The 1 Thing You Can Never Have Enough of as a Locums Doctor - Floyd Lee Locums

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The 1 Thing You Can Never Have Enough of as a Locums Doctor

The 1 Thing You Can Never Have Enough of as a Locums Doctor

Throughout the course of my 10-year career as a locums physician, many doctors have asked what is the secret to my success. How am I able to work consistently as a locums critical care physician and still have more work opportunities than I know what to do with?

I tell them the secret to my locums success is one thing:

State Medical Licenses!

That’s right, you can never have too many active, unrestricted state medical licenses as a locums physician. In fact, the more licenses you have, the more opportunities you will have to work. Here are three things you can do to make sure you always have plenty of state medical licenses:

  1. Get an unrestricted medical license in the state you are currently living in and in the state in which you plan to move. This especially pertains to residents and fellows. It typically takes between three and six months to obtain an unrestrictive license, so, the sooner you have a license, the sooner you can start working.
  2. Take advantage of locums opportunities for which the locums companies are willing to license you. This applies whether you are already working as a locums physician or are just getting started. Even though the locums company pays for the state medical license, that license belongs to you, and you can use it to work other assignments.
  3. Never, ever, ever, ever let a medical license expire. Even if you have no plans in the foreseeable future to ever practice medicine in a given state again, keep that license. Situations change, and you may need to take advantage of a last-minute locums assignment in a particular state. Furthermore, you may get an opportunity to provide tele-medicine services in a state, or there may be an opportunity to do some non-clinical work in a state. Having an active medical license in hand puts you in position to take advantage of these opportunities.

Having an active, unrestricted state medical license is often the determining factor in your ability to work. Therefore, the more medical licenses you have, the more work you will have.


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.

Learn more at DrStephanieICU.com