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Is a Career in Locum Tenens Worth the Commitment?

Written by Jimmy Rustling

One of the most challenging parts of living out a career as a medical professional is trying to figure out the best direction to take. It can be especially stressful for new physicians who don’t know what they want from their job. 

The troubling part of a medical career is the lack of overall control, especially concerning schedules and the work-life balance. Fortunately, you have another option in the form of locum tenens. But, of course, locum tenens isn’t the kind of job you can take lightly, as it’s a different career direction compared to a traditional career in medicine.

Let’s look into why a career in locum tenens is worth the commitment.

1 You have more control depending on your recruiter

One of the most crucial aspects of locum tenens involves finding the best physician recruiter available. After all, the recruiter is in charge of finding the right assignments, so there isn’t room for trial and error. Fortunately, the ideal recruiter can be easy to find, provided you know what you’re doing.

It mostly has to do with the preferred location of assignments. If you choose wisely, you’ll have a physician recruiter who has your best interests at heart and is willing to do the work so you get the assignment you want. You’ll have much more control over your job, which is more than can be said about traditional careers.

2 You have more of an opportunity to travel

To be a traveling physician is to take on a unique, extremely rewarding challenge, provided you’re willing to work hard. Those who have difficulty leaving their hometown will likely not have much of a future in locum tenens, but most people enjoy the traveler’s mindset and lifestyle.

While it’s true that you’ll be dealing with culture shock every time you start an assignment, you’ll eventually get used to tackling assignments. One distinct advantage is you can go for longer assignments, allowing you to become more adjusted to different locations.

3 You have more of a chance to make a difference

One of the best things about locum tenens assignments is that you can make more of a difference. No matter the choice of assignment, you’re filling in for a sorely needed position. It’s especially noticeable in more remote areas.

If you take an assignment in a remote area, you will be paid more, and your job will matter much to the people who need you. It’s different from the typical scenario for a physician, where you don’t have much of an opportunity to showcase what you’re made of. This is why many facilities look for physicians with locum tenens experience.


If you’re looking for proof of whether locum tenens is a great idea, use the guide above as your reference. But, long story short, it’s worth the commitment, as there are many ways you can take charge of your career.

It’s flexible and adaptable in ways that a typical career might not always allow. It gives you far more control, allowing you to enjoy your career fully.

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.