What is emergency medicine locum tenens?
Emergency medicine locum tenens is a physician who temporarily fulfills the responsibilities of a regular physician when that physician is on leave, or when a hospital or medical facility is in need of additional staff. Locum originates from the Latin phrase locum tenens, which means “place holder.” Physicians who take on this “freelance” role are still governed under the same regulatory bodies as emergency medicine physicians in permanent staff positions, and must conduct themselves accordingly.
What are the benefits for emergency medicine physicians choosing to perform locum tenens work?
Arguably the most important of our locum tenens FAQs; physicians often opt to perform locum tenens work as opposed to taking on a permanent staff position to avoid the burnout that commonly occurs with hospital physicians and private practitioners. Locum tenens physicians are able to practice emergency medicine and take a break to sort out personal chores, spend time with family, take vacations, and take control of their schedules. Locums affords physicians much greater flexibility than a normal full-time permanent position allows.
Although locum tenens physicians typically conduct emergency medicine and supplemental services on a strictly temporary basis, others view it as an opportunity to test out a position that they may be interested in working permanently. They are able to determine whether the hospital or medical facility is a great fit in terms of supplemental staff and resources.
Some emergency medicine locum tenens physicians have other motives. While the entry-level salary of an emergency medicine physician is higher than that of most other industries at the same stage, medical school debt is still a large expense to be covered at some point. As a result, physicians take on locum tenens work to supplement their permanent staffing income and help pay off bills, or to save for other major purchases. Alternatively, some locum tenens physicians simply want to give back and perform emergency services in areas that don’t have access to sophisticated healthcare.
As a locum tenens physician, the pressure that comes along with practicing emergency medicine as a staff physician is not as strenuous, as locums physicians can alternate between working in high-volume and low-volume facilities. Locum tenens work affords more time to decide if all your critical needs and desires such as geography, income potential, practice style, administrative agendas, and community profile line up with your long-term goals.
Why would facilities use a locum tenens staffing agency for emergency medicine positions?
Hospitals and clinics require assistance from physician staffing agencies to find emergency medicine physicians who can fill in when their physicians are on vacation or to take over a permanent vacancy. Additionally, to help lighten their burden during during peak seasons, it is usually much more cost effective to supplement the emergency department’s permanent staff with locum tenens emergency medicine physicians.
Are there opportunities for locum tenens work nationwide?
Yes, physicians choosing to work locum tenens find that there are thousands of locum tenens physician staffing contracts available on a regular basis. Due to the high demand for emergency medicine professionals, physicians turn more and more to locum tenens work in order to choose what’s right for them while avoiding the stress that comes with working at a hospital or other medical facility. Mint Physician Staffing has job orders for emergency medicine locum tenens across the country and even helps with licensing in new states.
How can I be successful working as an emergency medicine locum tenens physician?
When working locum tenens for emergency medicine, be sure to choose assignments that work for you. Most often, the assignments last from a few days to a few weeks. There are some instances where an assignment may be extended for months. As a locum tenens physician, it is recommended that you are flexible with assignments and be willing to take on challenges that will enhance your skillset and experience.
Most importantly, maintain an open line of communication with your Recruitment Consultant and inform them of any updates to your licensures and availability.
As you take on more locum tenens assignments, ensure that you’re an asset to the staff and give them confidence that they can rely on you in the future if and when one of their physicians needs to go on a vacation or if they find themselves short staffed. The better your relationship is with the hospital or medical facility, the better your reputation will be amongst your agency – opening up more opportunities for locums work in emergency medicine.
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