Using Locum Tenens to Maintain Medical Licensing While Living Outside the U.S.July 21st, 2014 2 Min read Blog
[caption id="attachment_4219" align="alignright" width="300"] Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith[/caption] When Dr. Rajka Milanovic Galbraith married her husband, Gary, a businessman from New Zealand, she knew that living abroad at some point was a possibility — and the thought of traveling excited her. Years later, the opportunity for a brand-new experience came: Her husband’s job required relocating to Qatar, a sovereign Arab emirate located in Western Asia. With a young son to care for and a successful family medicine career under her belt, Dr. Galbraith worried about finding a flexible job in a foreign country. She was fortunate enough to land a temporary position at a hospital there. Once she had her second son and wanted to return to work, however, Dr. Galbraith was unable to find a suitable position in Qatar. Not ready to give up practicing or lose her U.S. credentialing, she turned to CompHealth for help. “I knew that two years was the cutoff; I couldn’t be out of medicine that long, and I couldn’t retrain because my kids were so little,” Dr. Galbraith recalls. “I wanted to find a locum tenens assignment in the United States so I could work while we were on break from Qatar.” Though an assignment in her home state of Ohio didn’t pan out, an Apache Indian reservation in San Carlos, Arizona, was the perfect fit. “The locum tenens doctors [working in San Carlos] were a really nice mix, so I felt immediate camaraderie. It was also an opportunity for travel and adventure, so I could explore new areas and a different culture and find out the needs within the community,” Dr. Galbraith says. “I think everyone should work locum tenens at least once to see how other practices function and experience other environments, whether they’re private, government or community health centers.” Dr. Galbraith accepted another assignment in San Carlos a year later and then took a permanent position at a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Although she and her family no longer live in Qatar, Dr. Galbraith is grateful for the experience she had as an ex-patriate. “Life in Qatar was quite easy, simple, and safe! The country is very family-oriented and kid-friendly,” she recalls. “It was very easy making acquaintances, and the networking and socializing was quite exciting. The hours at the hospital where I worked were great, the staff was extremely friendly, and it was fun to learn yet another language.” Read more of Dr. Galbraith’s tips for expats working in healthcare in this KevinMD post.