Locum tenens is a Latin phrase that literally means "to hold the place of." Locum tenens doctors perform medical services for a hospital or healthcare organization for a specified amount of time on a temporary contract. These doctors are used to either cover another doctor’s vacation or medical leave or fill a gap while a hospital finds a new, permanent physician.
With nearly every specialty available to choose from, any physician can opt-in to locum tenens work. High demand specialties include internal medicine, hospitalists, family medicine and emergency medicine. Because locum tenens positions are contract-based, physicians may fill in gaps in their schedules to earn supplemental income or convert to a full-time locum tenens doctor.
Locum tenens physicians can quickly earn supplemental pay by filling physician shortages at other facilities. Their contracts offer doctors the flexibility of choosing their own schedules and improving vital skills through mentorships. Locum tenens physicians avoid burnout by traveling more and bypassing the political obstacles often associated with a full-time practice.
If you are ready to take on a locum tenens contract, a healthcare recruiting company with an established locum tenens division will already have a database of potential locum opportunities for you to choose from.
Whether you’re hoping to pay off debt or travel the country, look for a qualifying healthcare recruiting agency that belongs to the National Association of Locum Tenens Organization (NALTO®) and follows its standards. From there, you can discuss your lifestyle and aspirations with your locum tenens recruiter who has the necessary resources to match you with your ideal job.