Traveling for Locums: How to Minimize the Stress and Maximize the Benefit


One of the best things you can do to maximize your chances for success as a locums doctor is to travel for locums. However, many people are reluctant to do that. Physicians who do travel to their locums assignments often find it to be exhausting. However, with a few minor adjustments, one can minimize the stress associated with traveling for locums and optimize the benefit.

  1. Automate the process. One of the things you can do to make traveling for locums easier is to automate as much of the process as possible. Make everything routine and try not to vary it. If possible, use the same airlines, same hotel, same rental car company. If going on a recurring assignment, use the same flights to and from the assignment. Use online apps for checking in to your airline and your hotel. Avoid wasting time on activities that serve you no purpose. Avoid driving to the airport if possible. Don’t waste time standing in line and use such services such as Clear and TSA pre-check. The goal is to put as much of your travel routine on auto-pilot so that you don’t have to think about it.


  1. Maintain your daily routine. Another way to minimize the stress and fatigue associated with traveling for locums is to maintain your regular daily routine. Remember, when you are traveling for locums, you are not going on vacation, you are going to work. So whatever daily routine you have when working at home, do your best to maintain that same routine. Get up and go to bed at the same time. Continue to exercise. Maintain your dietary habits; this is not the time to experiment with new foods and to eat out every day. Maintain your daily self-care routine: exercise, read, prayer, meditate. Look at locums as your work away from home and try to maintain the same routine. This minimizes fatigue as well.


  1. Control your schedule. Maintain a work schedule that suits your needs. For example, if you would not work fifteen night shifts in a row at home, then don’t take a locums assignment requiring you to do that. Oftentimes, locums physicians complain about traveling for locums stating that it is making them tired. However, the real culprit is not the actual travel, but the actual locums schedule they are working. Figure out your optimal work schedule and stick to it.


Automating the process, establishing and maintaining a routine, and controlling your schedule are three simple things you can do to minimize the stress associated with traveling for locums. For more information on working as a locums doctor, download my e-book:

Locum Tenens: Your Questions Answered.

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