5 Steps to Finding Mentors Through Locum Tenens Opportunities
Did a certain professor or teacher stimulate your desire to pursue a career in medicine or lead you toward a specialty? As a resident or fellow, were you paired with a mentor who guided you through the intricacies of transitioning from student to practicing clinician? Between school, training, and on-the-job experiences, you undoubtedly encountered a plethora of knowledgeable individuals who left impressions on you personally and who may have influenced your career development.
Of course, the mentor relationship is not confined to school or training. Rather, careers are full of possibilities to learn from a variety of people, especially when adding locum tenens to your CV. By accepting contracts to practice in various hospitals, private practice groups, clinics, or other healthcare organizations across the country, you have more chances to meet an eclectic collection of colleagues and acquaintances, observe how others work, and accumulate new knowledge.
That said, establishing a mentor relationship while serving in a temporary position requires a more accelerated progression than what may transpire as a staff member. So, how does one identify and form a mentorship as a locum tenens professional? Well, the American Medical Association has defined the following five steps to forging successful mentor connections. Here, we explain how they apply to the locum tenens experience.
- Seek Out Mentors
The key to finding a mentor in a short timeframe is to actively look for someone from whom you could gain knowledge or guidance. Be willing to initiate contact with that person. Explain why you wish to learn from them along with your assignment details so they understand the purpose and immediacy of your proposition. However, be willing to extend the professional relationship after the contract’s end date. There’s always the potential for an enduring collegial relationship to form beyond the locum tenens role.
- Look for Variety
Different mentors fill different roles in your professional or personal development. As a locum tenens provider, this step in mentor networking almost becomes automatic. Each new assignment introduces you to another set of consulting physicians, advanced practice staff, and other healthcare professionals from whom you can absorb advice or observe differences in practice styles.
- Match the Mentor to the Situation
Here, again, a locum tenens practice naturally sets up the circumstances for this step. No two facilities function the exact same way, nor are patient populations identical from community to community. Therefore, networking with a mentor on a new assignment is already specific to the situation. Consider someone who is experienced in the setting and can impart insight into regional, cultural, and other pertinent information regarding patient care in that facility.
- Don’t Force It
Not every locum tenens situation will present a new mentor — some contracts may be too short or simply do not offer that type of connection. That’s okay. You can still expand your professional network of peers who share similar interests. And of course, making friends on and off the job is a great perk to the locum tenens lifestyle.
- Expand the Definition of Mentor
Mentors certainly fulfill a professional function, but you are more than just your job. Therefore, the individuals you meet on locum tenens opportunities could serve as an inspiration in other areas of your life — spiritually, personally, or in any regard important to you. For many locum tenens professionals, it’s the people you meet who can make the experience extra special, from peers to patients to friends, and of course, your All Star Healthcare Solutions recruiter.
To start on your locum tenens journey, or to look for your next assignment, call an All Star Healthcare Solutions consultant today at 800-928-0229, or contact us online.