The importance of medical personnel was never higher than in our present day and age. Health and threats to health have become crucial as we were reminded by the pandemic how vulnerable we are. Mobility and flexibility became necessary in the medical sector, which had to battle under strain to offer help to everyone. The concept of a mobile and travelling doctor is not new, but we are seeing a surge in locum tenens doctors over the last couple of years. What it means for your carrier and whether you should make that bold choice is what we aim to answer.
1. Unmatched flexibility
The “Where?” and the “How much work?” are two key talking points concerning locum tenants. Locum tenant practice allows doctors to change places on personal whims. When you get tired or bored with your current situation or surroundings, you can relocate with a single Google search. Some doctors even prefer a challenge and move to areas with high frequency and more jobs available.
Carriers are personal preferences, and some doctors wish to have less on their plates. When you are stuck in your traditional role as a doctor, you have no choice in the matter, but with locum tenant practice, you can adjust the workload to your preference at any time. Job mobility is necessary for becoming a locum tenant, as it is in the name. The other part of the job is always being aware that you are a temporary hire.
Locum doctors fill in when there is a shortage or a higher spike in medical cases, or when there are new hospital openings, and they need all the help they can get. It’s perfectly natural to move to places with easier or fewer cases, which locum tenant allows you to do.
2. Full employment
Building your carrier is difficult or has plenty of obstacles when you stick to the role of the traditional doctor. Events that are out of your control or beyond your influence can shape the course of your carrier as you lack direct control. Locum tenant doctors don’t have to worry about frivolous actions because the entire world is their oyster. Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, and so on all have multiple hospitals offering locum doctor recruitment at any time.
When you wish to take that next step, you can do it at any time, as the locum tenet offers unmatched freedom. Local doctors are bound to one hospital and town by contract and shape their entire lives around such actions. Locum tenants have a different mindset that allows them to not be tied to one place for a prolonged period and serve as flexible medical professionals. Being able to jump in and help at any place, and any time will quickly fill up your resume.
Time is your ally, and the more you hop around, the larger your list and recommendations become. Experience comes with practice, and locum doctors can find it anywhere they wish.
3. Higher benefits
With more experience and high demand comes higher pay for locum tenant doctors. As you provide service to a field with a deficit, you are in a greater position of power and can demand more for your services. Whenever there is a shortage of doctors in any area, the price of their work rises exponentially. By being a locum doctor you can always jump in anywhere you wish and reap the rewards of your mobility.
Because you are always on the move, never settling down and constantly adapting to new environments and starting from scratch, you can request higher compensation. Flexibility, adaptability and experience have their price, one on your side of the negotiating table. Besides the pay, you can always request more job benefits that suit you, as the job negotiation power is favourable for you. Some items are worth more than money, and locum doctors can enjoy the benefits of their profession and call.
4. The challenges
Being a locum doctor is not all about the great and positive items on the list, but also about being realistic. We wish to offer you a balanced insight into such a carrier field, so we are including all the usual caveats aspiring young locum doctors should look out for. When you are a contractor by profession, you are also responsible for your entire carrier. Jobs exist out there, but no one will hand you a seat if you don’t actively seek it.
At all times you have to search, apply and go thru the recruitment process by being a locum doctor, which can be exhausting. Locum doctors also face greater competition from other locum doctors. When you apply for a position in any hospital, the range of potential candidates also expands. As a contractor, you are responsible for your insurance, health and other plans, which you have to apply for in any new city, state or country. Independence comes with full responsibility for your actions. When the workload dies down naturally, or your contract expires, you are left in the open, and if you don’t think ahead and don’t secure your next step, your opportunity costs skyrocket.
Lastly, your credibility in the field is everything. Some hospitals yearn for certainty, but when times are rough, they have to budge. But your patients may be used to their local doctors, and your doctor-patient skills need to be top-notch. Constantly adapting and meeting new people requires you to gain their trust in a short period, which is crucial for your medical practice while you are in the area.
Any job comes with its perks and challenges. The locum tenant doctor profession is ripe with great opportunities for growth, excitement and hurdles to overcome. You are given a chance to start fresh every time you start your practice which is a commodity many crave for. On the other hand, you have the burden of being completely reliant on yourself and each action can make or break your carrier. Some people thrive under such pressure which produces stellar doctors. We do not doubt that you will be one of them!