Seven years ago, hospitalist Dr. John Thieszen was serving in the Air Force and in need of extra income. With student loans and everyday expenses mounting, he turned to locum tenens, working assignments on the weekends to supplement the income he was receiving from his full-time job.
“I had the time, but I just didn’t have the opportunity,” Dr. Thieszen says. “I started asking friends and searching the web, trying to find ways to supplement my income. I even tried to call hospitals directly, which never panned out. It wasn’t until a friend mentioned CompHealth that I started working locum tenens assignments.”
The Financial Benefits of Part-Time Assignments
The lucrative financial benefits of part-time locum tenens work surprised Dr. Thieszen.
“I made more money in my first year doing locums just one or two weekends a month than I made in my entire salary for the year,” he shares. “It worked out so well that, even though my other jobs have changed, working locum tenens part time has remained a constant.”
Dr. Thieszen soon discovered that working part-time assignments also improved his full-time job, giving him more options to pursue the career he wants rather than feeling trapped in a position he doesn’t.
“Making a career move is scary,” he says. “When you are working locum tenens assignments with a staffing organization that you trust, it allows you to take risks with your primary job to do what you really want to do. I’ve made several career changes since I started working locums, and each one has been such a great change from the last.”
More Time for Family
The additional income isn’t the only benefit Dr. Thieszen discovered while working locum tenens. It’s also enhanced his family life by giving him the flexibility to schedule more time with his family.
“I’m able to have the flexibility with my full-time job to work locums and arrange my schedule in a way that allows us to have great trips and experiences as a family,” he shares. “We have the luxury of visiting places we never would have seen, eating at restaurants we normally wouldn’t have tried, and enjoying outdoor activities.”
Locum Tenens Can Be Scary
Locum tenens assignments have provided Dr. Thieszen with the opportunity to pursue the career and lifestyle he wants, but says the first time can be intimidating. He recommends finding a reliable staffing agency and representative.
“The first time is an awkward feeling to drive up to a hospital and know that they are expecting you, but you’re not sure where to go or what it’s going to be like to do it,” he shares. “Finding a hospital that’s a good fit is crucial. And working with a company that has a personal component helps, because they get to know you and can find assignments that are right for you.”
For other physicians intrigued by the prospect of enhancing their own career and family life, Dr. Thieszen highly recommends giving locum tenens a try.
“Locums will open up your horizons for everything else you do, because you know all the different opportunities that are out there,” he says. “I can think of a hundred reasons to do locums, and everybody’s got a few reasons that really would meet their needs, but if somebody’s thinking about locums, try it. Find a good company and try it.”