One of the fastest-growing career paths for physicians today is practicing locum tenens. More doctors than ever are choosing to work locums full-time, finding a better family friendly work/life balance than what’s offered through permanent positions.
While a number of young physicians practice locums to gain experience and pay off debt earlier in their career, the largest demographic of locum tenens doctors is medical professionals over the age of fifty. For these individuals, being a locum is a very family friendly prospect. Such practitioners are usually parents and grandparents, so they value the freedom of mobility to accommodate for traveling to visit family across the country and attend major events such as graduations and births. In doing so, they also professionally gain new perspectives and continue to broaden their knowledge of practicing medicine through working in different facilities in a number of different geographic areas.
While many doctors and medical professionals feel as though locum tenens is the best way to round out their last years in their careers in medicine, younger physicians with families at home often feel that locum tenens is conducive to more time with the family as well. They feel that because they work in schedule shifts of their choosing, they are actually able to have more time with their significant other and their children. Locum tenens gives them plenty of freedom of choice in which days they want to be home to spend time with their families, and which times they can be off on an assignment. Working at a hospital or permanent position at a healthcare facility often does not allow for such freedom of choice.
Today’s doctors not only practice locum tenens for the freedom of mobility and flexible schedule as mentioned above, but many of those in primary care and behavioral medicine are finding it to be a less stressful way to practice medicine as well. It takes them out of the high pressure, often high stress environment of a hospital or larger medical care facility. Locum tenens is a family friendly prospect for this demographic of medical practitioners as now they get to work solely within smaller, localized family or behavioral practices. Sometimes, locum tenens doctors will travel the country to fill shifts at family medicine facilities, pediatric organizations, addiction treatment centers, psychiatric facilities, and more. In addition, practicing locums alleviates many of the bureaucratic and administrative tasks that so many doctors are now reporting to contribute to their burnout.
Regardless of where a physician is in the life cycle of their career, the locum tenens model is allowing today’s doctors more time with loved ones both on the road and at home. Find out more about the locum tenens lifestyle by visiting us NALTO.org.