Understanding Locum Tenens Practice Settings: Which is Best for You?

There are a number of types of medical settings in which to practice locum tenens and each offer a unique and valuable experience to advance your career.

  • Private Practices. This setting provides locum tenens doctors a glimpse into what it’s like to practice medicine with the most autonomy. Private practices typically have a limited staff challenged with the responsibilities that come with any small business. Conversely, locum tenens will also see first-hand the greater rewards to taking such risks with running a private practice. This includes more potential for financial rewards, opportunities for partnership, and a long-term career in one location from which to get involved in the community.
  • Medical Groups. Doctors in this setting experience some of same benefits of smaller practices, but with less personal risk from a business perspective. Locum tenens will also notice that physicians in medical groups don’t have quite as much opportunity for dynamic income growth as those in a private practice, but there’s more safety and security in being part of a larger medical group. In addition, this setting often lends itself to opportunities to learn from more senior physicians through practicing together in an environment of close proximity.
  • Hospitals. Hospitals offer locum tenens the opportunity to be part of a large operation with individual departments, collaborative team atmospheres, and experience with an inpatient environment. They’ll notice it resembles more of a corporate structure, offering their full-time peers a number of benefits and safety, albeit with minimal autonomy and more confined pay structure than those physicians at a private practice for instance. Hospitals can also offer locum tenens invaluable experience in fast-paced environments as well, such as in emergency room settings.
  • Urgent Care Clinics. Urgent care facilities are almost always in need of help, and it is quite easy for a qualified physician to pick up shifts in this setting. Working in an urgent care clinic can be quite rewarding. Here physicians get to do what they do best; treat patients in a one-on-one setting and many of them need immediate care.
  • Federal Healthcare & Correctional Facilities. Here lies an opportunity for locum tenens to work closely with governmental healthcare administrators and through such networking, potentially open up doors for advancement and additional opportunities down the road. For physicians who previously served in the armed forces, it could be a chance to give back to their fellow veterans. And at correctional facilities, behavioral healthcare professionals are in need at an all-time high.
  • Rural Health. Working in an area with an undeserved population is also quite rewarding and the demand for locum tenens in these areas is extremely high due to the physician shortage. It is an excellent setting to achieve great career experience and help people who really need it.

Regardless of your choice in a practice setting, locum tenens is the best option for today’s physicians to grow from experiencing each one listed above. Contact a NALTO member company today to get started. 

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