Congratulations on your decision to start working as a locums physician! Now that you have made this exciting decision to start doing locums work, you must start the process of finding locums work. The easiest way to do this is to work with a locums company and work with one of their recruiters. However, before you start working with a locums recruiter, you need to ask them several questions to ensure it is a good fit and to make sure you will have a great locums experience. I have come up with a simple PROCE$S for you to remember.
Process and Provisions: To have a successful locums experience you must have a good understanding of the locums process. Be sure to ask your locums recruiter how the locums process works from start to finish. In addition to the locums process, you must ask your locums recruiter what services that locums company provides. Ask whether they provide help with licensing and credentialing, malpractice insurance, and travel accommodations.
Recruiter: Your locums recruiter is the key element in making sure you have a good locums experience. Here are several questions you must ask your locums recruiter:
- How much experience do they have as a locums recruiter?
- How long have they been with that locums company?
- How long has the company been in business?
- How much experience do they have working in your specialty?
- Do they have any current positions you may be interested in?
- Are they the only recruiter you will be working with during your assignment?
Opportunities: You also need to ask your locums recruiter and any locums recruiter that contacts you whether they have any current opportunities that may interest you. Many locums recruiters will “cold call” you, so to speak. You want to make sure you spend your time talking with recruiters that have active job openings that will be a good fit for you.
Credentialing: Getting licensed and credentialed for an assignment is the time limiting step. It can be a complicated and time-consuming process. Therefore, you must discuss with your recruiter the licensing and credentialing process. You need to ask if they will obtain a state medical license for you. You also need to ask whether they will obtain a DEA license for you and the state Controlled Substance Registration license (if required). Also ask whether they have a dedicated licensing and credentialing team and if a specific analyst will be assigned to you. Furthermore, you need to have an understanding of the licensing and credentialing time frame as it can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months.
Emergencies: You must ask your recruiter what is the locums company’s policy for dealing with emergencies. Who are you to contact if you need to discuss a situation that you encounter while on assignment? Who are you to contact if you have a travel emergency or even a medical emergency while on assignment? What are the afterhours contact numbers?
$$$$$ Money: Your pay rate and how you are paid should be one of the first items discussed. Obviously, you need to talk with your recruiter about the pay rate and negotiate a favorable pay rate BEFORE you accept the assignment. You also need to find out how often you will be paid: weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Ask if direct deposit is available. Ask for a copy of the payroll calendar and ask how you will need to submit your timesheet.
Satisfaction: Your locums recruiter has a vested interest in making sure you are satisfied with your assignment. Ask if they will be calling you during your assignment to see how you are doing. Also ask how you can give feedback on the assignment, client, or facility.
Working with a locums recruiter can be challenging. However, following this simple PROCE$S will ensure that your interactions with locums recruiters will lead to your success as a locums doctor!
For more tips and tricks for working with locums recruiters, schedule your one hour Locums Strategy Coaching Session with Dr. Stephanie.