takes to become a locum tenen physicians; from what it actually means to be a locum tenens, to why hospitals hire locum tenens, and 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!

Have you transitioned into locum tenens life? We’d love to hear about your experience becoming a locum tenens physician, let us know in the comments!

Author: Locum Jobs Online

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1 Comment

  1. I’m a orthopedic surgeon from Greece.
    I would like to work in a role of traveling doctor

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