Dr. Edwards has been traveling to patients for home visits in Texas, and surrounding states as a locum tenens provider since 2016. His commitment to traveling hundreds of miles a day at times to administer patient care is something his recruiter, Aleksa T., pointed out about him. “He takes so much pride in his work that he has/will travel in during rain, snow, and ice storms to get to work,” she said.
During the pandemic, Edwards said “I became the busiest person in the US doing those home visits… I did roughly 10% of the US visits for that company that year, and I traveled around 30,000 miles.”
Unlike the rest of the world, Edwards didn’t shut down during the time of the virus. It was the busiest he’d been in years, but he still had down time to fill. In comes the University of Iowa women’s basketball. Edwards was born in the Hawkeye state, and naturally became a fan of the school’s sports at the height of COVID-19, when televised sports ceased to exist.
At that time, Edwards resorted to online clips for entertainment. “I started watching YouTube videos of [Paige Bueckers] who was from Minneapolis and, you know, everyone was talking about how she’s the greatest… and somebody commented on one of the videos and said, ‘Well, you should look at Caitlin Clark’… She’s still in high school but they said she’s going to the University of Iowa. So I started watching old University of Iowa videos of their team and I liked their style of play,” he said.
That’s how Edwards became linked with the team. “I started going to games last year and this year bought season tickets. So I made almost a dozen trips up there this year to watch them play.”
Edwards said he’s even taken locum assignments en route to Iowa so he can go watch his team play. “I’ve had quite a few patients through Barton in northern Oklahoma… And so I’ll try to schedule those if it’s feasible the day before, or the day after the Iowa women play in Iowa City because northern Oklahoma is about halfway to Iowa City.”
People often ask Edwards, “‘Why do you go up there to watch them?’ I’m like, because for six dollars I’m seeing the best player in the world play. And it’s a real team, they’re exciting. And it’s kind of a very wholesome environment,” he said.
He bought his season tickets for $90, a very modest price for 15 games. Near the end of this season, Edwards was in attendance for a game the Hawkeyes played against number two ranked Indiana. “I could have sold my seats for that game for $450,” said Edwards– a huge jump from the bargain he paid upfront.
“Iowa was a pretty big underdog. People don’t remember that at this point but they were an underdog and they pulled that off and it really kind of propelled them,” he said. “They won the Big Ten tournament the next week and then got to the finals of NCAA’s but that’s the game that kind of springboarded them to it.”
Ironically, the Texas based provider did not attend the Hawkeye’s historic Final Four upset over South Carolina in Dallas. “I didn’t go because tickets comparable to my seats would have been $4,000 each, and I’m just like, you know I get to see them play a dozen times a year for six dollars. I’m not going to pay 4,000.”
In the future, Edwards hopes to repeat this routine of balancing responsibilities and rooting for his team. “I keep telling my recruiters, ‘Hey, I’ve got a license in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin… Kansas.’ I’m like if you can get me assignments up there during basketball season, I would be happy to go up there,” he said.
Like Dr. Edwards, locum physicians can pursue their interests while providing medical care. Traveling is one of the main benefits to locum tenens work. See for yourself! Reach out today to be matched with a recruiter.