Recruitment and physician staffing is a unique job that brings both clients and associates together to create the perfect match between the two. Those searching for locum tenens careers in Houston, Miami, or the surrounding areas often wonder what their locum tenens agency recruiter does on a day to day basis. Mint Physician Staffing, a premier locum tenens agency, conducts a one on one with one of our star recruiters & account managers, Selmen Selman, as he answers some frequently asked questions regarding a day in the life of a Mint Physician Staffing recruiter below.
Q: How did you end up in physician recruitment?
A: A family member of mine works next door to Mint Physician Staffing’s locum tenens agency in Miami and had mentioned to me that I should consider working as a recruiter. I was originally interested in the financial industry, but after meeting with Stuart [McKelvey], I was really sold on his history as a businessman and the culture of the company. My conversation with him inspired me to research the healthcare industry. When I learned about the growth and potential of locum tenens careers, I knew this would be a long-lasting industry I wanted to get involved in.
Q: What’s a typical workday like? Are there urgent, spur-of-the-moment positions that need to be filled?
A: It is a roller coaster. You have to keep your head on a swivel, and you need to be able to deal with high-pressure situations. Travel arrangements can cause hiccups for a locum tenens physician. A client can have something happen and will need emergency shifts covered within a three-week time span. Murphy’s Law is real, and something you have to expect to combat. However, that makes successful deals that much sweeter when you’ve made all parties involved happy.
Q: How do you spend your time each day?
A: It always depends. Some months I’m spending 75% of my time calling physicians, recruiting for new assignments, while 25% of my time is dedicated to building game plans and scheduling doctors I currently work with. Other months, it’s 80% paperwork to try and expedite privileges as quickly as possible. The time I dedicate towards certain things on a day to day basis is all dependent on what my roster of doctors needs from me at any given time.
Q: Do you have a favorite job type to recruit for, as far as hospital-based, freestanding, rural, high-acuity, etc.?
A: I don’t have a favorite job to recruit for, but I do prefer recruiting for clients that we have a direct a relationship with. When a VMS or MSP is involved, so many different layers of communication causes the transfer of information to be slowed.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
A: First and foremost, saving lives. After that, showing physicians that they can have a lot more flexibility and enjoyment in the workplace if they are open-minded to becoming a locum tenens physician. It’s a great feeling when you’re able to completely change a physician’s life from both a family and financial perspective. Coming from a family of doctors, I have witnessed firsthand the workload and stress that comes with being a physician and how physicians are sometimes taken advantage of.
Q: Tell me about your relationships with your doctors. Have any become personal friends?
A: I have. A lot of physicians I work with are just a bit older than me, so we share a similar taste in music and pop culture, which I find pretty cool. I also have had physicians fly into Miami and meet me for lunch. I am actually planning a fishing trip with a physician I work with. It’s refreshing to see how close you can become to the doctors you place. At the end of the day, they confide in you, and that is a huge responsibility. That responsibility can lead to friendships if handled correctly, and who doesn’t love new friends!
Q: As an important part of the locum tenens agency, what advice would you give to first-time locum tenens physicians?
A: Find the right consultant. Someone you can trust and that fits your personality. Do not chase the money and the crazy rates everyone talks about. Those rates come with relationships. It is much easier for a company to make exceptions on deals for physicians that have built a reputation with them.
For example, I have gotten a few physicians rates at $350+ an hour for emergency shifts before. However, those same physicians are also the ones to help us out when we need to satisfy a client for a few shifts at $215 an hour. You must have a give and take relationship with the locum tenens agency and consultant you choose to work with. Your consultant should also be an expert in the industry and be able to explain to you how the locum tenens industry works, from a business perspective. On the flip side, the physician should also want to understand the business acumen of medicine as well: an understanding of payer mix, reimbursement, charting, national groups compared to democratic groups, VMS systems, MSP systems, who the key players are in the industry, etc. All of this is essential to making better decisions and knowing what to ask for.
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