Physician Guide to Locum Tenens Jobs in California

Imagine for a moment that you are stuck in traffic on your way to work, bored of the same monotonous routine, and looking to experience new scenery and culture. Then, your phone vibrates. It’s your Barton recruiter with the answer. They share a new listing with great pay, your dream schedule, and it will start at a time that fits your current life. The only problem is that it is in California which you know very little about. That’s where Barton comes in!

locum jobs in california

What You Need to Know About California as a Locum Tenens Physician?

Our recruiters and staffing specialists do not expect you, the provider, to know ins-and-outs of every state in the country. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled information from TripAdvisor, state government pages, and tourist information sources to give you a glimpse into life in California.

Click here for open physician jobs in California!

California: A Brief History

California’s history is a captivating tale of discovery, innovation, and cultural diversity. From the Gold Rush that lured adventurers worldwide to the birth of the entertainment industry in Hollywood, the state’s past is as colorful as its landscape. The Spanish missions, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, and the Silicon Valley’s tech revolution all contribute to the tapestry of California’s history, making it a place of endless fascination.

California was admitted to the Union as the 31st state in 1850, marking a turning point in its history. The state’s rapid growth and economic significance contributed to its becoming a cultural and economic powerhouse. With its diverse geography and endless activities, there is something for everyone to love in California, making it an ideal place to live, work, and play! 

What is there to do and see in California?

  • California boasts an array of breathtaking national parks, including Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and Sequoia & Kings Canyon. Visitors can marvel at majestic waterfalls, ancient trees, and stunning rock formations while enjoying activities like hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting.
  • Napa Valley and Sonoma County offer world-renowned wine tasting experiences amidst picturesque vineyards. Visitors can savor award-winning wines, indulge in gourmet cuisine, and enjoy the scenic countryside.
  • From the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Disneyland in Southern California to the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, the state is brimming with iconic landmarks that capture the essence of American culture and history.
  • With a coastline stretching over 800 miles, California offers an abundance of beautiful beaches for sunbathing, surfing, and water sports. From the stunning beaches of San Diego to the rugged coastline of Big Sur, there’s a beach for every preference.

How close is California to other cities and states?

  • Los Angeles, California to Las Vegas, Nevada: Approximately 270 miles northeast; around 4 to 4.5 hours by car.
  • Los Angeles, California to San Francisco, California: Roughly 380 miles north; about 6 to 7 hours by car.
  • Los Angeles, California to Phoenix, Arizona: Around 370 miles southeast; approximately 5.5 to 6 hours by car.
  • San Francisco, California to Portland, Oregon: About 640 miles north; approximately 10 to 11 hours by car.
  • San Francisco, California to Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada border: Approximately 200 miles east; around 3 to 4 hours by car. 

California’s vibrant history, diverse array of attractions, and coastal location make it an irresistible place to live and work, offering an unparalleled blend of cultural, natural, and historical experiences.

Physician Scope of Practice In California


What is the Scope of Practice for Physicians in California?

In California, physicians have full practice authority, granting them legal and professional autonomy to practice medicine without unnecessary restrictions. This authority allows them to diagnose, treat, and manage patients’ medical conditions independently, including prescribing medications, ordering tests, and performing procedures. Full practice authority enables physicians to provide comprehensive patient-centered care, enhance access to healthcare services, and improve overall healthcare outcomes. It recognizes the expertise and professionalism of physicians and fosters a collaborative and effective healthcare delivery system in California.

Can Physicians Sign Death Certificates in California?

In California, physicians play a crucial role in certifying deaths by signing death certificates. The process involves a thorough assessment of the circumstances surrounding the death and a review of medical records. By signing death certificates, physicians ensure that the accurate and timely documentation of deaths is met effectively.

Does California Recognize Physicians as Primary Care Providers?

In California, physicians are recognized as primary care providers through statutes and administrative codes, emphasizing their vital role in delivering comprehensive healthcare services. This recognition aims to ensure high-quality medical care, promote continuity of care, and facilitate communication among healthcare professionals. It also supports patient-centered medical homes, physician training and resources, collaboration among professionals, and potential cost savings in the long term. This recognition is a significant step in guaranteeing accessible and high-quality healthcare for California residents.

Can Physicians Prescribe Schedule II Drugs in California?

In California, licensed physicians can prescribe schedule II drugs to their patients. They must have a valid license and have completed the required training. Physicians must use their best clinical judgment to determine the appropriate medication and dosage for each patient. They must also provide patients with instructions on how to take the medication. Physicians may also prescribe non-prescription medications, but they must still use their best clinical judgment. They are also responsible for monitoring the effects of medication on their patients and making any necessary adjustments.

Do Physicians Qualify for Medical Staff Membership in California?

In the state of California, physicians are eligible to apply for medical staff membership at hospitals and healthcare facilities. Medical staff membership grants physicians clinical privileges, access to resources, and opportunities for collaboration and continuing education. To qualify, physicians must meet certain requirements, such as having a valid medical license, board certification, and malpractice insurance. The application process typically involves submitting an application and supporting documentation. Medical staff membership is beneficial for physicians as it allows them to practice medicine and provide high-quality care to their patients.

Can Physicians Order Physical Therapy in California?

In California, physicians have full authority to order physical therapy for their patients without requiring a prescription from another healthcare provider. This autonomy allows physicians to make timely decisions about their patients’ care, ensuring they receive physical therapy services promptly. 

Can Physicians Sign Handicap Parking Permit Forms in California?

In California, physicians have the authority to certify individuals’ disabilities for parking placards, enabling them to access designated parking spaces. Physicians assess the individual’s condition, considering factors like mobility limitations and cognitive impairments. 

Can Physicians Sign POLST/POST/MOLST/MOST/COLST Forms in California? 

In the state of California, physicians are legally authorized to sign Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms. These forms are designed to guide healthcare professionals in making decisions about life-sustaining treatments for patients who are seriously ill or have a life-limiting condition. By signing a POLST form, a physician can indicate the patient’s preferences for medical interventions such as CPR, intubation, and artificial nutrition and hydration. 

Can Physicians Sign Do Not Resuscitate Orders in California?

In California, physicians can sign Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders, which direct healthcare professionals to withhold CPR and other life-sustaining measures in the event of the patient’s heart or breathing stopping. DNR orders are typically made for terminally ill patients or those with conditions where resuscitation is unlikely to be successful.

What are the Continuing Education Requirements for Physicians in California?

In California, physicians must complete 50 continuing medical education (CME) hours per licensing cycle to renew their license. The purpose of this requirement is to keep physicians up-to-date on medical developments and maintain competence in patient care. The California Medical Board (CMB) oversees the CME requirement and defines CME as educational activities designed to enhance physicians’ knowledge, skills, and performance. Physicians have various options to meet the requirement, including attending conferences, reading medical journals, and completing online courses. The CME requirement is crucial in ensuring that physicians provide high-quality care to their patients.

Find Your Next Physician Job with Barton

Barton coordinates your job search from start to finish!



We’ll schedule a phone consultation with a Barton Associates team member to discuss your interests, goals, and work history in order to get a sense of what you’re looking for in your next job.

Your Barton team will then go to work, compiling a list of open jobs in our extensive network that match your interests and skill set.



Once you’ve had a chance to evaluate your list of opportunities, your Barton rep will submit your information to facility you want to take an assignment at.

If there’s a match, we’ll work with the client manager on next steps.



Don’t worry! Barton Associates will handle licensing, credentialing, and travel arrangements before you arrive.

Your Barton rep will also work with your new facility to ensure you’re set up and ready to go on day one.


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