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The Locum Tenens Lifestyle: Exploring the Possibilities

The locum tenens lifestyle provides physicians and other clinicians with a flexible and portable option that can give them a break from their current practice or training. According to a report by  Yahoo News, locum tenens staffing will see the highest growth spurt in the coming years as more physicians use this option. So what would inspire physicians to consider locum tenens opportunities?


Extensive U.S. Travel

The  opportunity to travel is one reason many physicians choose locum tenens. It’s a chance for you to control where you work and explore different areas of the U.S. without interrupting your flow of income. For example, perhaps you’ve always dreamed of exploring the mountains of Wyoming. Accepting a locum tenens position in that region allows you time to enjoy it and still see patients. 


Travel isn’t always about recreation, though. Some physicians choose locum tenens to explore a city before moving there. It gives them a chance to scout the area and get a feel for what life would be like.


Flexible Scheduling is the Cure

A primary benefit of taking locum tenens assignments is flexibility in scheduling which can fix many life problems. 


Burn Out

An  American Medical Association (AMA) survey found that the overall physician burnout rate is 42 percent, down from 46 percent. Part of the reason they give for the drop is the ability to recognize the signs of burnout and act on them. For some, the answer is locum tenens, especially post-residency.


That flexibility means you work when you want and take some time for yourself that you wouldn’t get going directly into a practice or staff position. This is also when many clinicians are starting families and looking for ways to find work-life balance.


Work-Life Balance

Locum tenens gives you the flexibility you won’t get as a partner of a practice or as a staff member at a hospital. For example, you could choose an assignment that allows you only to work the second shift, leaving mornings free to get the kids up and ready for school. On the other hand, maybe you prefer working overnight to have more free time with a spouse or friends.


Retirement Engagement

Retirement doesn’t have to mean a physician stops practicing altogether. The flexibility with locum tenens opportunities could mean they continue working a few hours a week in underserved areas. It allows them to give back to communities that need their help the most.


Some physicians prefer to ease out of work, as well. Locum tenens means they can leave their practice behind but still work if and when they want.



Locum tenens can supplement your income and help pay off the school debt. Doctors doing fellowships, for instance, get an opportunity to further their training, but it comes at a cost. Doing locum tenens work means a bigger payout that can help make ends meet. The flexible scheduling allows them to fit their shifts in while still doing their training. 


It Is About the Opportunity

Some physicians choose the locum tenens lifestyle simply for the experience. It can be a chance to work in new environments and experience new things. These new opportunities look impressive on their CVs as they advance their careers. Locum tenens might also introduce them to a variety of specialties and allow them to get continuing education credits


It might be the environment they wish to experience. Working in a clinic is different from what you experience in a hospital, for example. Maybe it is a chance to work in a mobile unit or to experience telehealth services.


Whatever the reason for taking on the locum tenens lifestyle, it is a flexible career option that goes beyond what most physicians can experience. So why wouldn’t you want that?

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