Do you love the idea of the benefits of locum tenens but want to stay close to home and family? If your lifestyle doesn’t lend itself well to traveling long distances or being away from home for extended periods, locum tenens can still work for you. CompHealth has helped many physicians find assignments that allow them to stay close to home. These three tips can help your plan a locum tenens career that fits your lifestyle.
1. Let your recruiter be your guide
First off, let your recruiter know you prefer to work locum tenens close to home. This technique has worked wonders for hospitalist Dr. Neha Janakiriman, who accepts close-to-home locums assignments so she can spend more time with her little one.
“My recruiter is great,” Dr. Janakiriman says. “She meets me at exactly my level. It really helps her to know my schedule and my requirements so she can find me assignments that are closer to home. I think people have a lot of myths around being a locum physician, like you’re going to be living a nomadic lifestyle, you’re going to be going from one hotel to another and living out of a suitcase kind of a scenario, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. My longest driving distance from home assignments has been 30 minutes.”
Your recruiter can always find you assignments that are in alignment with your career goals and lifestyle needs, so communicate clearly, and you’ll be happy with the results.
2. Book short assignments
Some physicians don’t mind traveling, but they prefer to not be away from home for extended periods. A good solution is to book shorter assignments that that are less disruptive to your life at home. To increase the variety of his practice beyond his permanent position at a small rural hospital, general surgeon Dr. Blaine Cashmore takes on short-term locum tenens assignments at locations around his home state of Utah. These short trips allow him to be with his family most of the time, yet he also enjoys flexibility and the freedom to travel.
“I’ve enjoyed my experience doing the locums thing so I’ve been able to do weekends here and there,” explained Dr. Cashmore. “It gave me the opportunity to take a mini weekend vacation, especially when the kids were younger. Or I’ll go there and we’ll go hiking and things wherever we were and experience the community for four or five days.”
3. Have a strong support system
Another way to take advantage of short-term locum tenens assignments — even with small children at home — is to build a strong support system where you live. Dr. Janakiriman relies on her family when she accepts locums opportunities that take her out-of-town for a few days to a week at a time.
“I have a great family support system where if I’m doing seven-day blocks outside the state, I have family to watch my little one,” explains Dr. Janakiriman. “Right now though I’m primarily doing locum tenens close to home.”
If you want to try locums but don’t want to be too far away from home, CompHealth has many close-to-home options available — whether it’s a week, a weekend, or a short commute from home. Give us a call at 888.212.0816 to find out about current locum tenens job opportunities in your area.
Do you work locum tenens close to home? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below.