Making the transition from an employed physician to a locums physician, a “doc-for-hire,” requires a bit of a psychological adjustment. Throughout our training in medical school, residency, and fellowship, we are encouraged to go into traditional medicine. We are encouraged to do either academic medicine or private practice, to be an employed physician, or to own our own private practice. These are touted to us as being the acceptable choices to which we must aspire. Nobody ever told me about the possibility of doing locums. I discovered locums by chance. And even then, I still didn’t know other physicians who were doing locums as a long-term career. As a result, I was embarrassed and ashamed. I always felt I had to come up with an excuse or a “valid” reason as to why I was a locums doc.
However, as a result of the time and financial freedom I acquired through doing locums, I was able to pursue other interests. Locums gave me the freedom to not just be a physician, but to be a whole person. Furthermore, being a locums physician is no longer associated with a stigma. In times past, those who solely did locums did not have a good reputation as they were seen as “doctors who couldn’t keep a real job.” However, as more and more organizations have come to rely on locums physicians to fill their staffing needs, the stigma of being a locums physician has disappeared. Locums physicians are respected and appreciated for the services they provide.
Learning to embrace your role as a locums physician is an important part of your journey as a locums physician.
Schedule your one hour Locums Strategy Session with Dr. Stephanie.