Just graduated from a residency or fellowship program? Locum tenens offers so many opportunities for early-career physicians, from facilitating professional growth, to giving you flexibility.

The literal meaning of locum tenens is to hold the place for, and that’s exactly what a locum tenens does: locum providers fill gaps in care on a temporary basis for healthcare facilities until that hospital can find a permanent physician. That makes it a great choice for physicians who are just starting out: because it offers you the opportunity to grow clinically, while earning a great income and trying out different practice settings. 

Here are some of the benefits of embarking on a locum tenens career:

Gain clinical experience.

Locum tenens offers early career physicians the opportunity to grow professionally by gaining exposure to different practice settings, patient populations, and medical specialties.

There are so many opportunities to learn with locums: from seeing how different clinics are run, to expanding your skill set with the mentorship of a diverse array of medical teams, to learning how to work in vastly different practice settings.  

That makes locums a great choice for everyone from post-grads who want to gain clinical experience before their fellowship starts, or for post-fellowship physicians who want to work with a different patient population to expand their patient care skill set.

Whatever your career goals, locum tenens can help you reach them by helping you grow in confidence and learn the skills that you’ll take with you into the rest of your career.

Stay flexible by trying new things.

Locum tenens can also serve as a platform for career exploration, allowing physicians to try new things and discover their clinical interests and preferences before committing to a permanent position.

By working in a variety of settings, from rural clinics to large urban hospital systems, you’ll get a better sense of which practice environments you tend to thrive in. Working with many different medical teams can also help teach you new methods and techniques, and thus get a better sense of your own strengths and preferences. 

One of the great things about locum tenens is that it offers a variety of different kinds of assignments based on your preferences: whether you want to work a long-term full-time position, or take short-term emergency coverage assignments as they come up to supplement your full-time job. 

Locum tenens gives you the flexibility to try out many different schedules, environments, and roles, so you can find out what you want in a full-time position.

Earn a better income.

One of the best advantages of a locum tenens career physicians just starting out? It pays well!

Especially right now, when there is high demand due to healthcare staffing shortages, locums physicians tend to have higher earning potential. Because hospitals rely on locums physicians to fill urgent gaps in coverage, they are often willing to pay higher rates.

Average medical school debt for physicians is currently at just over $200,000. Working locum tenens can help you start tackling debt aggressively early on, so you can focus on your other financial priorities.

In addition to competitive compensation, locum tenens also pays for your travel and lodging, which can have the benefit of cutting down on your living expenses. That means you can spend that extra money on meeting your financial goals, whether that means paying off your medical school debt, or saving up to buy a home.

Want to know more about how to go about working as a locum tenens provider? Check out our Hayes Handbook for a step-by-step guide of the locums process, from connecting with a consultant, to finding the right placement, to navigating the licensing and credentialing process, to the logistics of traveling to your assignment.

Ready to embark on your locum tenens career? We can help. Call 1-888-837-3172, or search our open locums jobs.