A locum tenens is a doctor who fills in for another doctor while he or she is away from his or her medical practice. The individual acts as a temporary short-term physician. If you are a healthcare practitioner who is looking for a locum position, you must be very careful when choosing the right locum tenens company. Be selective and always look for quality.
Before you even begin to look, you must figure out what matters most to you for the locum job. Do you want to work in a particular type of locale, such as a practice in the mountains or in a tropical climate? Or is the patient profile what is most significant to you? Are you looking to work in a variety of clinical settings? Are you looking to get to know others who specialize in the same or similar area of medicine that you do? The more information you are armed with, the better off you will be in making the right decision.
The Selection Process
Now it is time to get in touch with locum tenens companies that have good, solid reputations and also the ones that cater to your individual needs. When talking to recruiters, pay close attention to how they relate to you. A recruiter who does his job well will ask a number of questions and be very inquisitive. In particular, the individual should inquire about your future goals and the lifestyle you live. You are more likely to find a good match if you are working with a recruiter who knows his or her business.
Time for Your Questions
Once you have compiled a list of quality locum tenens agencies, you need to start asking some pertinent questions of each company representative. How exactly is compensation handled? Walk away from a company that is hesitant to discuss how locum physicians are compensated. A good agency will be more than happy to explain all of the compensation policies and procedures to you. It is wise to choose a company that has a standard type of pay period.
Your paycheck is not the only kind of compensation you need to find out about. What other types of compensation does the company provide to its doctors? Find out about such things as credentialing, licensure, travel expenses, accommodations and professional liability insurance.
Assistance with Licensing
You open the door to many more opportunities if you are licensed to practice in as many different states as possible. Being flexible and versatile brings many perks such as more lucrative job offers, the opportunity to try out different clinical settings and higher pay. A locum tenens company that is worth your time is one that will take care of licensing for you. A company with licensure services will process applications on a full time basis. This means that applications are dealt with in a speedy and efficient manner. It also means that you can start your locum job sooner, as opposed to having to wait until later.
Practicing as a temporary physician carries a high risk of malpractice suits. All doctors need to know all the ins and outs of insurance, but this is particularly important for locum tenens practitioners. Do not sign on to work with a company that does not cover you under their own professional liability insurance coverage. Many doctors choose the locum route for practicing in order that their professional liability insurance will be taken care of for them.
If you wish to look for work as a locum, you must follow certain steps to ensure you find a position you will be satisfied with. Decide what setting you wish to work in and what type of climate appeals to you. Find a well respected locum tenens agency to assist you with the selection process. Write up a list of pertinent questions to ask of the agency you sign with. Choose a locum company that will take care of licensing issues for you. When it comes to insurance, pick an agency that will cover you under their own coverage for professional liability insurance.