The One Thing You Can Do to Increase Your Success as a Locums Doctor
Working as a locums physician has many benefits: increased time, greater pay, and more control over your schedule and life just to name a few. However, when I talk to physicians who have not been as successful with locums as they would like, I find they always fail to do one thing: travel.
Being willing to travel for locums assignments is the most important aspect of increasing your odds for success. Here are four reasons why:
- There are more opportunities. The need for locums physicians is greatest in underserved areas. Most of these underserved areas may be in rural locations, but they come with unique locums opportunities. For example, because rural/underserved areas have a difficult time recruiting and retaining physicians, they often pay more than their urban counterparts to attract you.
- You may be “locked out” of the local market. Depending on your prior job situation, you may be subject to a “non-compete” clause, which may prohibit you from practicing medicine locally. In addition, if you have ever worked at a particular healthcare organization, you are already “known to them” and, therefore, may not be able to work locums there through a locums company. Thus, in order to increase your odds of finding locums work, it may require you to go out of town.
- Traveling for locums is not as bad as it may seem. Most locums companies pay for travel accommodations, like your flights, hotels, and rental cars. Or when driving your own vehicle, they will reimburse you for mileage. These locums assignments are also typically in a small town, meaning the commute can’t be beat. For example, when I work in West Virginia, my drive to the hospital is 7 minutes as opposed to the 45 minute to one hour commute I had when working in Houston.
- You’re there to work. When you travel for a locums assignment, you are there to work, not for leisure. Your daily schedule will comprise going to work, then heading back to the hotel. This is similar to the schedule I had working in Houston, where I live. As an Intensivist, I work 12-hour shifts. I would go to work, then come home and go straight to bed. My schedule is essentially the same when I am out of town on a locums assignment. The great thing about traveling for locums is that when I am out of town at work, I am working. However, when I am at home in Houston, I really get to enjoy being at home and not having to work.
Many physicians may be reluctant to travel for locums because they have children, are married, or just don’t like to jet set. In these instances, it is important to work with a locums company such as Floyd Lee Locums. Floyd Lee Locums is a concierge locums company that has a dedicated team of travel specialists who will work closely with you to address any issues or concerns you may have regarding traveling for your locums assignments. Contact them today at www.FloydLeeLocums.com
Contributed by: Dr. Stephanie E. Freeman.
Stephanie E. Freeman, MD, earned her Medical Degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and her Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Freeman also completed a Geriatrics fellowship at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. She obtained her Masters of Business Administration at Auburn University.