We have all heard of the “X-Factor”. Not only is it a hit television show, it also defined as “a variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome.”
In my years of experience as a locums doctor, I have found that the most important thing to my success hasn’t been the X-Factor, but what I call the F-Factor. The F-Factor involves fear, flexibility, finances, and fun.
Be Fearless: Fear is the number one reason that physicians are reluctant to do locums. They are afraid of the unknown because they may have never heard of locums or don’t know any physicians who are doing locums. Physicians are oftentimes fearful about locums because they are afraid they won’t have a steady income if they leave their employed position. Overcoming this fear is the essential to being successful as a locums physician. One must be fearless and have an optimistic outlook if one is to be successful as a locums physician. However, if overcoming this fear seems to be too daunting of a task, I have this piece of advice. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Don’t let fear of the unknown keep you away from doing locums. Embrace the fear and move forward.
Be Flexible: Another part of the F-Factor is being flexible. Flexibility is key to success as a locums physician. If you are flexible in terms of willingness/ability to travel for assignments, flexible in terms of your schedule, and flexible in terms of the type of work you are willing to do, you increase your odds for success as a locums physician.
Be Financially Savvy: It is imperative that you have a good system for managing your finances if you work as a locums physician. As a locums physician, you are an independent contractor. As a result, taxes are not withheld from your wages and you do not get any of the employer-sponsored benefits that employees get. Therefore, as a locums physician, you are responsible for paying your own taxes and obtaining your own benefits. You will need to obtain your own health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, and retirement plan. You will need to make sure that you have a contingency plan in place if case you can’t work for an extended period because as a locum physician you don’t get worker compensation or paid maternity leave. You also don’t get paid vacation time. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Therefore, being a successful locums physician involves making sure that you develop a sound financial plan.
Have Fun. As a locums physician, you get to travel to new places and see different parts of the country and even the world. You get to meet new people, work in different health care organizations, and treat many conditions you may not have been exposed to. Doing locums is an opportunity to grow both personally and professionally, and it is just fun!
The F-Factor is that one thing that will allow you to be successful as a locums physician. Being fearless, being flexible, having a sound financial plan, and having fun guarantees your locums success. Download your free copy of my locums eBook: Locum Tenens Your Questions Answered