It is a frequent occurrence in the healthcare system that hospitals hire substitutes for residents that either go on leave or absent. Locum Tenens has been a practice since before, but it was done more in the name of knowledge, charity, and compassion.
Today, it can still be truly seen, but some motivations have changed towards monetary value and other benefits from this line of work. This report has recorded a booming of locum tenens physicians for the last 15 years until 2017. It consists of 5% of the physician workforce even after the year ended.
Some up-to-date reports also project a rise in the locum tenens market for 2021, while anticipating a plummet in residential doctors in the US, and for good reason. Locum tenens have better benefits, freedom, and sometimes extra perks during their short assignments. Here, we will explore a little bit more about what a locum tenens staff is, and the pros of being one.
What Is “Locum Tenens”?
Locum Tenens is a Latin phrase meaning “place holder”. The first group of doctors was coincidentally formed during 1971 when a significant burnout for rural doctors has been at its all-time high, and the HSRI (Human Services Research Institute) has implemented ROPE (Rural Outreach Physician Education). This program opts for rural doctors to attend courses at the University of Utah to serve the public more efficiently. There was just one concern these rural doctors have. They are all reluctant to leave their practice because there was no one to take their place.
This is when the program assembled several stand-in medical practitioners to fill in with the responsibility while they were away. The stand-ins eventually found this setting to be ideal for both parties.
This discovery was so successful that two doctors, Alan Khronhaus and Therus Kolff, and other doctors decided to make a company of their own using the locum tenens service. This was the first of many offering this service for those understaffed and in need of a replacement for a short period. Today, many companies have popped up, for example like https://www.lucidityjobs.com/, with different benefits for your choosing. It was proved to be a great way for practitioners and employers to find just what qualifications meet their standards and match it up with available healthcare providers.
Today, this service has been the lifesaver of many clinics and hospitals. Many fields have been recently in demand, such as family practice, anesthesiology, psychiatric, and most commonly was internal medicine. It was also seen that ⅓ of residents in a hospital were originally locum tenens.
Why Consider A Locum Tenens Job?
Physicians today are so susceptible to burnout, and some wander around their profession thinking of what they truly want to pursue in the field. Some detest the monetary payment, and others feel trapped being inside the same white-washed walls all their days. Fortunately, this line of work offers solutions to all of those problems. Here are some reasons why you should assign yourself to a locum tenens company and pursue that path.
1. Assignment & Schedule Flexibility
This might be the most common reason why physicians tend to take on locum tenens. Gaining control over schedules does not only relieve a substantial amount of responsibility and stress, but it also gives a sense of independence. You can choose your assignments, and you also determine how long you can work with that assignment. This can be a side hustle on the weekends as well as a full-time job depending on your preference.
2. It Can Be A “Test Drive” For Newer Medical Practitioners
This service can be somewhat of a brief experience for fresh graduates. Deciding on a field you want and committing to it may take a long time to discover, but with this service, you can test out several practices and choose what fits your expertise, personality, and where your heart belongs the most. Passionate and compassionate healthcare workers are the pillar of a great healthcare service after all.
3. Better Compensation
It is a surprising fact that locum tenens often have higher pays, unlike full-time doctors. They are not only paid per day but paid handsomely depending on their field of expertise. This is what makes the service shine, and why many practitioners flock to it like bees to honey. Oh, and did we mention you have malpractice compensation provided as well?
4. Travel Opportunities
If you’ve assigned yourself to this service, chances are you’ll be assigned away from your city or hometown, which is a treat for those looking for a change of scenery. The daily grind of a traditional practice may wear you down, but with this inevitable outcome from locum tenens, you’ll be able to widen your horizon in the medical field and bring your family in for a small vacation.