Dr. Gina Bell is a full-time locum tenens as well as an instructor in Southern Illinois University’s Family Medicine Residency Program. She is also a single mom raising two kids, and after years of arduous work she was looking for an option that would provide her with more flexibility of schedule and control of her life so she could focus more on her family. A friend recommended she try locum tenens and the rest is history.
“One of my friends that I had met during my training started to do locums. He had expressed that he thought it was a really good idea for me to look into it because he was so very pleased with his lifestyle,” says Bell. “Knowing my situation with being a single parent, he thought that it might be ideal just to check into it. When I did I was really pleasantly surprised to kind of find out how it really worked.”
Earlier in her career Dr. Bell’s son was attending a high school an hour away from their home and needed daily rides to and from school, she was also caring for a newborn daughter and working full-time as an OBGYN. Needless to say her life was busy. She maintained this pace for a number of years before an opportunity to go and teach as part of the Southern Illinois University residency program came up.
She remembers thinking there was no way out of the grind that her life had become. However, in reflecting on that time of her life she realizes that the time spent in the car with her son every day was a great opportunity for them to talk and bond and it made him more responsible seeing what his mom was doing every day to support her family. Her son just recently graduated from University with honors and is now preparing to enter med school.
For the past four years Dr. Bell has been working locum tenens full-time and has found that it give her far more time for herself and her family.
“I love the flexibility of my schedule. I can work when I want. I can work as much as I want, or as little as I’d like. Just being in control of your life is the most beneficial aspect of locums and allowing you to still do what God created you to do, to still impart medical care, your expertise, what you really enjoy doing. Going into places that need a physician present is really rewarding.”
Locums has also allowed her to still connect with patients and make a difference in people’s lives.
“Everywhere I go and every day I do locums I have memorable experiences. It’s always a pleasure to take care of patients. If it’s your calling that’s just what God designed you to do,” says Bell. “It seems like no matter where I go God always sends someone for me to take care of and it’s always pretty obvious that I’m supposed to be there at that time to take care of that patient. That’s been my experience. It’s always very rewarding.”
Dr. Bell was also selected to be one of three physicians traveling with CompHealth’s parent company CHG Healthcare on a medical mission to Kenya in partnership with the Making A Difference Foundation.