Locum tenens serve as a vital solution to the ongoing physician and advanced practitioner shortages. Hospitals and healthcare facilities are increasingly relying on locums to bridge staffing gaps and ensure continuity of care. Despite the effectiveness and value locum tenens bring to healthcare facilities nationwide, misconceptions about locum tenens careers continue to persist. In honor of Locum Tenens Week, we're here to debunk seven common myths associated with working locum tenens, shedding light on the reality of this rewarding career path.

Myth #1: Locum Tenens Practice is Predominantly Geared Toward Semi-Retired Doctors.

Truth: Regardless of where you are in your career, working locum tenens is always an option worth considering.

Whether you've just completed your residency or fellowship and are eager to gain valuable clinical exposure, are mid-career with a desire to enhance specific techniques or practice in a fresh environment, or nearing retirement and seeking to maintain clinical activity, locum tenens work provides a fulfilling and adaptable career path at any stage of your career.

Myth #2: Locum Tenens Work is Only for Those Interested in Travel.

Truth: Locum tenens assignments are available close to home or miles away.

Locum tenens assignments offer nationwide opportunities, granting you the flexibility to work 10 miles from home or 3,000 miles away. This level of career control allows you to choose not only when you work but also where you work. Whether you prefer to stay close to home while caring for your local community or desire to explore bustling cities or rural areas in need of care, locum tenens assignments cater to either of your preferences!

Myth #3: Locum Tenens Practice does not Provide a Consistent Source of Stability or Income.

Truth: Locum tenens work offers a reliable and stable income stream, especially in light of the nation's growing healthcare shortages.

The shortage of physicians and advanced practitioners has led to a continuous need for locum tenens support. Locum tenens jobs can vary in length. Long-term assignments offer increased stability for those who prefer not to change their work settings frequently. Whereas short-term assignments are readily available and typically offer higher hourly higher rates. There is a high demand for physicians and advanced practice providers nationwide, which has led to increased compensation, especially in areas with shortages. As a result, working as a locum tenens provider can provide a fulfilling and stable career option with reliable income and your pick of assignments.

Myth #4: Working Locum Tenens will Negatively Impact My CV or Credentials.

Truth: Locum tenens work can strengthen your CV and credentials.

Through locum tenens assignments, you'll be exposed to diverse medical settings and have the chance to learn new approaches to practice, allowing you to grow as a medical professional. As you continuously broaden your expertise and skills, facility managers and recruiters will be eager to hire you, recognizing the valuable contributions you can bring to their healthcare teams.

Myth #5: I Can't Work Locum Tenens if I Have a Full-Time Position or Practice.

Truth: Locum tenens offers physicians and advanced practitioners the opportunity to work temporary positions, even if they have permanent roles or own their own medical practices.

This flexible arrangement allows permanent physicians and advanced practitioners to provide coverage during scheduled time off, enabling you to earn additional income, gain diverse experiences, and explore different practice environments.

Myth #6: Permanent Providers Don't Want Locum Tenens There.

Truth: Permanent providers appreciate the presence of locum tenens physicians and advanced practitioners.

In times of staffing shortages, hospitals and healthcare facilities rely on locum tenens physicians and advanced practitioners to fill crucial gaps in coverage. Locums play a vital role by providing support during vacation time, maternity leave, or during peaks in patient volumes. Often times locum tenens assistance is invaluable in alleviating burnout among permanent staff. Rather than being unwanted, locum tenens are considered an integral part of the team, and their contributions are gratefully acknowledged by the permanent staff.

Myth #7: Locum Tenens Physicians are Unable to Build Rapport With Their Patients.

Truth: Locum tenens physicians and advanced practitioners have the advantage of avoiding hospital politics and administrative burdens, allowing them to prioritize patient care.

When on assignment, you're not weighed down by as many bureaucratic tasks as those in permanent positions, which means you can dedicate more time and attention to patient care. Moreover, not all assignments are for short periods; some locum tenens physicians, and advanced practitioners take recurring assignments at the same locations, offering the opportunity to form lasting, meaningful relationships with patients.

Think locum tenens work may be for you? Fill out the form below to connect with a  Medicus Healthcare Solutions recruiter today!