In the medical industry, when doctors are unavailable, locum tenens physicians are called in to take their place. These are fully trained physicians that will work in place the regular physician that is now absent. In many cases, locum tenens will be utilised if a hospital is short-staffed. In each case, the physician of choice has a similar background to the professional that is not able to come in. Here is an overview of locum jobs that are often available on websites such as

The Origin Of Locum Tenens

This term originates from Latin. It literally means placeholder. It is a term that is used in many countries outside of the UK including South Africa, New Zealand, Malaysia, United States and even Canada. For example, the United Kingdom has over 3000 locum doctors that are providing their assistance to hospitals every year. They work within the construct of the NHS. The positions for locums are often filled by agencies that provide the framework for these substitute doctors. Additionally, freelance general practitioners, also called independent contractors, may often find work on their own.

The Advantages Of Locum Tenens Positions

The primary advantage to pursuing this line of work is that new doctors can gain much-needed experience. They will be utilised in different environments, assisting in a variety of areas or specialities, making them more valuable as they gain experience. Those that are pursuing full-time employment often find it easier to obtain jobs when they have years of experience working as a locum tenens. This will apply to not only jobs in the UK, but is also beneficial for foreign medical graduates attempting to get work in a country outside of their own.

Disadvantages Of Locum Tenens Positions

The most obvious disadvantage is associated with the transient nature of the jobs as they become available. There is little to no consistency in the availability of jobs, or the areas of expertise that will be required. This will lead to enhanced levels of stress for these individuals that must attempt to find work on a daily basis. Likewise, hospitals are often paying more money for locum tenens when they are desperate to have someone that is trained stand in for a missing physician or surgeon. This can lead to a reduction in full-time pay, or the elimination of potential raises, that physicians are expecting. Additionally, from the perspective of patients working with locum tenens, they may not be receiving the highest quality medical assistance from these individuals that are not aware of their medical history.

Common Locum Tenens Jobs

Locum tenens are not always physicians or surgeons. In some cases, certified registered nurses are in high demand. Many of them are required to be certified to administer anaesthesia, along with other formal types of medical treatments. Physicians are required to have basic skills such as treating injuries, diagnosing illnesses, and providing general examinations. Physicians should be able to run diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, and provide guidance for living a healthy lifestyle. There are even locum tenens that provide telemedicine at outpatient facilities in lieu of the regular physician providing this type of guidance.

Locum Tenens Salary And Benefits

Every locum tenens is regarded as an independent contractor. If you are working with a group that can find assignments for you, they can assist you in getting the best pay and benefits available. In most cases, you will receive your payment as a direct deposit into your bank account on a weekly basis. The amount that you are able to earn depends on several factors. This will include the shift type, skill set that you possess, and patient volume. It can also depend upon the facility type, location of that facility, and any specialty demands that will be placed upon you. In regard to benefits, agencies that you work with will pay for many things. This will include travel expenses, housing, privileging, credentialing, licensing, and even malpractice insurance. However, as an independent contractor, medical benefits, dental benefits, and money for retirement are things that locum tenens must deal with personally.

Is This A Viable Long-Term Career?

For those that are pursuing the medical profession, this is an ideal place to begin. It will afford young physicians the ability to gain experience in a multitude of different areas. In certain communities, their services will be in high demand. This will provide gainful employment on a continual basis. For those that enjoy traveling to different locations, they will also have the ability to live in different regions as they pursue a career in medicine. From a long-term perspective, this early work will serve as a solid foundation for finding a permanent position. All of their experience can lead to an outstanding resume that will show they are competent in many areas, one of which may lead them to their career choice.

The Primary Benefits Of Working Locum Jobs

There are several benefits associated with working locum tenens jobs aside from building a good resume. Initially, you are able to earn extra money by becoming employed at hospitals or medical practices. This money can be used to not only pay your monthly bills, but assist you paying off student loans or putting money away toward retirement. It also has the benefit of flexibility, the freedom to make your own schedule, and work at locations that you would prefer for as long as you want. More related to your future long-term career is the benefit of expanding your network of contacts. As you work at different locations, you will meet a variety of people, some of which may be instrumental in helping you find permanent employment. By developing these relationships, if you are ever in a situation where you need assistance, these relationships may prove to be your most valuable asset. At the very least, by working your own schedule, you can avoid the proverbial beat burnout. Many physicians lose their desire to remain in the medical profession because of the monotony, and the incredibly long hours, that many of them work. Finally, being a locum tenens allows you to experience a variety of cultures and recreational opportunities. This diversity in your medical experience can also be helpful in finding a permanent medical position.

In conclusion, locum jobs are a fantastic place to start for any medical professional that is new. From physicians to surgeons, as well as physician assistants and nurses, there is always a demand for locum tenens in the medical field. Whether there is the abrupt appearance of the pandemic, or a doctor shortage, there will be assignments that need to be filled. For those pursuing a full-time position in the medical industry, it almost always begins with working locum jobs that are always available.