For many physicians, the period immediately following their residency can be daunting: there are so many directions your career could take, and the stakes of your next move often feel enormous.
If that sounds familiar to you, then locum tenens might be worth considering. Locums can be a great option for physicians just starting out in their career, because it gives you the opportunity to experience many different roles and environments before committing to one. We reached out to one of our physicians, Dr. Mushtaq Qureshi, to see why he chose the locums path right out of residency.
Here’s what we discovered about the benefits of choosing locums in your early career:
Bolster Your Training
Especially if you don’t yet know what you want your career to look like, trying out many different roles and environments can help you zero in on the type of practice you most enjoy. That’s what drove Dr. Qureshi to choose locums out of residency. “I decided to do locums to gain practical experience and to see how clinical/neurological practice varies at different places,” he said. “I believe that this was a great decision.”
While you can gain practical skills working a traditional hospital job, locums can give you more diverse experience to build off of. You can look for assignments at hospitals that train in specific techniques or procedures that aren’t widely available at other facilities, which can give you a critical edge as you progress in your career.
And because you are operating more independently than in traditional hospital settings, locums work helps build confidence in your own training. “I wanted to solidify my training experience and to learn how things are done when you are on your own,” Dr. Qureshi said. “I learned how other clinicians and hospital systems practice. I taught them some, and learned from them much.”
Experience New Environments
One of the biggest benefits of locums work is the diversity of options when it comes to location. This applies to everything from geographic location––the opportunity to experience an entirely different part of the country than the one you trained in––to practice settings, e.g. a busy trauma center, or a rural clinic.
Many of our physicians cite the ability to experience new environments as their favorite aspect of the job. “My experience in Arkansas was amazing,” Dr. Qureshi said of his first post-residency assignment. “I loved it there––it’s a very nice place with wonderful people.”
Locum tenens gives you the opportunity to practice in places you might not otherwise experience––and those experiences stay with you for a lifetime.
Get Support as You Begin Your Career
One of the undersung aspects of locums work is the supportive relationships that develop between locums providers and their consultants [LINK TO PROVIDER SPOTLIGHT]. When you are first starting out, the logistical aspects of locums work can be overwhelming. Your consultant can help you navigate the process of obtaining your medical license, getting credentialed, and acquiring hospital privileges.
Consultants will often provide checklists for their physicians to help them stay organized––some consultants can even help manage their providers’ calendars.’ “My experience was made irreplaceable by the help, support, and appreciation from my locums agency,” said Dr. Qureshi.