Locum tenens (Latin for “one holding a place”) providers temporarily fulfill the duties of other practitioners—most typically when regular clinicians are absent, or a hospital or practice is short-staffed. The looming physician shortage, demographic shifts, and other pertinent factors have increased the demand for locum tenens physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and CRNAs across the United States and beyond. With the range of opportunities available today, it is an ideal time to consider the practice alternative.
When is locum tenens most desirable?
Many medical professionals enjoy working locum tenens at various stages of their careers and lives. You may be inclined to accept locum tenens assignments if you:
What are the main reasons to consider locum tenens assignments?
Choose how often and how long you want to work. One week a month? Three months a year? A six-month assignment followed by six months off? You are in the driver’s seat when it comes to mapping out your schedule, not to mention where you work and in what setting (e.g., hospital, office-based practice, rural health clinic, or government facility).
Explore the country while getting paid. You can choose where to practice and line up assignments that allow you to pursue your hobbies and interests in specific locations.
Enjoy diverse opportunities on a regular basis. Working locum tenens allows you to experience different regions and cultures, make new professional and personal contacts, and learn new technologies.
Supplement your income. Doing locum tenens can help you earn extra money to more quickly pay off student loans, cover immediate and unexpected expenses, save for your children’s college education, build or add to your next egg, and more.
Focus solely on patient care. The “locum lifestyle” will free you from the day-to-day responsibilities of running a practice—from hiring and training staff to purchasing malpractice insurance and handling overhead costs.
Find the right fit without having to commit. Locum tenens will let you test drive a position with the potential for permanent placement, check out a new area before making a big move, and/or get valuable experience in a new subspecialty area.