Navigating the world of locum work: Finding the best opportunities and weighing the pros and cons.

Navigating the world of locum work: Finding the best opportunities and weighing the pros and cons.

You are currently viewing Navigating the world of locum work: Finding the best opportunities and weighing the pros and cons.

Finding the right job in the medical field can be a daunting and challenging task. This is especially true for doctors looking for new opportunities and career growth. The popularity of locum tenens, or temporary physician work, has steadily risen in recent years.

With its flexible scheduling, higher pay rates, and potential for travel, locums have become an attractive option for doctors looking for new challenges and experiences.

However, like any job, locum tenens also has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

This blog post will explore how to find great opportunities in locum tenens and the advantages and disadvantages of locum tenens for physicians.

Finding Great Locum Tenens Opportunities

One of the main reasons why doctors choose locum tenens is the opportunity to explore different locations and work settings. However, figuring out where to start looking for these opportunities can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you find great locum tenens opportunities:

1. Utilize recruitment agencies

One of the best ways to find locum tenens opportunities is through recruitment agencies. These agencies specialize in connecting healthcare providers with temporary job opportunities. They have a vast network of clients, including hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities, where they can match your skills and preferences with available locum tenens positions.

Additionally, recruitment agencies support and assist throughout the locum tenens process, such as credentialing and negotiations.

2. Network with other physicians

Networking with other physicians is another effective way to find locum tenens opportunities. Apart from your colleagues or former classmates, you can also attend medical conferences and events to connect with other doctors and learn about potential job openings.

Networking with other physicians

You can also join online forums and communities specifically for locum tenens doctors to expand your network and exchange information and job leads.

3. Connect with locum tenens job boards

There are various job boards for locum tenens positions, such as and CompHealth. These websites allow you to filter your search based on location, specialty, and schedule. They also provide information about the job details, pay rates, and even reviews from other locum tenens doctors who have worked with the facility.

Signing up for email alerts is also a great way to stay updated on new opportunities that match your criteria.

4. Reach out to your network of healthcare facilities

If you have previously worked at a healthcare facility as a permanent physician, you can contact them to inquire about locum tenens opportunities. Many facilities prefer to work with doctors already familiar with their systems and processes.

Reach out to your network of healthcare facilities

You can also ask for referrals from your former colleagues or managers who may know of locum tenens positions in other facilities.

5. Utilize social media platforms

Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter can help find locum tenens opportunities. Many healthcare facilities and recruitment agencies post job openings on social media. You can also join locum tenens groups on these platforms to connect with other physicians and stay updated on job opportunities in your field.

Advantages of Locum Tenens

While the primary reason for choosing locum tenens may be the opportunity to work in different locations, other advantages make it an appealing option for physicians. These advantages include:

1. Flexibility

One of the main advantages of locum tenens is flexibility. As a locum tenens physician, you can control your schedule and choose when and where to work. This gives you a better work-life balance and more time for personal interests or other commitments.

2. Higher pay rates

In general, locum tenens physicians receive higher pay rates compared to permanent positions. Healthcare facilities often have urgent needs to fill temporary vacancies and are willing to offer competitive rates to attract skilled and experienced physicians.

3. Exposure to new skills and experiences

Working in different locations and settings allows locum tenens physicians to gain exposure to new skills and experiences. This can benefit career growth and make you more attractive to potential employers.

4. Potential for travel

Potential for travel with locum tenens

For those who enjoy traveling, locum tenens can be an excellent opportunity to explore different places while still working as a physician. Depending on your preferences, you can choose assignments in different cities, states, or even countries.

5. Tax benefits

Locum tenens physicians are considered self-employed, which means they can take advantage of certain tax deductions that may not be available to permanent employees. These deductions include travel expenses, home office costs, and equipment purchases.

Disadvantages of Locum Tenens

While locum tenens has many advantages, it also has its own set of disadvantages. It is essential to consider these factors before deciding to pursue a career in locum tenens. Some of the disadvantages of locum tenens include:

1. Inconsistent work

Locum tenens positions are temporary, meaning consistent work is not guaranteed. There may be periods when you cannot secure assignments, resulting in a fluctuation in income. This can be challenging for those who prefer a stable and predictable workload.

2. Increased administrative tasks

As a locum tenens physician, you will work with different facilities, each with its systems and processes. This can mean filling out various forms, learning new electronic medical record systems, and completing multiple credentialing processes. This can be time-consuming and adds to the administrative tasks of being a physician.

3. Lack of benefits

Unlike permanent positions, locum tenens positions do not typically come with benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. You must factor these additional expenses into your budget and plan accordingly.

4. Potential for burnout

The flexibility and opportunity for travel that comes with locum tenens can also be a double-edged sword. Constantly moving from one assignment to another, adapting to new working environments, and being away from home can lead to burnout for some physicians.

5. Limited patient relationships

In locum tenens positions, physicians cannot build long-term relationships with patients. This may be challenging for those who value the continuity of care and the rapport that comes with it.


Locum tenens can be an excellent opportunity for doctors to explore new locations, gain new skills, and have a flexible work schedule. By utilizing recruitment agencies, networking, and job boards, physicians can find great locum tenens opportunities.

However, it is essential to carefully consider the potential drawbacks of locum tenens, such as inconsistent work and a lack of benefits. Understand your preferences and career goals, and use this information to decide whether locum tenens fit you.

FAQs about Locum Tenens

1. Is locum tenens a good career choice for doctors?

The answer to this question will depend on your personal preferences and career goals. Locum tenens offers flexibility, higher pay, and exposure to new skills and experiences, but it also has drawbacks. Considering these factors carefully before pursuing a locum tenens career is essential.

2. How do I negotiate for better pay and benefits as a locum tenens physician?

Negotiating for better pay and benefits can be challenging as a locum tenens physician, as each assignment may have different rates. However, knowing your worth and researching industry standards for locum tenens pay rates is essential. You can also seek advice and support from your recruitment agency when negotiating favorable terms.

3. Are any additional certifications or qualifications required for locum tenens work?

There are no extra certifications or qualifications required for locum tenens work. However, some healthcare facilities may prefer physicians with experience in a particular speciality or a valid medical license in their state. Stay updated on any requirements for the locations you are interested in, and ensure you have the qualifications for the position.

4. Can I work as a locum tenens physician while still training?

Yes, some locum tenens positions may be available to physicians still in training. However, checking with your training program and ensuring you have the necessary approvals before pursuing locum tenens work is essential.

5. How do I handle multiple state licenses for locum tenens work?

Obtaining a medical license in each state where you want to practice can be time-consuming and costly. However, some states offer expedited licensing processes for locum tenens physicians. Alternatively, you can work with a locum tenens agency or individual facilities that can help with the licensing process.

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