My Locum Tenens Experience: Traveling the Country for 22 Years

February 28th, 2014 2 Min read My Locum Tenens Experience: Traveling the Country for 22 Years Blog
DrKingNephrologist Margaret King still remembers a question a friend and fellow doctor asked her more than 22 years ago: What would you do if you won the lottery? Her answer was simple — and the dream didn’t even require a million-dollar paycheck. “I replied that I would love to get one of those silver little trailers to pull behind my car and travel all over the country,” Dr. King recalls. “He said, ‘You don’t have to win the lottery to do that. You can become a locum tenens.’” Though Dr. King had never heard of locum tenens work at the time, she took her friend’s recommendations and called staffing companies for opportunities. She began working as a full-time locum tenens physician in February 1992 and continues to live her dream of traveling the country. “Locum tenens enables me to be flexible with my schedule and to take long trips. [You have] the freedom to work in places that you like and not work again or for too long in some places,” Dr. King says. “I’ve been able to work with people from all nationalities, and I feel that’s really enriched my life. Somehow through this friend of mine, I got turned on to doing locum tenens, and what a difference it’s made for me!” Besides the perks of traveling, Dr. King also enjoys the simplicity of her locum tenens assignments. “All I have to do is focus on the patients and try to practice the best clinical medicine that I possibly can,” Dr. King says. “I don’t have to do any type of business, I don’t have to get involved in office politics, I don’t have to give any lectures. I just do the things I was trained to do and take care of patients.” Dr. King says locum tenens allows her to have a life she enjoys and a career that uses her talents. “When I get up in the morning, I’m looking forward to the day. I can’t wait to come to the hospital and see what’s going to happen,” Dr. King expresses. “I’m very happy, and a lot of times I’m humming a little tune and don’t even notice it.” Even after 22 years of traveling the United States as a locum tenens provider, Dr. King has no plans to stop. “I’ve been doing this for so many years that I don’t think I could ever settle down. If I were 70 years old and I didn’t really want to work full-time, maybe [I could find] a little clinic close to home that needs a part-time doctor,” Dr. King shares. “I guess I’ll have to stop when I can’t get to the airport anymore or my knees are giving out.”