Five Things Every Prospective Locum Needs to Know

Five Things Every Prospective Locum Needs to Know

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Five Things Every Prospective Locum Needs to Know With the fall season just around the corner, there are medical residents all over the country already looking into what they will do with themselves next spring. Some will consider starting their careers as locum tenens professionals; others are working hard to land permanent positions at hospitals and private practices. Of course, there are also experienced professionals working as locum tenens as a way to transition to retirement or, just to break out of a rut. Locum tenens work offers opportunities and challenges that are unavailable in a permanent placement job. The locum lifestyle is not for everyone, but it is the best option for some. If you are considering working as a locum, here are five things you need to know before making your decision: 1. Your Salary According to National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO) contributor Karen Childress, the pay one receives for locum work is not dependent on years of experience. It is based only on specialty. Therefore, new doctors could earn just as much as experienced doctors doing the same work. In addition, the locum will usually not have to pay his or her own housing, travel and malpractice insurance expenses. Those are paid for by the agency or employer. That means more take-home pay that can be used to pay off student loans or put away for future expenses. 2.

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Published 07 September 2016
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Five Things Every Prospective Locum Needs to Know With the fall season just around the corner, there are medical residents all over the country already looking into what they will do with themselves next spring. Some will consider starting their careers as locum tenens professionals; others are working hard to land permanent positions at hospitals and private practices. Of course, there are also experienced professionals working as locum tenens as a way to transition to retirement or, just to break out of a rut.
Locum tenens work offers opportunities and challenges that are unavailable in a permanent placement job. The locum lifestyle is not for everyone, but it is the best option for some. If you are considering working as a locum, here are five things you need to know before making your decision: 1. Your Salary According to National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO) contributor Karen Childress, the pay one receives for locum work is not dependent on years of experience. It is based only on specialty. Therefore, new doctors could earn just as much as experienced doctors doing the same work. In addition, the locum will usually not have to pay his or her own housing, travel and malpractice insurance expenses. Those are paid for by the agency or employer. That means more take-home pay that can be used to pay off student loans or put away for future expenses. 2. Tax Accounting Locum tenens professionals are hired as independent contractors performing a service for specific employers. That means you will have to do all of your tax accounting on your own. It is not terribly difficult, but it can be time-consuming and a little confusing when you factor in the expenses your agency pays on your behalf. You may need to for hire an accountant to keep it all straight. 3. Additional Experience There are those who shy away from locum work based on the misguided belief that it will give future employers the wrong impression. They assume that they will be considered less skilled or difficult to work with, two things that may have forced them into locum work in the past. Fortunately, that is not necessarily the case.
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As long as you present yourself well when applying for a future permanent placement position, you should be fine. Employers will actually appreciate your experience as a locum. 4. Selecting Assignments The locum has maximum control over when and where he or she works by choosing only those assignments they find suitable. Having said that, you may need to work with multiple recruiting agencies before you find one with the locations and assignments you find most desirable. Also understand that five-star assignments are not always available. You may have to take two and three-star assignments from time to time. 5. Getting Along By and large, locums are much better received today than they were a few decades ago. The locum industry has expanded to a point whereby it is now common for hospitals and other healthcare facilities to have numerous locums working at any given time. Having said that, you will get along better with your coworkers if you take the time to learn about a facility before you arrive. By knowing as much as you can about them and how they operate, you will find it easier to fit in. When there are personality clashes, do not stress out. Do your best to always maintain friendly, professional relationships based on respect. You may not get along with everyone, but you can get along well enough to practice in a professional manner. Locum work is a great option for starting your career or slowly transitioning to retirement. It might even be a great option for an entire career for those who do not like to stay working in the same environment for a long period. As always, do your research and ask many questions. Locum work might be right for you. Sources: 1.NALTO-http://www.nalto.org/node/442.Vista Staffing-http://www.vistastaff.com/physicians/us-locum-tenens
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