8 Reasons to Consider Moonlighting as a Locum Tenens Provider

Smiling doctor having phone call at his desk

When asked about the biggest advantages of locum tenens practice, clinicians often cite flexibility, first and foremost. In fact, that benefit is why many physicians and advanced practitioners regard doing locums as the perfect complement to a full-time position, whether they run a solo practice, hold a staff position, or are a member of a private practice group.

Locum tenens providers also play an integral part in the healthcare process by keeping facilities staffed to deliver the best patient care. Due to the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for their services has never been stronger.

Here, we highlight several reasons to consider doing locums work on the side.

  1. Supplement your income. Extra income is typically the biggest motivator for moonlighting. Whether you are at the beginning of your career, paying off student loans, or putting a down payment on a house; mid-career, opening a private practice or preparing to pay for your children’s college education; or in the home stretch, nurturing your nest egg for retirement, it can be a lucrative option, especially when you take into account competitive pay rates, zero overhead, and complimentary medical malpractice insurance.
  2. Control your schedule. While extra income tends to be the driving force, schedule logistics are also a significant factor. However, you can control your own schedule with locums, so you can work when, where, and for as long—or short—as you like. For example, you may prefer to work a few long weekends close to home, or you may want to use some vacation time and visit a new location, for perhaps a week or two. The choice is always yours.
  3. Serve different patient populations. Locum tenens opportunities allow you to mix it up. For instance, if you work in a large hospital in a big city where you often refer patients to specialists, you may want to take a temporary contract in a rural location where you will have greater autonomy.
  4. Enhance your skills. It is almost impossible to go somewhere new and not get a fresh perspective. Working alongside new colleagues can expose you to different procedural nuances. Also, you are also likely to see different EMRs and varied protocols. You will benefit from the best practices you learn, and these new experiences can enhance your CV, as well.
  5. Test-drive new opportunities. Locum tenens jobs provide an excellent way to investigate new facilities and practices or different locations. You can get firsthand experience without risk and make real, meaningful assessments.
  6. Give something back. Many temporary assignments are in rural or underserved areas that can be more challenging to staff. Providing care for patients who may have otherwise had to delay treatment – or worse, go without it – is a truly rewarding experience.
  7. Support facilities (and patients) during the pandemic. As outbreaks of COVID-19 continue to ripple across the country, many facilities are straining to keep up with demand. Locum tenens physicians, NPs, PAs, and CRNAs provide much-needed support for providers who may have worked countless hours over the past few months. They also help to ensure that patients get continuity of care.
  8. Counteract burnout. According to a 2019 Medscape report, nearly half (44 percent) of physicians say they are experiencing burnout. Fortunately, many of the benefits listed above can help. Everything from a change of scenery and meeting new colleagues to treating new patients and escaping workplace politics can invigorate you.

With all the advantages, it is no surprise that many clinicians with regular positions also enjoy taking locum tenens assignments. If you are intrigued, contact All Star Healthcare Solutions (formerly All Star Recruiting) today to chat with an experienced consultant to discover opportunities that fit your schedule.