Want to find out what locum tenens physician jobs are out there for you? We’re breaking down 5 types of locums jobs––and who is most likely to thrive in them.
With 90% of facilities relying on locum tenens, there are as many locum assignments out there as there are physicians. Whether you’re looking to work a yearlong full-time position, or moonlight on occasional weekend assignments, you can find a locum assignment that works for your unique situation.
Here are some of the most common types of locum tenens physician jobs:
- Short-Term Physician Jobs
Short-term locum assignments can be anything from a two-week stint providing coverage for a hospital that is in-between full-time physicians, to a weekend fill-in for a doctor who’s out on vacation. These types of assignments are typically for physicians who have a full-time job, but are looking to make some extra income by moonlighting. These assignments can be a great way of paying down medical school debt, or saving up for a big purchase.
Short-term locums assignments are often a great fit for early-career physicians who are still figuring out what they want their ideal career to look like. Locum tenens allows you to experience new practice settings, or gain experience performing certain procedures that are less common in your full-time job. Short-term locum assignments can also be a bridge during a time of transition to help you keep up your skills (and your income) while you figure out your next step.
“I think locums can be great for a young person that’s not sure what they want––whether they want to work in an urban or rural practice, where they want to live––because it gives you an opportunity to look around.” -Hayes Locums Physician
- Long-Term Physician Jobs
Working as a locum tenens doctor doesn’t have to mean bouncing around to different facilities. The reality is, there are plenty of long-term positions out there that offer stability for physicians looking for steady work. There are many hospitals that are looking for a locums physician to contract for 6 months or longer.
These kinds of long-term commitments are great for doctors who want the dependability of a long-term position without the administrative responsibilities that full-time hospital employment can entail. With locums, you’re not responsible for attending meetings, sitting on committees, or performing a host of other administrative tasks that many doctors cite as a main contributor to burnout.
With the security of a long-term position, you can focus your time on connecting with your patients, without the time-consuming administrative burden of a full-time hospital role.
“The biggest difference [between locums and full-time hospital positions] is that there are no non-clinical responsibilities. All I do is general adult urology, which is what I like and am good at. There’s no politics, and the people I work with are glad to see me and very appreciative of the help. For me, at my stage in the game, it’s been perfect.” -Hayes Locums Physician
- Part-time Physician Jobs
If you’re ready to take a break from full-time practice without giving up medicine altogether, part-time locums is a great option. Part-time locum assignments allow you to practice medicine while making more time for your other priorities––whether it be family, your health, or your creative pursuits.
Part-time assignments can look a lot of different ways: working alternate weeks (e.g. one week on, one week off, or two weeks on, two weeks off), working for shorter shifts with no call hours, or some combination of the two.
Because hospital facilities are often addressing an urgent need, they tend to be flexible with the scheduling needs of their locums providers. And since these assignments tend to pay at a higher rate, providers often find that they’re able to work fewer hours without a significant decrease in income.
Part-time locums work is attractive to physicians at many stages of their career, but often especially for doctors who are nearing retirement, but not ready to leave medicine altogether. Practicing part-time locums helps physicians keep their skills sharp, without having to commit to full-time work.
“The biggest advantage of being a full-time locums CRNA is that you can control the number of hours you work. With locums, you can control shift length, how many days a week you work, whether you want to work one week on and one week off, or whether you want to work full time. The time is yours to control.” -Suzy Wigetman
- Travel Physician Jobs
One of the biggest benefits of locums work is the opportunity to travel. Physician jobs are open in every state in the U.S., so there are a whole host of options for doctors who want to practice beyond the boundaries of their home base.
Whether you want to spend the winter in a warmer location, spend some time near your extended family, or experience a different side of the country, with locum tenens, you can see parts of the country you might not otherwise have a chance to visit.
One benefit of travel locums? Your locums agency will navigate the state licensing process for you, and cover your travel and housing expenses––so you can travel without the accompanying cost or hassle.
“Honestly, I would be exclusively locums purely for the travel. Travel has always appealed to me and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to do more of it.” -Hayes Locums Provider
- Emergency Coverage Locum Assignments
If you’re a doctor who’s looking to make a difference, emergency coverage locums assignments might be for you.
Even in hospitals that are fully-staffed, life happens. A pediatrician might need to take leave to care forf a sick family member, or a trauma surgeon might have an injury that requires that they be off of their feet for several weeks. That’s where locums comes in. Emergency coverage locums ensures that, even if something like this happens, patients can continue to receive quality care until the hospital physician is able to come back to work.
When it comes to under-resourced facilities, the need can be even more pronounced: in a smaller hospital, where an ER might only have two doctors and one of them is out sick, a locums physician can be the difference between whether that emergency room can keep on running, or whether it has to close down.
Emergency coverage assignments, by their nature, need to be staffed quickly. For this reason, they’re a great fit for physicians who have a flexible enough schedule that they might be able to fill in at the last minute for a hospital that needs it. It also helps to be a member of the IMLC, as this can make the licensing process much quicker for out-of-state assignments.
“I found the smaller rural hospitals to be the most rewarding. At these smaller hospitals, they might only have one or two doctors, so when your doctor is on vacation, or they get sick, what do you do? There’s not another doctor down the street that you can just call. When a hospital doesn’t have a doctor in the ER, they end up closing down.” -Hayes Locums Physicians