Though you’re still in residency, you are undoubtedly contemplating the practice options that will be available to you once you finish your training. Perhaps you are leaning toward accepting a permanent job at the hospital in which you’ve trained or at a medical practice close to home. Then again, you could be thinking about sampling different areas and practice settings as a locum tenens physician. But have you considered the advantages of doing both at the same time?
Moonlighting as an independent contractor while you have a regular position can be good for your career and community, not to mention your freedom and bank account. Read on to learn more about some of the pros of simultaneously having a permanent job and doing locum work as a new doctor.
- Greater control over income. You could regulate the hours you work locum tenens based on your financial needs and wants, and have them complement your regular schedule. What’s more, you would determine how often or little you would work perm and locum tenens in tandem, and be committed only to the opportunities you accept.
- Better afford your own place right out of residency. As someone who may be sharing space with other residents, friends, or even family for many years, you are likely eager to move into a home that belongs to you alone. Depending on your debt and other expenses, bringing in more money could be the difference between renting or purchasing an apartment or house and having a roommate. (Bonus: You could have more cash for home improvements, decorating, and other property-related expenses, too.)
- Save up for/purchase big-ticket items more quickly. Maybe you have your eye on a new vehicle or would like to treat yourself to a special getaway after spending the past 11 to 13 years in college, medical school, and residency. Or if you don’t yet have children but want to be proactive, perhaps you would like to start a college fund in the near future. By working locum tenens on the side, you wouldn’t have to put “wish list” items on the back burner as you would either be able to pay for them outright or put money toward them without touching a penny from your regular paycheck.
- Pay down debt faster. As reported by Student Loan Hero, the average medical school debt in 2017 is nearly $165,000. If you are feeling bogged down by student loans and other expenditures incurred during your training, take heart. Should you receive a sign-on bonus or other incentive from your eventual employer, consider using it with money earned from doing part-time locum work to avoid thousands of dollars in student loan interest, shorten repayment periods, and expedite becoming debt-free.
- Start building your nest egg now. While you have quite a way to go before you decide to hang up your stethoscope or semi-retire, it’s important to consider ways to start and/or add to your retirement savings as soon as you can. Doing locum tenens when your schedule permits could allow you to sock away extra money and/or invest side earnings for your future.
- Check out other practice settings, risk-free. Whether you choose to remain at the facility where you’re doing your residency or decide to take a permanent position at another hospital or healthcare organization, your experience is understandably limited to one or two work environments. Practicing locum tenens during your downtime could allow you to sample other settings, such as an urgent care center, group practice, or VA hospital. Moreover, moonlighting gives you the chance to see if other perm options resonate with you and you can expand your professional network without leaving your regular job.
- Provide quality care for patients and help facilities in need. There are people in neighboring towns and cities, as well as other locales and quite possibly the area where you reside, who are unable to get their healthcare needs met in a timely manner simply because there are not enough quality providers nearby to address them. Correspondingly, among other reasons, many healthcare organizations count on locum tenens providers to fill the staffing gaps while they look for physicians and advanced practitioners to fill permanent positions. By taking locum tenens assignments before or after you put in your regular hours, you could have a positive impact on patients’ health, as well as on facilities in your community and beyond.
To learn more about the benefits you can enjoy by working perm and locum tenens at the same time, call 855-301-0563 to speak with a knowledgeable Medicus Healthcare Solutions recruiter today.