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Going Locum: Why More Physicians Are Making the Switch

Physicians of all ages, experience levels, and practice areas can benefit from Locum Tenens work. Now, more doctors and other medical professionals are making the switch and enjoying the numerous advantages of going Locum. Working in the medical field no longer means sacrificing work-life balance to get the career you want.

In fact, 78 percent of residents and fellows, 63 percent of solo practice physicians, 64 percent of salaried physicians, and 68 percent of retired physicians said they would consider Locum Tenens opportunities. Furthermore, up to 90 percent of healthcare organizations used Locum Tenens physicians within the last year, making it a highly demanded occupation. The reason for the interest in Locum Tenens work is due to the many benefits, including:

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Fact or Fiction: What to Expect From a Locum Tenens Lifestyle

If you have never experienced Locum Tenens work, it may be hard for you to separate fact from fiction. Don’t let the myths about Locum Tenens keep you from enjoying its many advantages.

Locum Tenens work is a rewarding experience that provides many benefits to both medical professionals and healthcare organizations. Sometimes, however, the myths surrounding Locum Tenens dissuades physicians from participating in the work. Below you will find out the truth behind many Locum Tenens-related myths.

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The Pros and Cons of Locum Tenens for Physicians

Locum tenens is an exciting and rewarding experience. Latin for ‘to hold the place of’, locum tenens workers are, in effect, temporary health care providers utilized to supplement a facilities existing medical staff. When a private practice, hospital, or health care facility is in need of temporary workers, they call healthcare staffing agencies or locum tenens companies to place temporary workers. A healthcare facility may find themselves in need of a locum tenens provider if a staff doctor takes an extended vacation, is on maternity leave, is out sick, is terminated or otherwise requires addiontino providers to address growth and demand for services..

Locum tenens refers not only to physicians, but also includes nurse practitioners, physician assistants, or medical specialties. The industry was started in the early 1970’s out of a need to staff rural and medically underserved health care facilities in the Western US. Locum Tenens services has continued to advance as a necessary and accepted tool among physicians and administrators across the country to satisfy their short term and long term staffing needs. The success of the locum tenens industry is due in large part to the flexibility it provides for both physician and healthcare provider.

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How locum tenens physicians stay fit while traveling

As every physician knows, eating well and exercising are two key factors in preventing illness and disease and for maintaining optimal health. But as every locum tenens physician knows, making good food choices and finding time for regular workouts while on the road is no easy task. Here are practical tips for staying fit and healthy while traveling.

Study your schedule in advance. Exercise—a brisk walk, yoga class, or hardcore gym workout—is often the first thing to fall off the list when life gets busy. Before you leave for a locum tenens engagement, look at your schedule and write in your calendar times when you can commit to exercise. Suzanne Schlosberg, author of The Ultimate Workout Log andThe Ultimate Diet Log says exercising four days a week is ideal, but doing something is better than doing nothing. "If it's a short-term stay, you don't necessarily have to maintain your usual level of exercise," she notes. "It doesn't take much to maintain your fitness. If you usually exercise five or six days a week, you can stay fit with twice-a-week workouts if you keep up the intensity of your workout." Schlosberg recommends a morning workout if possible because it's so easy to tell yourself that you're too tired at the end of the day.

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5 Stress Relieving Tips for Healthcare Recruiters

The healthcare field is growing rapidly. The demands on all facets of the industry have increased with this marked growth. Full-time physicians and advanced practitioners, as well as Locum Tenens professionals, are providing great benefits to patients and healthcare facilities across the United States. Arranging these unions between providers and facilities, however, is left in the expert hands of healthcare recruiters. While this position can be exciting, fulfilling, and lucrative, it also has the potential for burnout. Fortunately, healthcare recruiters have the ability to manage their stressors, using a few simple techniques.

The Stressors of Healthcare Recruiting

Every recruiter knows the term “KPI.” Recruiters know that they must meet or exceed these standards in order to become successful in their field. While this challenge can be exciting and can incite healthy competition, it can also be quite stressful. Often, this means making countless phone calls, managing client needs, and creating harmonious provider/facility matches, among other necessary duties.

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Why Locum Tenens is Family Friendly

Why Locum Tenens is Family Friendly

One of the fastest-growing career paths for physicians today is practicing locum tenens. More doctors than ever are choosing to work locums full-time, finding a better family friendly work/life balance than what’s offered through permanent positions.

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Know Before You Go: Preparing for a Locum Tenens Assignment

Whether you’re a seasoned locum tenens physician or you’ve just accepted your first contract opportunity, proper preparation is key to a successful assignment. The following is suggested for all providers to consider before their next start date:

  • EHR

One of the reasons doctors are drawn to locum tenens is the opportunity to get back to basics, and practice medicine in a way that sheds many of the bureaucratic obstacles faced by their full-time counterparts. However, a healthcare facility’s electronic health records (EHR) system is still part of the job that everyone shares. For any locum tenens provider, unfamiliarity with the EHR often equates to the largest time-waster they’ll encounter on any given assignment. Ask your recruiter about the system used by the facility you’re about to walk into, and make sure this administrative duty is not the pain point that stands in your way from quality time with patients.

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Preparing for A Locum Tenens Provider to Join Your Team

The addition of a locum tenens physician to your facility’s team yields the most effective results by first properly preparing them to provide coverage in conjunction with your existing medical staff.

Unlike allied healthcare or nurse travel personnel who are procured for 13-week assignments or longer, doctors practicing locum tenens are expected to fill very specific roles that unfortunately don’t allow them the luxury to ramp up as they go.

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Locum Tenens Predictions for 2018 - (Physicians Practice)

Contrary to the everyday 'breaking news' cycle, there are positive stories to share from this year, including in healthcare staffing. Maybe it isn't as much about the crisis that we always face, as it is how we respond to be part of the solution.

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Improving the Customer Experience at Your Practice - (Physicians Practice)

Shaping the Customer Experience

In recent years healthcare staffing made a concerted effort to be held accountable to the customer experience it provides to physicians and medical facilities. I was fortunate to help a firm implement the same system now used as the benchmark for service quality across our industry. From that experience I learned some valuable lessons worth sharing with practices concerned with improving their reputation.

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Ensuring continuity of care during a physician vacancy - (Physicians Practice)

Having a physician vacancy is not a viable option for today’s medical practices, yet many practices find themselves short-staffed and are suffering the consequences.

Last year, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) offered new research on the physician shortage, which is now projected to reach as high as 120,000 doctors by the year 2030. This ongoing disparity between supply and demand continues to drive the cycle of physician turnover.

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The Impact of Locum Tenens - (Physicians Practice)

Last August, the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO) celebrated the first-ever National Locum Tenens Week. The healthcare staffing industry is doing so again this week, and it’s an opportunity to thank locum tenens providers for their dedication to serving millions of patients at medical facilities every day in this country.

As many as 50,000 doctors, more than 5 percent of the physician workforce, practice medicine as a locum tenens doctor in more than 90 percent of our healthcare facilities to provide care for an estimated 7.5 million Americans every year, according to a recent report.

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Physicians’ Prescriptions for a Better Workplace: Top 10 Ways to Reduce Stress in the New Year

Physician burnout is a real and growing problem. As healthcare providers begin 2018, instead of just focusing on physical health resolutions like eating healthier or working out more, many of their colleagues suggest focusing on improving mental health, specifically reducing stress in the workplace.

LocumTenens.com recently surveyed physicians and advanced practitioners for their opinions on mental health in their work environment. Out of 2,438 clinicians who responded to the question “how much stress do you face in the workplace,” the majority of physicians answered “a lot of stress” while almost all advanced practitioners were split between “a lot” or “a little” stress.

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Demand for Locum Tenens Continues in 2017

As we pass the midway point of 2017, the demand for locum tenens staffing continues to trend upward.

The need for locum tenens remains driven in part by the shortage of full-time providers. Meanwhile, our industry is also experiencing an influx of new in-house recruiters constantly challenged with maximizing their facility’s revenue stream by adjusting to a mix of permanent and contract providers.

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Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC): Increasing Speed to Market for Locum Tenens

Medical providers who wish to practice in multiple states have traditionally faced a timely and cumbersome licensure process to do so. Therefore, many locum tenens companies have entire departments dedicated to helping physicians and advanced practitioners complete the necessary verification and credentialing requirements needed to begin any assignment. This includes assisting providers who need to attain (or renew) their license to practice medicine, a process that’s historically taken as long as six months in a single state.

Therein lies the recent good news from the Federation of State Medical Boards regarding the onset of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (or “IMLC”), designed to expedite the process for physicians to obtain multiple licenses through a single application.

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The locum tenens process: From inquiry to paycheck

Engaging in locum tenens practice as a full-time career or on a part-time basis is simpler than you might think. While there are several steps in the process that take you from initial inquiry to being paid for providing services, each one is straightforward. The process will vary somewhat among agencies, but here are nine steps that are consistent from firm to firm.

 

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New ideas for achieving goals

The beginning of a new year brings with it the opportunity for a fresh start and renewed commitment. We make resolutions, but often fail to create a corresponding action plan that will help us reach those goals. By summer, most of us have all but forgotten what it was that we were so excited about changing or accomplishing back in the dark, short days of January. Can 2008 be different? Could this be the year that you succeed in reaching an important professional or personal goal? Very possibly. Consider a few new ideas.

Only set one goal

It is tempting at the beginning of a new year to make a long list of everything we want to achieve—lose weight, work out regularly, get a handle on finances, keep up on medical journals, volunteer at the homeless shelter, start dating again, read the classics. Are you exhausted just reading the list? Imagine setting one important goal this year and really committing to it. What would your one goal be? What one goal, if achieved, has the potential to improve the quality of your life in many other areas? Or what is one goal that would simply be a thrill to reach?

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Tips on selecting locum tenens agencies

Type "locum tenens agency" into the search box on Google and you’ll find more than 100,000 website links. Okay, there are not actually that many companies in operation, but they would all like to help you find your next temporary engagement. So how do you choose the best staffing firms for you? Here are some tips that will help.

Talk to colleagues

If you are considering locum tenens for a week, a month, or for the rest of your career, your first step should be canvassing your professional network to find out who has experience, with which agencies, and in what kinds of practice settings. Ask what they know now that they wish they had known when they first began locum tenens practice.

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The benefits of moving from locum tenens to a permanent position

The interview went great. Your potential new partners were friendly and eager to show you the best of everything - within the practice, at the hospital, and in the community. You were entertained at fine restaurants. A chatty real estate agent drove you around town while boasting about the quality of the schools, the fabulous amenities in the community, and the great climate. You accept the position and 6 months later realize that the practice is on shaky ground financially, your partners are not highly thought of within the medical community, the school board is more dysfunctional than your cousin Leonard's family, and it has not stopped raining since you arrived. If I had only known, you think to yourself.

It is not uncommon for physicians, particularly young professionals, to take a first job (and even a second or third) only to find themselves disillusioned after a relatively short period of time. The reasons may be specific, or it may simply be that the practice was not a "good fit." Jumping too quickly into a permanent job is an understandable mistake, especially for doctors just out of training who are eager to get settled and start earning a living. But even mid-career physicians can be seduced into positions that turn out to be disappointing.

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Why choose locum tenens?

To answer the question, "Why choose locum tenens" requires first addressing the question of who practices locum tenens as either a full-time career or on a part-time or occasional basis. In this article, we break the who question into five categories, each one followed by answers to the why question.

Just out of training

Doctors fresh out of residency or fellowship who have yet to decide where they want to settle down find that locum tenens offers an excellent opportunity to explore different areas of the country. Like the idea of living in Montana but not sure how you would handle the winters? With locum tenens, you can find out firsthand.

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