A growing number of healthcare employers seek locum tenens practitioners and clinicians to satisfy increasing demands amid staff shortages. Twenty-one percent of healthcare managers reported using locum tenens surgeons alone in 2019 compared to 10.8% in 2016. The numbers similarly increase for other positions such as internal medicine subspecialists and anesthesiologists.
As the need for healthcare professionals continues to increase, now is a great time to get into locum tenens travel. However, if you're not sure whether locum tenens work is suitable for you, here we'll go over some of the benefits you'll find with these opportunities.
You Can Try Before You Move
If you're starting your career and aren't sure where you want to work, you can think of locum tenens travel as a way to "sample" different options. Through locum tenens work, you can experience different areas, including solo, rural, urban, multispecialty groups, small groups, or other practices before choosing your career. In addition, this work gives you the ability to try out the various lifestyles you'll find all over the country, which can help you decide where you want to establish your home. Unlike many full-time healthcare jobs, you'll never have to feel stuck where you are with the freedom that locum tenens work offers.
You Can Earn Higher Salaries
Locum tenens clinicians can earn a higher income for the amount of work they do. While a majority of locum tenens providers don't work full-time, they still can achieve a higher income than full-time employees.
The higher salaries found with locum tenens travel are also helpful in managing medical school debt. With proper planning ahead of time, medical school graduates can line up locum tenens work and begin work immediately. As long as earning potential is more important than geography, recruiters are likely to search for the best locum tenens opportunities. Even if you go into full-time work, you may still be able to benefit financially from locum tenens work on the side. Because locum tenens work can cover malpractice premiums, travel, and housing, the minimal overhead can leave more money left over to pay off student loans.
You Have Freedom of Choice
Working as a locum tenens healthcare provider, you'll benefit from plenty of freedom and flexibility that you won't find with a traditional full-time position. The process of finding locum tenens work typically entails working with a locum staffing agency, which will present you with different options. If the hours or location for a particular job don't appeal to you, you're not required to take the position.
Through locum tenens, you have the ability to choose the job you want with a schedule that's right for you. If you select a job and find that you don't like it, you're not stuck with it, either. Instead, you can complete the work period and move on to another job that's a better fit.
Many hospitals also have difficulty finding full-time clinicians, which gives locum clinicians the chance to complete multiple work periods with the same employer. In turn, clinicians may rotate their work between a few employers that provide the most rewarding experience. For example, they may work locum tenens at one location during the summer and travel to the other during the winter. Thus, there are ultimately many ways to go about locum tenens work, providing plenty of flexibility.
The fact that locum clinicians don't need to work full time also enables them to choose jobs that facilitate a healthy work-life balance. Healthcare providers in these jobs can work for multiple weeks or months at a particular location and then take time off for themselves.
You Get Paid to Travel
The ability to freely travel is one of the biggest reasons why many healthcare providers love locum tenens work. If you enjoy traveling, you can get paid to do it through locum tenens positions. In addition, these jobs will cover travel expenses and housing, which gives you the freedom to see many places all over the country that you may have wanted to visit. While not all locations may be the most exciting, you'll still have the chance to see many beautiful locations that make your job exciting.
One important factor to keep in mind when traveling is licensing. If you want to work across the country, you'll need to be licensed to practice medicine in each state, so you should ensure this aspect is addressed by your recruiter before planning your travels.
Recruiters Do the Heavy Lifting
Another advantage of locum tenens work is working with a recruiter to find the perfect position. Recruiters can hunt for the right jobs based on your personal criteria and present you with multiple options. Thus, you don't have to spend countless hours trying to locate the perfect position when a professional is by your side to help pin down the ideal opportunity.
You're never obligated to take a job, either, and you can spend more of your time practicing over job seeking. As you work with recruiters, they'll take the time to understand precisely what you're looking for to help you find it more easily.
Locum tenens work can be gratifying based on all of these benefits. If you're looking for the perfect job opportunity as a beginner or a veteran, consider getting into this type of work to benefit from more freedom, flexibility, and financial security, among other advantages.
Are you currently looking to get into locum tenens travel? Here at VISTA, we can help you find the perfect position, whether you're just getting started fresh out of medical school or seeking a career change. Simply browse our job board to find the work and travel opportunities that appeal most to you or contact a VISTA expert to get started.