The medical community tends to look at locum tenens from a functional standpoint. In other words, we give a lot of attention to how locum tenens can help ease the doctor shortage or keep a struggling hospital online until staffing needs are addressed. But there is a very personal side to locum tenens as well. Locum physicians help their colleagues in ways that are hard to quantify.
To truly appreciate all that locums contribute, it’s important to understand some history. Back in the late 1970s and early 80s, locums were considered the black sheep of the physician community. They were not well respected; they were not trusted; they were looked down on as doctors who could not make it in mainstream medicine.
Despite poor general acceptance within the medical community, the locum industry persevered. It is now an invaluable industry that contributes greatly to medicine as a whole. The modern medical system we all depend on relies heavily on locum tenens support.
A Much-Needed Break
Have you seen any of the recent reports detailing the troubling trend of physician burnout? If not, do a quick internet search. The stories are all around us. For the purposes of this discussion though, what is more important is the fact that locum tenens providers are on hand to give physicians suffering from burnout a much-needed break.
Imagine being a private practice owner having not taken a vacation in years. The pressure on your practice only mounts as caseloads increase and regulations make it tougher to do business. You want to take a break, but you feel like you cannot. You are imprisoned in your own practice.
Locum tenens is the answer. A locum can take over for you in the office while you get away and rest. Your practice continues serving patients and bringing in revenues. More importantly, you can recharge your batteries without having to worry about your practice.
A Locum for Every Occasion
Taking a break in order to overcome burnout is just one of the manifestations of locum help. Locum physicians are available to fill in for just about any need.
Are you a group practice physician planning to take time away for maternity or paternity leave? A locum will cover for you. Have you been wanting to take an extended leave in order to pursue one of your passions? Not a problem. Take six months off and go do what you want to do. Just work with a locum tenens agency to bring in a doctor in your absence.
The point to be made here is the fact that there is a locum for every occasion. No matter the doctor’s needs, locum tenens provides experienced, qualified medical care in his or her absence. Locum tenens make it entirely possible to offer continuity of care to patients regardless of the doctor’s ability to be there in person.
Consider Becoming a Locum
If you are a doctor searching for something different, why not consider becoming a locum? In addition to the financial and self-employment benefits, locum tenens work represents an opportunity for you to come alongside your private practice and employed colleagues to really make a difference in their lives.
The service you provide as a locum could mean the difference between a doctor taking a much-needed break or continuing the struggle against burnout. Your service could enable another doctor to pursue a lifelong passion or make more time for family.
In the end, locum tenens is more than just temporarily filling in. It is helping other doctors by making it possible for them to step away for any reason.