4 Ways Working Locum Tenens Can Refresh Your Professional Perspective
Think back to when you decided to pursue a career in medicine; what was your driving reason? Were you intrigued with the science of diagnosing and treating illnesses? Did you like the idea of helping people in need? Perhaps the profession as a whole appealed to you, from the education and training, to the daily work and patient interactions, to the earning potential.
How do you feel about a career in medicine today? Do you still experience those same levels of enthusiasm you did in school or residency? For some providers, the answer is a resounding yes. But for others, the non-clinical aspects consume more of your attention than you like because they take you way from the practice elements you enjoy the most.
How would you like to rearrange your on-the-job responsibilities so you can once again focus on those elements that deliver the most professional satisfaction? Locum tenens offers physicians and advanced practitioners a career alternative that can revive and refresh your professional perspective.
Break from Routine
Following the same daily routine has its benefits in that you know what to expect and can plan around it. Experiencing the same day-to-day schedule also can become too predictable, even a little lackluster for some people. Introduce a new energy to your professional life with locum tenens. Whether you opt to do it on a full-time basis or once in a while, locums contracts offer a sense of newness—new schedule, new setting, new co-workers, and new patients.
Change of Scenery
Not only do locum tenens jobs provide a break from the routine, they introduce you to various clinical settings. Entering an unfamiliar facility oftentimes injects a bit of professional excitement—after all, you are starting a new job even if it is on a limited basis. Learning the facility’s specifics can be stimulating on its own. But you also have the opportunity to observe the nuances of medicine in the setting, compare how it differs with what you are accustomed to, and combine the best practices of both to provide the highest quality care to those in need.
“Everywhere you go there’s a different environment, a different culture, and different tools that are available at any point in time to diagnosis and solve problems. So, I’ve found my locums work very rewarding,” says Michael Plotnick, MD, FACOG, an obstetrician/gynecologist, who has been practicing more than 35 years and is a member of the All Star Physicians Advisory Board.
Of course, a change of scenery applies to living arrangements, too. Temporarily relocating can awaken a personal interest in discovering one’s surroundings.
“Working as a locums doctor, to me, means having a window to the world: to travel; to visit new places; and to enjoy being in new places,” says Khalil Nemou, MD, an internal medicine specialist and Physician Advisory Board member who has partnered with All Star Healthcare Solutions since 2019.
Focus on Patient Care
Year after year, physician surveys reinforce the fact that doctors believe they spend too much time attending to non-clinical responsibilities. Locum tenens opportunities at hospitals, outpatient clinics, or multispecialty private groups typically offer a reprieve from many of these administrative duties. This freedom empowers clinicians to concentrate on patient care, which, in fact, was the incentive for many individuals to choose healthcare careers.
Sometimes taking time off from work can be an effective treatment plan to boost professional satisfaction. Providers who make locum tenens a career choice are able to exert more control over their schedules, from accepting brief assignments that last a weekend or a few days to longer opportunities that could run weeks or months.
Equally important is the choice to take time off between contracts. These breaks could be used for vacation getaways as well as to rejuvenate yourself, physically and emotionally. Days away from the clinical setting could be used to catch up on household and family duties, journal reading and CMEs, or simply to relax before returning to work with a refreshed mindset. The value of locums is that you are the primary decision-maker for how your schedule is set.