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Locum Tenens

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  • Locum Tenens

    Inspired by today's post, I thought I'd start a thread where people can ask questions about and share their experiences with locum tenens. I'm seriously considering locum tenens works after residency (about to start my last year of internal medicine training) and am having a hard time finding reliable first-hand information with my random google searches.

    I'll kick things off with the questions I posted in the comments section of PhysicianOnFIRE's guest post:

    1. Anybody have thoughts on how locum tenens affects student loan repayment? I don’t think there’s anyway I could make that time work toward PSLF, and I wonder if that tradeoff is worth it. I suppose longer appointments in underserved areas may qualify for state/local loan repayment programs, but I'd prefer shorter assignments. Maybe I should just give up going after repayment, refinance, and move on... Thoughts/Experience to share?

    2. Has anybody ever tried doing locum work as a two-physician family? My wife is in family medicine, and we’d be interested in doing locum work together (or in the same region) if possible.

    3. Any general tips on choosing a staffing agency?

  • #2
    I enjoyed PoF's blog very much. It was very well-written as his blogs always are. My perspective is quite a bit different. As a radiologist, I did a couple locum tenens weeks earlier in my career. The opportunities tended to be at lower quality practices/hospitals. I did not enjoy the experiences and did not need the money, so I stopped doing them.

    As a career extender, after giving up the day job, I might consider it again, but only if I am bored or need the money.


    • #3
      This is such an interesting topic. My hb and I love to travel and experience other cultures. We often talk/dream about living in other places for awhile and I had never thought of locums. I just figured due to regulations with licensing it would be practically impossible to practice in another country. I would also be interested in reading more especially about which specialties are particularly known to be in demand for locums.


      • #4
        I answered the questions previously on the main site and feel that doing locums work has had a major impact on my professional and personal life.  I know that my children have loved each adventure and are a big part of the process in deciding our next destination.


        • #5

          I also commented on the main site, but I'll continue the conversation here. If I were you, I would look for the agencies that have the most work in your field and give them a call. They will be eager to talk with you. If you go to a national meeting, they will have booths there. Hit 'em up. That's how I got started.

          Also, I don't know if IM & FP have a go-to job boards site. In anesthesia, it's If there's an equivalent for primary care look at the jobs and see who's offering them and where they are. That will give you an idea of what opportunities might be out there for the two of you.




          • #6
            Joseph your experience sounds incredible! My wife and I are thinking of starting with New Zealand as we keep hearing such great things, and we'll see where we go from there.

            Also, PoF, thanks for a great post & for your tips.