All About Locum Tenens
- What is Locums Tenens?
- Do you qualify?
- FAQs about Locum Tenens
- Tips for Success
- How to Create Your CV
What Is Locum Tenens?
n., pl. locum te•nen•tes (tə-nĕn'tēz).
From the Medieval Latin word locum: accusative of locus, place + Latin tenēns, present participle of tenēre, to hold; Locum Tenens is a person – typically a physician — who substitutes temporarily for another.
”Locum tenens” is a term used to describe physicians and other healthcare providers who work in temporary positions at hospitals, clinics and medical practices across the United States. Initiated in the 1990’s and becoming increasingly popular as the demand for physicians has increased, locum tenens fill temporary vacancies created by vacations, medical and continuing medical education leaves, retirements, or newly-created positions. Over 30,000 physicians take on locum tenens assignments each year.
Whether you are a new physician, in career transition, or are close to retirement, you’ll find the locum tenens life full of advantages. Physicians who have recently completed their residency or fellowship programs, for example, enjoy working as a locum tenens to expand their professional knowledge and gain the first-hand experience needed to make the best long term decisions.
Working a locum tenens position is also a good way to pay off medical school loans more quickly. Think about it – working locums as a resident allows you to not only earn great money but it can also eliminate the burden of your student loans and move you toward being debt free even more quickly.
More seasoned physicians like working locums for the flexibility it brings to their lives. A physician in career transition between permanent jobs could use a locums position to try out a number of jobs before making a change. Or, working locums could reignite the passion for practicing medicine for a physician who has never experienced work outside of the same hospital or medical practice. A locums position could also provide additional income to the physician winding down a practice or allow a retired physician to work temporarily in a location close to relatives in another part of the country. Working locums is also an easy way to supplement a retirement account balance as well – even while on “vacation”.
So why take a locum tenens position? With all of the benefits, adventure, and flexibility locum tenens provides, we think the question should be – why NOT? And you can feel comfortable turning to Advantage Locums to deliver all of the advantages the locums life offers. We have the staffing experience and hospital facility relationships needed to take you where YOU want to go.
Do you Qualify?
Thinking of taking advantage of all the benefits the locums life offers?
The first step is to be sure you qualify. All temporary providers must meet the following criteria:
- Residency Training in the United States
- Eligibility to work as an independent contractor in the United States
- At least one Active State license in good standing
- Active DEA registration
- Willingness to complete and return the Advantage Locums application and Service Agreement and provide supporting documents as requested
- Ability to provide three references from physician with whom you have worked in the last 12 months
- Reasonable Malpractice History — number of cases and total settlement amounts
Ready to take the first step?
Please contact us at 877-301-4045 to learn even more details.
You can also get started by filling out our online application. Once received, an experienced Advantage Locums professional will contact you so you can begin your journey toward becoming a Locum Tenens provider and taking advantage of all of the benefits the locums life offers.
Frequently-Asked Questions by Physicians
What are the steps needed before I can start working a locums position?
- Find a locum tenens company you feel can provide you the opportunities and services you need. The best way to find a good company is by talking to colleagues to get their recommendations. Call the company, connect with a recruiter, and share your preferences and explore the options available to you. Most locum tenens companies provide similar services. Be absolutely sure they pay for and provide you a top rated malpractice insurance policy with an extended reporting period, or tail.
- Organize and complete your paperwork. First, you’ll need to update or put the final touches on your CV. There will be an application to fill out for the locum tenens company and probably one for privileges at the facility. There may also be individual state medical licenses to obtain. Secure copies of your medical school diploma, post graduate training certificates, specialty board certificates, state license pocket cards, state controlled substance registration, and Federal DEA. Be sure to update your references too. A good recruiter will assist you in updating your CV, completing applications, and obtaining state medical licenses. Staying organized on your part will make chasing down the paperwork a lot less stressful. You may want to consider storing copies of all of your documents in PDF format for easy storage and access. (Click here to see a sample CV or to get helpful hints on how to create your own CV)
- Set appropriate expectations and consider your options. After completing your paperwork you will need to clearly define your practice setting and geographic preferences with your recruiter. He/she will need this information to identify the right locum tenens position for you. Be flexible in setting your parameters to increase the number of options available for you to consider. Be sure to discuss the services provided by the locum tenens company as well as your compensation rate before agreeing to be presented for coverage. Also, understand that committing yourself to presentation means if the facility accepts you for services that you are expected to fulfill the request.
- Interview with the healthcare facility. An interview with the facility may be required. You’ll need to provide enough information about yourself to make a good impression yet ask enough specific questions so you feel comfortable with the practice description and what will be expected of you while you are working at the facility.
- Say YES to an Offer. Congratulations! If you are working with Advantage Locums, we’ll give you all of the details you need to get you started in your new position.
- Start practicing. Once at a facility, you’ll typically take part in orientation and then you’ll be doing what you’ve been trained to do – delivering the best quality patient care possible.
How about licensing? How does that work for locum tenens? Unless you are working in a federal facility, you will be required to be licensed in any state where you work. We (or the agency you’ve used to secure your position) will help you obtain the required licenses and certifications needed for any assignment you accept.
How do I get paid? You’ll typically get paid as an independent contractor by your agency. At Advantage Locums you’ll get paid weekly through a direct deposit to your bank and as an independent contractor. In addition to your compensation for service, your other expenses — such as housing and travel, if applicable — are fully covered.
How often am I paid? You will be paid weekly for your locum work through Advantage Locums. Your money will be deposited directly into your savings or checking account. Weekly pay is a nice advantage of working with Advantage Locums. Other agencies may pay bi-weekly or monthly, so be sure to ask.
Tips for a Successful Locums Career
As a Locum Tenens you have an opportunity to travel to different parts of the country while working in a variety of clinical settings. Want the most rewarding experience possible? Simply do what you’ve done in the past to get this far in your career — exhibit the highest standards of quality and proficiency possible. In addition, here are some other tips for making the most of your locums experience:
- Set Expectations – Evaluate your goals, timelines, and interests and share them with your Recruiter. By being upfront about your needs and preferences, you’ll be more likely to find a fulfilling assignment in the timeframe needed.
- Be flexible – Be open to learning more about assignments and geographical areas you hadn’t considered before. Expanding your choice of location and assignment length means more employment opportunities.
- Look beyond the money – It’s hard to ignore, but also think of the other factors when considering an assignment — the area, the people on staff, the experience you’ll gain.
- Maintain more than one state license – Having multiple state licenses will allow you to travel to more areas and provide more opportunities for you.
- Organize your documents – Having your documents organized, and preferably stored electronically in PDF format will make it easier to be credentialed and placed in a new facility. Be sure to keep your CV current and up-to-date. Keep letters of references (from each facility where you have practiced) in your credentialing packet.
- Put your best foot forward – During your interview and while working as a locum tenens, be courteous and respectful. Follow the facility’s rules, value their point of view, and give them the respect you want in return. As in any position, being professional will be recognized by others and rewarded with more references and employment opportunities.