As we enter the third year of the pandemic, the healthcare industry is feeling the strain. Increasing burnout among healthcare workers is causing many people to question their career trajectory. If you’re going through this right now, you’re not alone and there are options you can consider.
Locums work can give you a second wind if you’re feeling burnt out, by offering more flexibility, increased pay, and a change of scenery. But how do you know if working as a locum provider is a good fit?
Below, we’ll talk about what locum tenens can look like in three different stages of your career, to help you decide if it’s the right option for you.
1. After Graduation
Healthcare providers who are fresh out of medical school have many concerns, but paying off their medical school loans usually ranks high on the list. Locum tenens is one of the best ways to supplement your income: locums jobs tend to pay more highly than permanent positions, allowing you to pay off your loans faster, and lessen the burden of financial stress weighing on your mind.
But it’s not just the money that’s good: locums work also offers the ability to travel and gain experience that might not otherwise be available to you at this stage in life. You can look for a position in your dream city, or try several different locations to see what kind of environment you prefer to practice in.
If you’re not sure yet what you want your career to look like, locum tenens allows you to narrow down your interests by experiencing different work situations––and paying down debt while you do it.
2. Height of Career
When you’ve settled into your career, locum tenens can be a great way of rediscovering your love of medicine by expanding your horizons. Since locums positions don’t require you to sign on for a long-term contract, you can experiment with shifting your focus to different types of practices. Or, if you’re looking to expand your skill set, you can look for jobs that will help you learn new techniques that may be unavailable to you in your current role.
It can also offer you a change of scenery if you’re feeling restless, by allowing you to experience new work environments. If you’re tired of working in a city, you can look for locums work in a less busy location (or vice versa). And when you’re ready to go back home, you can always take what you learn back to your practice.
3. Nearing Retirement
If you’re ready to retire from the demands of your profession, but aren’t ready to retire altogether, locum tenens provides a great stopgap option. Locums positions offer flexibility that is hard to find in permanent hospital positions. It’s a great option if you still love practicing medicine, but no longer want the overhead of private practice, or keep up with heavy patient loads. By removing much of the administrative burden from your role, it allows you to keep the parts of your job that you love––working with patients––and let go of the aspects that you may be less fond of––keeping up with paperwork or attending meetings.
It’s also a great opportunity to travel, if you’ve been putting your travel dreams off until retirement. If you want to travel but haven’t been able to fit it into your busy schedule, you can schedule your locums work to accommodate it. Take a break between assignments to finally visit the national parks, or look for a job in a city you’ve always wanted to visit.
Whatever your reason, if you want to experience some of the benefits of retirement like travel and flexibility without actually having to retire, consider locum tenens.