Locum Tenen 101: Everything You Need To Know

Updated on April 7, 2021

Starting your career in the medical field, especially in these challenging times, can be difficult. However, there are options like Locum Tenen that you can consider initially to kickstart your medical career. 

Don’t know what a locum tenen is and why it can be your go-to career option? We’ve got you covered. This article covers the locum tenen career from scratch. 

Have a look. 

What is a Locum Tenen Physician?

A locum tenen physician is a physician who provides temporary services to help fill vacancies in healthcare facilities created by vacations and departing permanent staff. Locum tenens, sometimes referred to as just a locum, is a Latin term that means “a temporary substitute.” 

Why Become a Locum Tenen?

There are many reasons to become a locum tenens physician. Whether you are just looking for flexibility in your career or want to take advantage of the opportunity to travel to new locations and see the World, look no further. 

New graduates and those in between permanent jobs are also excellent candidates to become a locum tenens physician. Those looking to supplement their current income with a locum assignment also have a great opportunity to do so at their convenience and choosing.

How Do I Find a Locum Tenens Job?

When you think you are ready to take the next step and begin your career as a locum tenens physician, you will probably want to apply with a staffing agency. Staffing agencies have jobs nationwide and can help match your skills with the right assignment. 

You will typically fill out an application and submit your CV to that agency. In turn, they will begin the process of finding you the perfect assignment. 

What Specialties Do Locum Tenens Practice?

The choices are wide. Common ones include:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Hospitalist
  • Ophthalmology
  • Cardiology
  • Infectious Disease
  • Orthopaedics
  • Dermatology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Emergency
  • Fetal Medicine
  • Physical Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Neonatology
  • Psychiatry
  • Otolaryngology
  • Nephrology
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Family Practice
  • Neurology
  • Radiology
  • Gastroenterology
  • OB/GYN
  • Rheumatologist
  • General Surgery
  • Occupational
  • Urology
  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Vascular Surgery

Still, confused about Locum tenens? The below commonly asked questions will help. 

Locum Tenants FAQ

Can I work fulltime as a Locum Tenen?

That is completely up to you. If your agency offers a guaranteed work contract, you can work full-time, but you will most likely have to accept any jobs or locations the agency recommends. Otherwise, you will depend on the agency to find you enough jobs that you like to keep you busy.

How Much Money Can I Make as a Locum Tenen?

You will most likely not make as much money as you would in private or group practice. However, if you look at the total package, you might come close. When you figure that most of your expenses are paid except for food, it all adds up.

Do Companies Have Locum Tenens Jobs in Local Areas?

There are locum tenen companies that specialize in placing physicians in a regional area. Some will go the extra mile and try to find you work within 100 miles of your current location. But the advantage of working through a locum tenens agency is that they can find you great locations, great work settings, and a decent pay package anywhere in the US. And sometimes, other countries.

Where Do Locum Tenens Work?

A locum tenens is in the driver’s seat. He or she gets all the choices and gets to make all of the decisions. Locum tenens physicians work in all of the United States, and in some cases, foreign countries. Every imaginable practice setting uses locums to fill in when they need temporary staffing.

Opportunities abound in rural communities, where the population to physician distribution is most misaligned. 

Most firms work with facilities all across the country. Some specialize in certain states or regions of the country. Some also work with clients in countries other than the United States.

Final Word

Locum Tenens can be a good career option if you’re starting out in your medical career. All you need is the right knowledge to make an informed decision. 

Use this article to make an informed decision about your medical career. 

All the best!

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