Maybe you have heard about the independence and flexibility of locum tenens, but haven’t explored further because you have some concerns. This is understandable. The locum tenens lifestyle is different from the traditional understanding of a medical career. However, many physicians, nurse practitioners (NPs), and physician assistants (PAs) find that their concerns are often unwarranted after being placed on assignment and experiencing all that locum tenens has to offer. Here, we address eight common concerns people have about becoming a locum tenens provider in hopes of alleviating these hesitations. Check them out!
1. Locum Tenens Is a Career Choice
Locum tenens is not a last resort; it is a career choice. Oftentimes, physicians, NPs, and PAs favor the freedom and flexibility that comes with a locum tenens career. Locum tenens providers are able to focus on the part of the job they love, treating patients, and leave behind the extra headaches, such as practice politics and mounting government regulations.
Locum tenens affords new physicians, NPs, and PAs the opportunity to try out different practice styles and geographic areas before, or instead of, committing to a permanent position.
Additionally, seasoned healthcare providers often choose to do locum tenens as a means to “semi-retire” without leaving medicine completely.
2. Create Your Own Schedule
Physicians, NPs, and PAs who choose to do locum tenens make their own schedule. There is no shortage of locum tenens opportunities, which means you can work as much or as little as you want. Such scheduling freedom means a locum can work full-time, part-time, or can pick up additional shifts as needed to supplement a permanent position.
By taking that first step and trying locum tenens, you would be signing up for a flexible schedule – the ability to work whenever and wherever you want.
Read more about “The Stability of Locum Tenens.”
3. Work With a Dedicated Team Whose Purpose Is to Make Your Life Easier
Do not worry. Our incredible credentialing team and license assistance team will take care of everything you need. When you work with Barton Associates, you are assigned one of our experienced locum tenens license and credentialing experts who will make the process as easy as possible.
Check out the “Credentialing Corner” section of the Barton Blog to see our credentialing experts flex their knowledge.
4. Focus on Patient Care, Not Production Units
Locum tenens are independent contractors, and generally paid on an hourly basis. That means you are paid for how many hours you spend taking care of patients, not for how many production units you complete during that time. Being paid by the hour allows providers to focus on patient care, not on trying to complete more complicated and expensive procedures.
For more information on compensation, read “Does it pay to be a locum tenens provider?“.
5. Experience a Number of Associated Tax Benefits, Come Tax Time
There are some tax benefits associated with being an independent contractor. For example, you may be able to deduct certain expenses incurred as well as costs associated with obtaining health insurance. Just remember, it is very important to keep up to date with all of your tax forms, and to set money aside to pay your taxes on a quarterly basis.
For more information about the tax benefits associated with being a locum tenens provider, check out our “Tax Guide for Locum Tenens Providers.” Of course, you will also want to consult a tax professional.
6. Choose From a Variety of Health Insurance Plans
Locum tenens providers must find a health plan designed for an independent contractor. However, there are advantages to independent contractor plans. For example, you have the freedom to pick from among a variety of health insurance plans available, and, unlike a corporate health insurance plan, you don’t have to wait for a corporate open enrollment period. Plans can take effect as soon as the next day!
For more information on obtaining health insurance as a locums, check out the “Health Insurance Guide for Locum Tenens Providers,” which has some great tips!
7. Participate in a Customizable Job Search to Find Your Perfect Opportunity
At Barton Associates, we strive to find your perfect opportunity. All locum tenens providers who work with us go through a comprehensive interview with a Barton Associates recruiter. Our recruiters are dedicated to figuring out exactly what types of positions you seek, and will only contact you when a position fits your needs.
You can also sign up for the custom job search, and we will find the jobs that fit your criteria and send them right to your inbox.
8. Pick Up and Go!
At Barton, we have a talented travel team who will make all the necessary travel and lodging arrangements for you. We handle the itinerary so that all you need to do is get to the gate on time!
What’s more, travel costs related to your assignment (such as airfare, hotel, and car rental) are typically covered. You can also accumulate frequent flier miles and hotel points doing locum tenens work to use towards your vacations!
We hope this article alleviates some of the concerns you may have with locum tenens.