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What to Expect As A Locum Tenens Physician

If you’re considering locum tenens work, then you likely want to know what a normal day looks like. Although this can be tough to pinpoint, we can provide you with a general overview of what to expect.


Being a locum tenens clinician is about more than just finding your next job opportunity; it’s a chance to truly explore all of your career options. And this exploration can lead to forming relationships that you will benefit from for years to come.


However, your days as a locum tenens physician will not always be your standard 12-hour shift with the same routine.




What to Expect From an Assignment as a Locum Tenens Physician

Let’s set the stage: You’re a first-time locum tenens physician who just accepted their first assignment. Assuming you begin your assignment immediately, you’re likely excited about the new experience and may be wondering how the next few days will look.


Below are four aspects of a locum tenens assignment you should know about:


  • Travel
  • Training/orientation
  • Assignment 
  • Leisure time



Where you live and where your next assignment is located will ultimately determine your mode of transportation. This will typically be through an airplane, car, or a combination of both.


The cost of this trip will often be covered by the recruiting agency that assists you in finding locum tenens assignments. Their job is to make sure that your travel experience is as smooth as possible, therefore, be specific about what your travel preferences are, such as:


  • Do you prefer a window, middle, or aisle seat?
  • What time of the day would you prefer to travel?
  • Do you have any travel rewards (air, car rental, etc.) that you want to apply to the trip?
  • Any other preferences?


If you have a family, locum tenens agencies may try and accommodate them as well, however, you may end up paying for a portion of the airfare.




Your training or orientation will be different depending on the facility you’re working in, and this step could even begin before you leave your home. Luckily for you, this should still count as billable hours!


This training or orientation is important in order for you to understand the basic expectations coming from your temporary employer, and the information you learn from this will be important to know whether you’re there for a week, month, or year.


Your orientation at a new facility will set your stage for success, so make sure you pay attention and take it seriously.




Once you’ve settled into the area and have finished all of your initial training and orientations, it’s time to start working the assignment. 


Whether you’re full-time or part-time, locum tenens assignments are no different than working in a permanent role for any hospital. You’ll be patient-facing and completing the tasks you were born to do! This transition is typically smooth for a locum physician, with only minor obstacles such as:


  • Adjusting to working with new staff
  • Learning to physically navigate your new facility


Look to those working around you if you need help. Especially in the cases of longer stays, you’ll want to build strong relationships with your temporary colleagues.



Leisure Time

Finding the perfect work-life balance can prove difficult, especially in the medical field. 


Due to the amount of traveling you’ll be doing, you will have the opportunity to see places from all across the country. And this frequent change of scenery is a great way to battle physician burnout, which has become a major problem in recent years.


This can also be a great opportunity for you to explore your options if you plan on making a permanent move in the near or distant future. As a result, becoming a locum tenens physician is beneficial for medical workers of many different lifestyles and career paths.



Build Connections for Life

Locum tenens physician staffing is a much-needed service in today’s world. As a result, you have the opportunity to travel across the country and build professional and personal connections that will last for life. 


If you’re ready to get started on your locum tenens journey, then reach out to us and see what our services have to offer you.

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