Reasons Why a Physician Might Opt for Locum Tenens

Many physicians know what locum tenens is all about. Many are also aware of the pros of choosing this assignment type.

In the past, a locum tenens physician was usually an older professional who used these jobs to gradually leave full proactive and get into retirement. Hence, retired doctors formed the bulk of the workforce then.

However, things are different nowadays. These days, physicians of all career phases or ages now take up this kind of assignment. The reasons many opt for locum tenens instead of a permanent or full-time job are what we’ll be discussing in this article.

1. Way to Avoid Burnout

We all know that medical professionals have the longest working hours. Some of them have to work multiple shifts because of the number of patients they have to attend to. Some surgeons barely get home before they are called for an emergency case.

These long hours on end can take a toll on these professionals who are also humans. Hence, many of them tend to burn out or break down either physically, mentally, or emotionally.

Therefore, as an escape from burnout, many physicians prefer to work locum tenens. This way, they can work for some weeks or more and then have time to rest, refresh, and recover before starting the next task.

2. Opportunity to See if a Job Fits

Most physicians that are fresh out of medical residency use locum tenens as an opportunity to test if a job fits and suits them. Instead of jumping into a permanent job, they first of all test run the job via a temporary assignment. Visit to learn how to decide if a job fits you.

Doing that will afford them the opportunity to assess if the job is something they will love to do every day. Hence, they get to enjoy the flexibility that the temporary assignment provides.

3. Increased Family Time

As we said earlier, many medical professionals do not have free time. Hence, they are hardly home and they don’t get to spend much time with their families.

Such can put a strain on the family bond; hence, spouses and kids can feel alienated from their working family member. Therefore, to avoid this, many doctors choose to work on temporary assignments that afford them more time to spend with their families.

Interestingly, some assignments allow you to bring the family along. Hence, you can make an assignment a road trip fun time for the family.

4. Means to Get Supplementary Income

Another reason medical folks work locum tenens jobs is to get supplementary income. This is often practiced by younger physicians who are just starting out as a means of boosting their paycheck.

Sometimes, the pay from locum work might even be more than what one makes while in fellowship. Hence, many seek such opportunities even though they choose to maintain their fellowship.

5. System to Enhance Skills

A good number of physicians work locum jobs as an opportunity to be free and get a chance to do other things they love. Some take the opportunity to run their businesses. Click here to learn how to start a side business.

In the midst of doing the above, many unknowingly develop their medical skills. Exposure to various hospital systems, various patient populations, and different colleagues with different specialties usually broadens and enhances the skills of most medical practitioners.

6. Medium to Help

This is done by retired physicians who after working in the healthcare system for so long have now come to value the importance of life more deeply. Hence, they use locum tenens as a medium to help individuals and areas that may not have the means to afford good health care.

They take up jobs in rural communities; sometimes at very low rates and at other times for no charge at all. All is done in a bid to help those who are less privileged.

7. Opportunity for Mentorship

As we said earlier, locum tenens is a system that helps medical practitioners to enhance their skills. This is usually accomplished thanks to the permanent partners most physicians meet at their places of assignment.

The more a doctor goes to different locum tenens assignments, the more they meet other experienced permanent partners. Hence, the younger physicians have the opportunity to learn from these individuals and gain valuable insights that will help them advance in their career journey.

8.  Chance to Chase Other Passions

We mentioned before that many physicians opt for locum tenens as a chance to do other things they love. It is interesting to know that doctors have other passions just like other individuals. However, their long working hours do not afford them the opportunity to chase those passions.

Hence, in other to satisfy this part of their lives, many doctors leave full-time jobs and take up part-time assignments. This allows them to balance both parts of their lives.


Locum tenens has so many benefits; hence, many physicians are going into it full swing. Chief among these benefits is the freedom of time that they get to enjoy which a full-time job doesn’t provide. Hence, in the article above, we have looked at some reasons why physicians opt for locum tenens.

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