What is a locum tenens physician?

Locum practitioners are skilled health care professionals who are trained and licensed to practice medicine for a short term medical assignment. The physician temporarily takes the place of a physician at an office, hospital, medical practice, or facility in order to fill a vacancy for a limited period of time. The MD or DO is paid through the locum tenens company, such as Healthcare Connections, for the short term employment during this transitional period. They are not employed by either the client who has the physician opening of the locum tenens agency. The physician is considered an independent contractor.

What credentials are needed by the locum tenens physician?

The doctor must hold a state license in the state where they will perform their locum tenens assignment. They can become licensed in numerous states. A locum tenens physician must be board eligible (BE) or board certified (BC) in his or her specific field of specialty. A physician does not need to go to medical school in the US to be eligible for a temporary locums position. Residents and interns who have not completed their residency or internship program are not eligible for this type of assignment. A physician who is in a fellowship may apply for a locum tenens position. Physicians with a green card are also eligible for a locums job. Any physician with a visa status, such as a J1 or H1, is not eligible to become a locum tenens physician.

Why does a physician want to be a locum tenens physician?

There are many employment opportunities for locum tenens physicians. Locum tenens positions appeal to physicians for a variety of reasons. They are the perfect opportunity for a new physician to make some money while exploring and searching for a permanent placement. For example, a physician can earn extra cash by moonlighting on weekends while holding their permanent professional position. Locum tenens opportunities appeal to retired physicians who still need to work part-time to supplement their income. Some physicians choose to practice locums full-time because they don’t like hospital or office politics. A physician who practices locum tenens full time is called a locum tenens practitioner or a locums physician. Locum tenens opportunities are also available to those seeking a lifestyle change or to those who like to combine travel and vacation while working in the United States. Locum tenens opportunities appeal to physicians that are starting up or winding down a practice. Seeking locum tenens assignments provides an ongoing opportunity to make additional cash.

Can an early retiree become a locums physician?

An early retiree is an excellent candidate to become locum tenens physician. They can work part time in order to retain their technical skills and travel to different assignments throughout the US or take an assignment where they live. If the physician likes to travel, they can choose the locations where they would like to vacation and take an assignment in that area. The physician can also experience working in a different setting. For example, if the doctor has always worked in an inpatient setting, they can now do locums in a multi-specialty group.

Can a physician who has just completed his or her training become a locums physician?

A physician who has completed his/her training would be an excellent candidate for a locums job. This is a perfect opportunity for a new physician to take their time and explore various opportunities and determine what type of setting is best for them. For example, they could determine if they enjoy working more in a clinic or a hospital.

Would a physician who is in a transitional period in there career make a good locum tenens physician?

A physician who is in a transitional time in their career would be an excellent locums candidate. A physician might be in between permanent positions and need to use a locums job to fill in the gap. Some reasons why a physician might be in between permanent positions would be waiting for a state licensure, relocating to another community, or starting up or winding down a practice.

Would a physician who is tired of administrative duties be a good candidate for a locum tenens position?

A physician who is tired of the administrative duties or office politics would be an excellent candidate for a locums job. They could apply for temporary jobs that don’t have a long term commitment or administrative responsibilities.

What is the process to apply for a locum tenens job through Healthcare Connections?

Please refer to our information on the locum tenens process located here.