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March 8, 2023
Healthcare Professionals

As an Orthopedic Surgeon, your employment opportunities are vast. Many hospitals require your advanced skills. Yet while full-time staff positions have their benefits, taking a locum tenens Orthopedic Surgery position may provide you with unforeseen benefits.

Locum tenens is Latin for "placeholder," symbolizing a temporary role. In healthcare, locum tenens positions are temporary roles given to qualified providers to help minimize staffing shortages. As an Orthopedic Surgeon in a locum tenens role, you can experience higher compensation, professional development, greater flexibility, and placements relevant to your custom career plans.

Partake in an in-demand career

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) predicts a 5,050 deficit in Orthopedic Surgeons to arise by 2025, making Orthopedic Surgeons with an active state license significantly in demand.

The demand for Orthopedic Surgery positions intensifies at the locum tenens level, where shorter-term contracts are needed to meet patient demand. By taking a locum tenens position, Orthopedic Surgeons can provide faster care for patients that have limited opportunities.

What types of procedures do Orthopedic Surgeons in locum tenens positions do?

As an Orthopedic Surgeon in a locum tenens assignment, you have the freedom to develop your assignment schedule and pick which procedures you do. Some Orthopedic Surgery procedures that you may be able to perform are carpal tunnel releases, low-acuity traumas like ankle fracture fixation, or high-acuity trauma like joint replacement surgery. It will depend on the needs of the practice and your qualifications.

How can I get an locum tenens assignment?

For a locum tenens opportunity, you first will need the required certifications. You will need an active state license as a board certified Orthopedic Surgeon. Once you have the certifications you need, you can reach out to a locum tenens agency to find a job alert near you or search for your future job across the country in places like California, New Hampshire, and many other states. 

Why hospitals rely on locum tenens surgeons

Hospitals rely on locum tenens surgeons when they need someone that can fill in for an unavailable Orthopedic Surgery Physician. This temporary support staff is to ensure that hospitals are not short-handed and have ongoing coverage to perform all the procedures scheduled.

Benefits of locum tenens positions

While there are benefits on the permanent and locum tenens side of staffing, the best choice depends greatly on personal preferences and your custom career plan. Nevertheless, working locum tenens positions provides many attractive benefits that may influence your decision.

Larger paychecks

According to Beckers, the average annual pay for orthopedic surgeons is $511,000.  The level of compensation reflects the skill and education level needed to succeed in this field.

While permanent staffing positions for Orthopedic Surgeons are high, locum tenens assignments can yield more money annually. As locum tenens staff, you work for hospitals with acute staffing needs. The increased demand for providers can increase compensation.

Locum tenens workers willing to work evenings and be on weekend call may even command a higher salary, as these are generally considered less desirable shifts. Location can also affect compensation as rural locations offer typically a higher rate of pay to attract more contracts.


A great benefit of locum tenens positions is the gained flexibility. Along with the help of a locum tenens agency such as Health Carousel Locum Tenens, you can sign up for job alerts for positions that meet your desired schedule. These alerts can be local in your neighborhood or region, or even in another state or town. Orthopedic Surgeons in these locum tenens roles can decide if they want to work during the week, be on weekend call, or a combination that works best for them. Through locum tenens work, you also can have nationwide reach and an opportunity to travel and gain extensive experience in multiple positions with various demographics.

In addition, locum tenens positions vary in their required length of commitment. If you are not sure locum tenens work is right for you, you can choose a shorter position to suit your lifestyle. However, the longer you choose to work for a facility, the more room you have to negotiate a higher salary.

Are you looking for various assignments to enrich your work experience? With locum tenens work you can find a contract that suits your needs.

Professional development

A locum tenens agency will listen to your personal and professional goals and then find a post that will expand your professional network. When you practice as an Orthopedic Surgeon in various settings, from urban hospitals treating complex illnesses and injuries to a rural reservation serving an underserved population to government positions, your development and connections with other experts are amplified. You have the opportunity to gain experience working in multiple positions in Orthopedic Surgery without having to stay at one practice, and you get to develop your custom career plan. 

Financial care

Logistics, travel, lodging are frequently provided by the locum tenens agency, allowing you to save even more for your financial goals. You may also have more money and time to travel freely, partake in robust recreational activities, visit local attractions, spend time with family and friends, and more. However, being on weekend call as a locum tenens Orthopedic Surgeon may help you reach financial goals faster.

With the Health Carousel Locum Tenens network, you can also receive malpractice coverage for each locum tenens position you fill.

Soft skills for success

As an Orthopedic Surgeon with an active state license who wishes to take on a locum tenens position, you will need a set of specific soft skills for success. These can help enhance your experience and open opportunities for future positions:

  • A positive attitude amid change
  • Proficient communication skills to mitigate potential confusion during the transition
  • Adaptability to unique situations
  • Humility — as a locum tenens worker, you are there to offer patient care, not change existing protocol or processes
  • Receptivity to continual learning and improvement

Finding the best locum tenens opportunities

The best way to find locum tenens opportunities is simple — contact an experienced locum tenens agency where you can sign up for job alerts. With five Best of Staffing awards, you can trust the locum tenens process to find your future job with Health Carousel Locum Tenens. Founded by a Physician, our various network of staff will understand your needs and advocate for the best terms with each position.

Whether you are looking to increase your income, experience professional development, or discover a more flexible way to work, a locum tenens position as an Orthopedic Surgeon may be right for you.