How to Transition to Locum Tenens Work: Getting Started

Whether you are a physician with years of experience behind you or a newly-minted resident in the midst of launching your career, chances are there is a locum tenens assignment for you. In fact, there are hundreds of these temporary opportunities available for physicians and advanced practitioners across the country. 

But how does one transition to locum tenens?

Staff Care, we are here to guide you through the process and make it as simple as possible to start working locum tenens assignments.  

Making this type of career move can be an exciting and rewarding time—especially since locum tenens work provides the flexibility, benefits, and personal and professional satisfaction that many of today’s clinicians are seeking.

Benefits of choosing locums work

There are countless advantages for those who transition to locum tenens. In addition to flexible work options, career growth, travel opportunities, excellent compensation and the satisfaction that comes from knowing patients truly need your skills, locum candidates can enjoy many additional perks. New physicians can even use locum assignments to explore a variety of workplace settings and locations, to help them determine where they might like to practice long-term. 

When you partner with a full-service locum tenens agency like Staff Care, you get access to
benefits far beyond just placement assistance. Your agency team will assist with state licensure and credentialing, as well as free housing, travel reimbursements, professional liability insurance and clinical support.

If you are seeking work in a state that happens to have a long licensing period and does not participate in the
Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, your recruiter can often find work in states where you are currently licensed and then help get you to your preferred location when your new license is issued. Staff Care can even pay your licensing fees

How to start working locum tenens

The first step to transition to locum tenens is to choose a reputable locum staffing agency that has a wide variety of assignments and a diverse network of client hospitals, clinics and practices. You’ll want to do your research and make sure the firm you choose also has comprehensive benefits. Then, you can start talking with locum tenens recruiters to find one who feels like a good fit for you.  

(Interested in working with Staff Care? Call 877-369-8576 or fill out our
quick contact form.)  

Once you start working with a recruiter, he or she will talk to you about your goals, answer any questions about locum tenens work, and help put together your candidate profile to submit to the locum jobs that you choose. Your recruiter will also set up phone interviews and submit important documentation.

After an offer is made and accepted, your recruiter and licensing team will coordinate licensing and credentialing on your behalf. Locum practitioners are compensated as independent contractor(s), and your locum tenens agency should reimburse additional travel fees and expenses.  

If you currently have a solo medical practice or partnership and are ready to retire and take on some locum tenens work, there are
several steps involved in closing your practice, such as consulting your malpractice insurance carrier, notifying your patients, transitioning medical records and more.

Transition to locum job flexibility and variety

One of the biggest perks of locum tenens is the amount of flexibility and variety this career offers. You can tailor contracts and assignments to meet the needs of you and your family. Locum work can be for a few weeks or months, or they can be a long-term situation. Some practitioners will work a locum shift each week on an ongoing basis, while others will work full-time locum assignments back to back, or with several weeks in between to enjoy more time off. 

Each assignment is different. For example, a major hospital may need an internist to cover a staff member’s vacation for three or four weeks, or a private practice may be looking for a clinician to work for six months or more while they search for a permanent replacement. There are also part-time locum tenens jobs you can work in addition to your current job, known as “
medical moonlighting.”  

If you know what type of locum tenens assignments you prefer, let your recruiter know early in the process. But try to keep an open mind and be willing to consider different work environments and locations, because the more flexible and adaptable you are, the more assignment possibilities you’ll have.

Plus, you never know when a new locum destination or job might surprise you—in the best possible way.

6 Tips for Working with a Locum Tenens Recruiter 

Does a transition to locum tenens sound appealing? If so, you can
connect with a placement specialist at Staff Care. Our knowledgeable team is available to answer questions and guide you through the process.  

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