Ryan Scharer
Feb 14, 2020, 6 min read

Healthcare providers  with hands-on locum tenens experience explain why they opted for a different career path.

We hear from a lot of healthcare providers who are considering a career in locum tenens, but I have learned that there’s no better reference than other medical professionals who have already chosen locums. Healthcare providers want to hear from their peers: Individuals who have been in the trenches and know all that goes into practicing medicine.

These locum tenens physicians have lived the locums journey. Their knowledge and everyday experiences are evidence of that fact.

To show how fulfilling and meaningful locums work can be, we recently reached out to real providers to hear their locum tenens story. Some told us they wanted to experience different working environments, others wanted to raise the bar on their earnings, and a few sought a better work-life balance. Each conversation offered personal considerations that could be helpful if you’ve ever thought about locums as your possible career path.

A different way to provide patient care

Career changes can be intimidating, especially when you have already invested time, money and energy into one set path.

“It is scary to move away from how you were ‘told’ you were supposed to practice medicine, but once you make that leap, it is great,” said an emergency medicine doctor from Maryland. “I have found that most of my old colleagues are jealous and ask a lot about locums, but many are oddly still afraid to take the leap.”

Taking the leap can be worth it, because locum tenens work can open doors to different opportunities within your chosen specialty.

“I had gotten to a point in my career where I had done outpatient, private practice psychiatry for about 35 years,” said a psychiatrist in Colorado. “I liked doing the work and I am happy that I decided to go in that direction. However, I missed doing inpatient work. When I closed my outpatient practice in July of 2018, I did not have clear plans. Eventually, I did respond to a number of invitations to apply for locum tenens work and I’ve found the inpatient work very satisfying.”

Comparatively, a pediatrician in Illinois explained that locums work provided a first step into practicing the type of medicine that they desired.

“When I started looking for positions in my specialty, I was disappointed to find that there were not many full-time positions available,” the pediatrician said. “A mentor of mine referred me to Hayes Locums for short-term opportunities available in my field. I figured if I couldn't work full-time, I would at least continue to use the skill set and knowledge base that I have.”

Easing out of practicing medicine

For providers nearing retirement or even those who have already retired locum tenens is a great way to slowly ease out of practicing medicine. Picking up shifts when and where you want means you do not have to fully stop doing what you love.

“I chose to work until I was 62,” said a California-based OBGYN. “With how great working locums has been, I wish I had retired at 60 instead. I get to practice medicine in a great work environment, the reimbursement is excellent, and the patients are super grateful for the care I provide. I can choose how much or how little, and when I want to work. What could be better? To be honest, the past two years of locums work was the perfect transition for me from full-time practice.”  

"Taking the leap can be worth it, because locum tenens work can open doors to different opportunities within your chosen specialty."

Several providers talked about the freedom that locum tenens offers, and how they wanted the chance to craft a career that suits them personally and professionally.

“It's medicine the way it was meant to be practiced,” said a South Carolina pediatric endocrinologist. “I get to show up and take care of patients, and Hayes takes care of everything else. I make my own schedule and I can have real time off. I'm happier in my career than I ever thought I could be. There are an almost unlimited number of ways to do it, and just about anyone can find a way to use locums to be more satisfied in their career.” 

No time like the present: Take the leap

If you’re ready to pursue locum tenens, or have questions about how to get started, our goal is to match physicians and advanced practice clinicians with the right jobs. Click here for more reasons why locum tenens could be right for you.

Let’s Talk. Call: 1-888-837-3172.

By Ryan Scharer

Ryan Scharer is a co-founder of Hayes Locums, an award-winning physician and advanced practitioner staffing company founded on a commitment to advance the ability to provide exceptional patient care throughout the country. His background, which is rooted in sales for the medical industry, is critical to his role as COO. Ryan leads sales and guides the development of the Hayes Locums team of staffing consultants.

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