Locum tenens medicine is all the rage in modern healthcare. And why wouldn’t it be? What began as a way to practice medicine outside of traditional norms has become as mainstream as private practice itself. As such, locums are always looking for the best opportunities they can find.
If you are new to the locum marketplace, are you limiting yourself to certain kinds of jobs? For example, you might be focusing all your attention on hospital work. You pick up a contract in one major hospital, then move on to another hospital when that contract ends. There is nothing wrong with that strategy. On the other hand, there are other opportunities you might look into in order to broaden your horizons, so to speak.
Here are five locum tenens opportunities you might not have thought of:
1. Private Practice Support
Even though the private practice model is slowly fading in America, there are still plenty of practice owners from coast-to-coast. They have their up-and-down seasons like any other business. As such, many find themselves in a pinch at the busiest times of the year. They are more often looking to locums during such times.
You could take contracts in support of private practices. These kinds of opportunities are measurably different compared to hospital jobs. In fact, a private practice assignment every now and again could be quite refreshing indeed.
2. Educational Institutions
Colleges and universities with on-site medical staff deal with their own seasonal peaks and slowdowns. For example, a university may keep one full-time doctor on board 12 months of the year to see faculty and permanent resident students. They may need to bring on additional doctors while school is in session.
Working in an educational setting allows for contracts lasting anywhere from 3 to 9 months depending on need. And if you worked solely according to a University’s schedule, you could take all summer off.
3. Government Installations
Believe it or not, the federal government continually hires locum tenens physicians to meet staffing needs at VA hospitals, Defense Department installations, and even HHS facilities. Government contracts tend to pay well, and there is hardly ever a shortage of work. The only downside to government work is that it is easy to get tied down by bureaucracy.
4. Corporate Healthcare Clinics
Some of the largest corporations in the world run their own healthcare clinics for employees. Such clinics are great sources of locum contracts. Moreover, not all the contracts require doctors to stay on site during normal working hours. Many of them are based on some sort of on-call agreement. Such an arrangement would allow a doctor to continue practicing elsewhere but be on call to serve the corporate clinic.
5. Correctional Facilities
Last on our list are correctional facilities at both the federal and state levels. Unfortunately, there are just not enough doctors and nurses to properly staff all of them. You could make a career out of providing locum services to federal and state prisons across the country.
There are obvious risks to working in a correctional facility, but there are commensurate rewards as well. Inmates deserve high-quality healthcare as much as anyone else. Sometimes they don’t get it, simply because the staffing is not there.
Working as a locum tenens physician is a terrific way to practice medicine without having to worry about the business side of practice or the constraints of being employed by someone else. There are plenty of locum opportunities out there, including the five listed here. So whatever you do, don’t limit yourself as a locum.