Filtered by tag: Locums Life Remove Filter

Q&A: Common questions about locum tenens pay rates

Few among us would work without fair compensation, no matter how much we loved our jobs. Physicians who practice locum tenens on either a part-time of full-time basis are naturally interested in earning potential. In this article, we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about pay rates.

Q: HOW ARE PAY RATES DETERMINED?

A: Think back to Economics 101 where you learned about supply and demand. Pay rates for locum tenens physicians – who typically work as independent contractors and are matched to assignments by staffing agencies – are very much market driven. When there is a higher demand for, say, anesthesiologists than there are anesthesiologists to fill positions around the country (or in a particular geographic area), these physicians will command a higher rate than they would if they were in an oversupply situation. Pay rates may vary somewhat by location (i.e., you may earn more practicing in a remote community), but overall specialty demand tends to trump geography. Rates may be higher in practice settings where patient volume is above average, or where a position has been vacant for a long period of time.

Read More

From training to locum tenens practice: Myths and realities

Are you a resident or fellow about to complete training? Not yet sure where you want to settle down? Waiting for a new job to start and looking to generate income and gain valuable experience in the interim? Locum tenens may be your answer. Consider these common myths and realities to find out more about this practice alternative.

MYTH: LOCUM TENENS INVOLVES TOO MUCH PAPERWORK.

Reality: It is true that, in most cases, you must secure a medical license for each state in which you practice, and you will likely need hospital privileges as well. These formalities need not be daunting if you give yourself enough lead time. Start by speaking with a recruiter at a reputable locum tenens agency. Companies have full-time staff members who will guide you every step of the way and even do some of the paperwork for you. Online credentials verification resources make the process easier than ever, but the sooner you get started the better. Some states (California, for example) tend not to rush when it comes to processing medical license applications. The bottom line is, yes, there is paperwork involved– but you will have support from your recruiter to get it all squared away.

Read More

How to manage home life while traveling

Physicians who travel regularly for locum tenens engagements have the process of leaving home and returning again down to a science. One important factor to handling home affairs while away is knowing that everything is in order—although the definition of "in order" may vary, depending on the physician. If you are single and live in an apartment, arranging for someone to collect your mail may be all you need to do before beginning your engagement. If, on the other hand, you are leaving a spouse, children, a hundred-year-old house, and several pets behind, a bit more planning may be required. Here are a few ideas that should help you leave for your next opportunity with relative ease.

An ounce of prevention.
If you leave your home unattended while away, make preventive maintenance a high priority. The last thing you need upon returning home from a long trip is to find that the air conditioner no longer cools the house or that the roof or a toilet has been leaking.

Read More

Volunteer opportunities for locum tenens physicians

A sizeable percentage of physicians are altruistic by nature and give of themselves—professionally and personally—in various ways throughout their careers. Locum tenens practitioners are in a unique position to take part in volunteer opportunities because they have such flexible schedules. In this article, we explore how you can volunteer at home, away from home, and even during your locum tenens engagements.

As a physician who is away from home for weeks or months at a time, serving on a community board that meets every fourth Wednesday or being a scout troop leader may not be practical. Instead, seek out one-time and short-term volunteer opportunities in your hometown. Go door-to-door or stuff envelopes on behalf of your favorite political candidate. Volunteer to chaperone (and be in charge of cuts, scrapes, and bug bites) for a youth group's weekend camping trip. Sign up to staff the first aid tent at local charity walk/run/ bike events. All of these activities are great ways to meet new people, stay connected in your community, and do a good turn for others.

Read More

From NALTO: Managing student loan debt

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the average debt for a 2008 medical school graduate is $139,517, and more than 75% of graduates have debt in excess of $100,000. These figures are comparable to a home mortgage in some parts of the country. This enormous debt can be daunting, especially considering that a physician does not begin earning (residency salary aside) until his or her late 20s or even early-to-mid 30s.

Doctors often want to pay off student loans as quickly as possible, but investment executive Joe Potosky of MV Financial Group in Bethesda, Maryland, ( http://www.mvfgroup.com/) says they should approach debt management strategically. "People get psychologically attached to accomplishing an objective that may not be the most sound," says Potosky. "Don't let your emotions get in the way of a good business decision."

Read More

Reduce your carbon footprint on the road

There is no shortage of information available today about how to "go green" and reduce your carbon footprint. At home, many people take steps toward this effort by adjusting the thermostat, recycling, combining errands to save gas, or buying locally grown food. But what can you do while traveling to and from locum tenens engagements, and practicing in unfamiliar surroundings? Plenty.

Before you leave home. If your house will be empty while you are away, unplug electronics, put your water heater on the lowest possible setting, adjust thermostats to a "protect the home" level, and suspend newspaper delivery. Do you prefer to prepare your own meals while on location? Then, use the Internet or call ahead to find out where to buy local produce and other goods.

Read More

Tax tips for locum tenens physicians

Although it is only January, April 15 will be here before you know it. Physicians who practice locum tenens are independent contractors and, as such, have certain financial opportunities and responsibilities related to their tax status. Here are six ways to reduce stress and help you save on taxes when it is time to file your returns.

KEEP GOOD EXPENSE RECORDS

Read More

Consider part-time locum tenens to boost income

When the economy is unstable, as it is now and most likely will be for some time to come, even high-income professionals feel the impact. An economic downturn probably will not mean, as it does for many people, that doctors will have to cut back on essential purchases such as food, clothing, and fuel. But if you are watching your retirement account balance fluctuate wildly and have seen the value of your home decline over the last couple of years, you may be feeling the pinch—if only in terms of your ability to plan for the future and afford a few luxuries.

 

Read More

Why locum tenens may be the perfect career now

For decades, physicians have engaged in locum tenens practice for a variety of reasons at different times throughout their careers. Newly minted residents unsure about where they want to settle or what type of practice setting they might enjoy use locum tenens as a way to explore options. Mid-career physicians take locum tenens engagements to see how other practices operate or when they are between permanent jobs. Semi-retired doctors enjoy that locum tenens allows them to keep a hand in medicine without the hassle of staying fully immersed in practice.

Today, given the unstable economy and that healthcare reform is under serious discussion in Washington, physicians are looking at locum tenens for new reasons. Here are a few scenarios that locum tenens agency recruiters are seeing unfold.

Read More