Physician Guide to Locum Tenens Jobs in South Dakota

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 South Dakota which you know very little about. That’s where Barton comes in!

What You Need to Know About South Dakota 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 South Dakota.

Click here for open physician jobs in South Dakota!

South Dakota: A Brief History

South Dakota’s history is a tapestry woven with Native American heritage, westward expansion, and the shaping of the American frontier. For centuries, tribes like the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Sioux thrived on the Great Plains. The arrival of European explorers and settlers led to conflict and dramatic changes, with events like the Gold Rush and the Battle of Little Bighorn shaping the region. The iconic Mount Rushmore was carved to symbolize the nation’s growth, while today, South Dakota honors both its Native American roots and the rugged spirit of the frontier.

South Dakota’s history resonates within its vast prairies, sacred landmarks, and the enduring spirit of its people. From ancient civilizations to modern-day challenges, its past is a complex and ongoing narrative, a testament to the forces that shape both a state and a nation.

What is there to do and see in South Dakota?

  • Unforgettable Monuments: Visit the iconic Mount Rushmore, marvel at the ongoing construction of the Crazy Horse Memorial, and witness the stark beauty of Badlands National Park. 
  • Experience Native American Culture:  Discover the vibrant heritage of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Sioux at cultural centers, powwows, or by exploring sites like the Wounded Knee Memorial. 
  • Outdoor Exploration: Hike through the Black Hills National Forest, go kayaking on the Missouri River, or search for wildlife like bison and pronghorn in Custer State Park. 
  • Step Back in Time: Explore the Wild West legacy in historic Deadwood, attend the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, or delve into the state’s prehistoric past at the Mammoth Site.

How close is South Dakota to other cities and states?

  • North Dakota: South Dakota shares its entire northern border with North Dakota. The distance from central South Dakota to the North Dakota border is negligible. 
  • Wyoming: South Dakota’s western border connects with Wyoming. The distance from central South Dakota to the Wyoming border is approximately 130 miles. 
  • Nebraska: South Dakota shares its southern border with Nebraska. The distance from central  South Dakota to the Nebraska border is about 150 miles.

Physicians Scope of Practice In South Dakota

What is the Scope of Practice for Physicians in South Dakota?

Physicians in South Dakota have full practice authority, which means they can practice medicine without supervision or collaboration. This includes diagnosing and treating patients, ordering tests, prescribing medications, and performing procedures. Full practice authority allows physicians to provide comprehensive care, leading to improved patient outcomes and increased access to care. It also gives patients more choices and reduces wait times. While there are potential drawbacks, such as increased costs and physician burnout, these can be mitigated with careful planning.

Can Physicians Sign Death Certificates in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, physicians are authorized to sign death certificates, as required by state law. The physician must have personal knowledge of the death and must file the certificate with the local registrar within five days. Physicians provide accurate and complete information about the cause of death, which is used by public health officials to track mortality rates and identify potential public health concerns.

Does South Dakota Recognize Physicians as Primary Care Providers? 

South Dakota recognizes the role of physicians as primary care providers (PCPs) through its statues and administrative codes. This recognition is essential for ensuring access to comprehensive healthcare services, appropriate reimbursement for physicians, collaboration among healthcare professionals, and a consistent point of contact for patients. South Dakota’s acknowledgment of physicians as PCPs is a positive step towards improving healthcare quality and the well-being of its residents.

Can Physicians Prescribe Schedule II Drugs in South Dakota?

Yes, physicians can prescribe schedule II drugs in South Dakota.

Do Physicians Qualify for Medical Staff Membership in South Dakota?

In the state of South Dakota, physicians are eligible to apply for medical staff membership at hospitals and other healthcare facilities. This membership allows physicians to practice medicine within the facility and to have access to its resources, such as medical equipment and patient records. Once a physician has been granted medical staff membership, they will be subject to the rules and regulations of the facility. They will also be expected to participate in quality improvement activities and to provide continuing education to other members of the medical staff.

Can Physicians Order Physical Therapy in South Dakota?

South Dakota physicians possess comprehensive authority to prescribe physical therapy for patients. This streamlines the process of obtaining physical therapy services, ensuring prompt and effective treatment. Physicians can directly issue orders for physical therapy services, eliminating the need for separate referrals or lengthy approval processes. The full authority granted to physicians acknowledges the significance of physical therapy in managing health conditions, enabling patients to access necessary treatments without delays or barriers. This approach aligns with the state’s goal of providing comprehensive and timely healthcare to individuals, prioritizing patient well-being and efficient healthcare delivery.


Can Physicians Sign Handicap Parking Permit Forms in South Dakota?

Physicians in South Dakota are authorized to certify disability for parking placards, a crucial service that ensures accessible parking options for individuals with disabilities. Physicians assess individuals, review medical records, and provide signed certification forms. Physicians’ involvement in this process contributes to a more inclusive and accessible environment for individuals with disabilities in South Dakota.

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

In South Dakota, physicians are authorized to sign MOST forms. By signing a MOST form, physicians acknowledge discussing the patient’s end-of-life wishes and reflecting those wishes in the orders. Physicians must complete a training program and obtain certification to sign MOST forms. The process involves discussing the patient’s goals, completing the form, obtaining the patient’s or legal representative’s signature, and sharing it with healthcare providers. MOST forms ensure that patients’ end-of-life wishes are respected and help ensure a dignified and peaceful death.

Can Physicians Sign Do Not Resuscitate Orders in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, physicians have the authority, granted by the South Dakota Medical Practice Act, to sign Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders based on the principle of patient autonomy. The process typically involves discussions between the patient or their legal representative and the physician, who assesses the patient’s condition and determines the appropriateness of a DNR order. DNR orders are legally binding and must be followed by all healthcare providers, leading to comfort care and a natural death. While challenging, DNR orders provide peace of mind for patients and families, ensuring end-of-life care aligns with their values and beliefs.

What are the Continuing Medical Education Requirements for Physicians in South Dakota?

South Dakota is a unique case in the United States, as physicians in the state are not required to complete continuing education (CE) hours for license maintenance. This contrasts with most other states, which have mandatory CE requirements. The reasons behind this exemption include the state’s small population and the board’s belief in patient choice and physician autonomy.

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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