Traditionally, locum tenens opportunities provided a means for a physician to slow down as retirement approached. Locums became a way to transition from full time work and the physician could toe-test the swimming pool before the plunge. Now, however, more and more healthcare providers are seeking out locums assignments throughout every phase of their careers. With the growing number of physicians electing to take up locums work, the reasons for doing so have increased as well. Over the last 25 years, Curare Physician Recruiting has seen the number of reasons grow with easing into retirement almost becoming a cliché.
The first and perhaps the most obvious reason to gain employment in a locum tenens position is to supplement your income. Especially in a time where physicians are incurring substantial medical education debt, locums can provide the additional income to help start the process of digging out of debt. Likewise, they can help pay for college expenses for your children if you are so inclined, or, better yet, for your fly fishing expedition to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Don’t forget to send a postcard!
It is common for a physician to bring along his or her family while on a locums assignment. This can become a working vacation of sorts. Here at Curare Physician Recruiting, we have yet to discover an employer that was not delighted that the physician brought along their family. Alternately, you can recharge your batteries without the family and enjoy some “me time”, perhaps working a week and then using another to explore the ski slopes, national parks, beaches or mountain trails. Just imagine your family’s glowing faces as they flip through photos of you swimming with manatees, sipping umbrella drinks and undergoing an excruciating poolside massage. Don’t forget the souvenirs!
Finally, locums in many instances will allow you “try before you buy.” With increasing frequency, locums assignments can shift to full time permanent positions. The doctor can work in the practice environment and community and the employer can see you in action. Look at the locums assignment as a pair of disco pants you really, really like. Are they going to clash with your chevron stethoscope? Is this particular cotton/poly blend going to shrink after one wash? Try it on for size and see how it wears.
These are just a few of the common reasons physicians are choosing to pursue locums assignments. The list is ever growing. If you would like to further explore the potential of working a locums assignment, call Josh Thurston, The Director of Locums, aka The Locums Guy at (888) 296-2581.