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Benefits of Locum Tenens After Residency

You’ve put in countless hours of coursework, spent years working as a resident and you have the Board certification to prove your chops. Graduating from medical school is a remarkable feat, no doubt, but it’s also a pivotal moment in determining the future of your career. While you’ve already selected your specialty, you must consider where you want to practice and the lifestyle you want to pursue.


You’re faced with an important question: locum tenens or full-time work? The decision can impact where you live, your earning potential and the lifestyle you’ll experience as a provider. While permanent positions have been the norm for many providers who are entering the medical field, the demand for freedom and work/life balance is causing many providers to give up their full-time hospital job for contract-based locum tenens work.


What is Locum Tenens?

Locum tenens physicians provide contract-based work for hospitals that have a need. If a hospital experiences a shortage of physicians, they’ll work with a locum tenens staffing company to secure temporary providers.


As a locum tenens provider, you’ll partner with a staffing company to learn about new opportunities across the country. Positions vary in length, ranging from a few weeks to several months. You can select when and where you’d like to be placed, and the staffing company will handle all of the details (e.g. malpractice insurance, licensing and travel) so you can focus on providing quality patient care.


Benefits of Locum Tenens

If you’re on the fence about where you’d like to take your career after residency, there are many benefits of locum tenens work that make it a lucrative option. From the work schedule to compensation, here are a few reasons why more providers are making the switch from full-time work:

  • Flexibility: One of the primary considerations for providers who choose locum tenens is the flexibility that it offers. As you’re learning more about where you’d like to end up long-term, locum tenens assignments allow you to explore various practice settings and geographic locations before making a permanent commitment. As a locum tenens provider, you’re not bound to a standard work week. You can choose to take time off between assignments to pursue other passions.
  • Travel Opportunities: It’s a common misconception that locum tenens assignments are always located in rural areas where no one else wants to live. With opportunities available in nearly every state, you can explore the country while practicing your profession. If there’s a region that you’ve never experienced, it’s easy to add travel days to an assignment. From skiing in the Rockies to windsurfing off the coast of California, locum tenens work offers endless adventure.
  • Compensation: If you’re buried in student loan debt, locum tenens work may be the best option for quickly paying back your loans. In most cases, locums positions pay more than permanent hospital doctor positions. Locum tenens providers get paid by the hour regardless of how many patients are seen, whereas many hospitals pay full-time providers based on the number of patients seen. Come tax season, locum tenens providers get an additional tax write-off for work as an independent contractor.

As you prepare to begin your career after residency, there’s no better way to learn where you’d like to work than by gaining the valuable experience that locums work offers. If locum tenens work is something you’re interested in exploring, we’re here to help. Contact D&Y to speak with a recruiter when you’re ready to learn more.

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