Working as a locums physician can be extremely rewarding. However, in order to ensure your success as a locums physician, you must implement these five strategies.
Work with multiple locums agencies.
In order to be successful as a locums physician, you must have a steady supply of locums work. The best way to ensure this is to work with multiple agencies. I recommend that you get credentialed with at least three locums companies and that you touch base with your recruiter at each company on a regular basis. You want to make sure you know about any potential assignments that may interest you. Working with multiple locums agencies exposes you to the largest number of potential work assignments.
Work on short notice.
Oftentimes organizations have emergent needs for locums physicians and you may be asked to work on short notice. I recommend you doing this if you are able. The organization will be appreciative and it will make them more likely to use your services in the future. Furthermore, some organizations are willing to pay a higher rate for providing coverage on short notice.
Take locums assignments in “less than desirable” locations
Many facilities in smaller, rural communities rely on locums physicians. These facilities have trouble recruiting and retaining permanent physicians because these places may not be the ideal places to live and to raise a family. As a result, these places are excellent places in which to do locums because they may offer steady work.
Work nights, weekends, and holidays
Because organizations have a difficult time staffing night, weekend, and holiday shifts, they often rely on locums physicians to work these hours. Furthermore, they often pay a higher rate to work these hours. Most locums agencies pay a “holiday rate” which is quite substantial. Some organizations also pay a higher rate for working at night. Willingness to work “off-hours” gives you an advantage and ensures you have consistent locums work at a higher hourly rate.
Always stay three months ahead when scheduling your assignments
The locums process takes on average about three months. Finding and getting credentialed with a locums agency, finding an assignment, obtaining the appropriate licenses, and getting credentialed with the hospital/facility in which you will be working is a time-consuming process. And this process must be repeated to some extent with each new locums assignment. Therefore, to ensure that you have steady work as a locums physician, you must start the process in plenty of time.