A study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that early-career physicians were more likely to suffer career dissatisfaction and work-home conflicts than later-career physicians. However, being a new physician doesn’t have to mean you’re stuck and unhappy. Working locum tenens can reduce stress for early-career physicians through increased autonomy, flexibility, and financial security.
Seven CompHealth early-career doctors share their stories of how they were able to embark on satisfying careers in medicine and their personal lives.
Dr. Baraa Alrazzak says that locum tenens has been one of the best decisions of his life. “Locums really helped a lot generating the extra income to support me here and support my family back in Syria.” He spends quality time with his wife and daughters, who often travel with him on weekends or during school vacations, and he earns extra income while staying connected to those he loves.
With a wife, five kids, and two dogs, Dr. Tom Willson has a lot on his plate. The extra income that comes from locum tenens assignments allows him to better provide for his family. He says CompHealth sets him up for success so he doesn’t have to worry about anything else. “Having an itinerary that lists everything for me is very helpful. I can just look up the email five minutes before I’m supposed to be there.” This high level of support means he can focus his attention on his patients and still bring in extra income, without having to worry about the details.
Dr. Arthi Chawla, a family medicine physician, echoes the sentiment of others when she says, “Locum tenens has worked out great for me financially.” With CompHealth covering the costs of travel, housing, a rental car, and malpractice, Dr. Chawla can save money and spend part of her year pursuing her passion of volunteering abroad. “I feel very fortunate that I have such financial security.”
After the pressure of residency, Dr. Rafael Marin was tired. He wanted to be reminded why he got into medicine in the first place. “Doing locum tenens has allowed me to give myself enough time to find that connection to medicine again. Locum tenens allows me to work around my time and also, most importantly, allows me to fall in love again with what I was training for.”
A self-described “freebird,” Dr. Tuan Vo didn’t want to be pinned down by a contract. “I love doing locums because I can kind of make my own schedule and I get to pick where I want to go.” He summarizes, “If I want to work, I work. If I want to take time off, I take time off.”
Finding a permanent job in Washington D.C. can take months, says Dr. Ravi Pujara. But locums gave him the ability to explore beyond his own backyard and “really build up some of the savings I had lost through training.” He’s an urgent care pediatrician who sees locums as an opportunity to continue his hospitalist work and maintain valuable skills outside his everyday profession.
Dr. Colin Zhu is anything but average. He’s a family physician and an osteopath, and he attended culinary school, a hobby that he incorporates into his practice. Locum tenens is the perfect fit for him because it gives him “a lot of time, freedom, autonomy, to be able to dictate the type of lifestyle, work-life balance that I seek personally, and with more time and freedom I’m able to pursue other passions.”
Their paths are different, but the themes are the same—and each of these early-career physicians credits their CompHealth recruiter for eliminating roadblocks and paving the way to a career they’ll truly enjoy. Dr. Chawla says, “Having that personal touch really makes a huge difference.” Working locum tenens has helped them achieve greater career satisfaction through better work-life balance, career flexibility, and financial security.