Are you a physician, PA or NP that has thought about locum tenens but aren’t sure where to start? Finding the right locum tenens assignment starts with asking yourself what you are looking to get out of it. Are you in-between jobs and looking for something to help you get by while looking for a new permanent job? Or are you looking for a one-time weekend assignment to make extra money? Or has a life change brought about a desire for a new career in medicine? Locums can be the answer to all of these questions.
One of the most appealing aspects of temporary assignments is that they can be tailored to the needs of the individual physician, PA, or NP.
“From my very first call with a physician I am trying to find out their needs and wants — how locums may fit into the rest of their life and career and what they want to get out of the experience,” says Trish Reinhardt, a CompHealth physician recruiter.
“I also want to know their housing preferences, if they have travel companions or pets that come with them “This helps me get to know their personality a little better and prepares me for finding them the right job in the future.”
Locums assignments are a great way to make extra money, experience new practice settings or travel. Some physicians find locums work directly with local healthcare facilities but most require the use of a third-party recruitment agency. When you first call an agency here are the questions you should be prepared to answer.
Questions your recruiter will ask
- What is your current work situation? How would locums work around that?
- What do you want to get out of your locums assignment?
- What is your availability?
- Which states or cities do you want to work in?
- In which states do you have medical licenses?
- Have been practicing medicine for the past 24 months?
- Can you obtain three references from physicians willing to vouch for your clinical skills?
- Would anyone be traveling with you?
- What would your housing preferences be?
- Why would a facility want you to work for them?
- Where are you willing to work?
In addition to answering the questions above, you also should have an updated CV. You should also be prepared to ask the recruiter questions.
Questions to ask your recruiter
- How long does it take to become credentialed to work?
- What specific expenses are paid for? (e.g., licensing, airfare, hotel, car rental, etc.)
- What are the housing options?
- Who handles credentialing?
- When and how will I be paid?
- What assignments are available?
- Do you provide malpractice insurance?
“A recruiter should really be a resource for a provider, our job is to focus on how we can help them achieve their career goals,” says Simon Parsons, a CompHealth physician recruiter.
CompHealth recruiters are different from other staffing agencies because they work exclusively with providers or client facilities, not both. They are focused solely on finding physicians, PAs, NPs and therapists the perfect jobs.
“Your job as a recruiter is to work as a team with the provider, you are their advocate. To find them the job that is the best possible fit you need to get to know them. This starts with the very first phone call,” says Jill Sansom, a CompHealth physician recruiter.