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PUBLISHED
November 4, 2022
Category

Your path has been set for you throughout college, medical school, and now as a medical resident. You have not had much choice over the details of when and where you work. Are you curious about how you could have more control? 

When you start looking at jobs for graduating residents, you may want to consider how locum tenens positions could be the perfect option to give you some control. Working jobs as a locum tenens Physician after residency offers several benefits.

What does locum tenens mean?

What is locum tenens work? The Latin words “locum tenens” translates as “to hold a place.” Several professions use locum tenens positions, including Physicians. As a locum tenens Physician, you will come in and work to help replace another Physician temporarily.

What is the average salary for locum tenens positions?

It is difficult to determine the exact average salary for a locum tenens Physician. That being said, the average wage typical for locum tenens Physicians is often a higher average wage compared to Physicians in permanent positions.

Factors that can impact locum tenens Physician salary include location and specialty. Some states have a higher demand for temporary locum positions that need to be filled. Some specialties are in higher demand, as well, which can mean a higher salary for locum tenens Physicians. A locum tenens Physician can expect to make on average about 33% higher pay than your counterparts not working locum tenens positions.

Don’t forget other financial benefits for locum tenens Physicians. Some locum tenens agencies may provide a locum tenens Physician with reimbursement for travel expenses, housing, and malpractice insurance. A locum tenens agency may also be of assistance with all of the paperwork required for working in other states.

What kind of opportunities are available for locum tenens Physicians?

The beauty of working as a locum tenens Physician is that a wide variety of opportunities are available. There are full-time and part-time opportunities for residents when they choose to work as locum tenens Physicians. It has never been easier to find a locum tenens position that fits your life. 

There are facilities nationwide looking to add locum tenens Physicians to their rosters offering flexible scheduling to best suit your needs. Speaking with locum tenens agencies can be the perfect way to learn about the available locum tenens opportunities. Locum tenens agencies can help you to find the right jobs for your schedule and skillset.

How long are typical assignments?

Not only are there various types of assignments available as a locum tenens Physician, but there are no typical assignment lengths. A locum tenens Physician can choose to accept short-term positions that last only a few days, or you can find a locum tenens position that lasts for months. 

For some locum tenens positions, you will be told the exact dates of your assignments from start to finish, but there are times when you will not have a precise end date. This flexibility can be desirable to many Physicians. It works well when you are looking to add shifts, explore different locations and positions, or need a stop-gap once your residency is over before you find a permanent place.

What are the benefits of working locums right after finishing a residency?

When looking for the answer to what to do after medical residency, you should consider the benefits of working as a locum tenens Physician:

  • Locum tenens positions offer flexibility with your schedule; you can choose a long-term job or short-term.
  • Improve your work-life balance after residency.
  • Get paid more to help with your student debt or improve your bank balance.
  • Travel throughout the country working where you want and when you want.

One of the most significant benefits of a graduating resident is that it gives you a chance to explore the workforce to see what you prefer overall. Why choose one place to work for during the beginning of your career when you can explore various areas as a locum tenens Physician to see what works best for you. 

Locum tenens Physicians can explore a particular work environment and then move on to the next. You can find a place that fits you better when you move to a permanent position or enjoy the spontaneity of being in many workplaces. Some settings you may work in as a locum tenens Physician includes:

  • Urban, rural, and suburban settings
  • High-volume clinics that keep you moving all shift long compared to places that give you more time
  • High acuity cases versus low acuity cases
  • Explore different socioeconomic areas and patient demographics.

How does working as a locum tenens Physician help you pay off medical school debt quicker?

Medical school is not only intensive and challenging, but it can also be expensive. As a graduated resident, you can find that working locum tenens jobs is a perfect way for you to reduce your medical school debt in a timely fashion. Positions as a locum tenens Physician typically pay more than permanent positions because employers need to fill openings quickly.

You can work locum tenens positions during your first full-time position after you finish your residency or even as a part-time position pulling extra shifts for increased income. In addition, by looking for locum tenens positions in areas where the pay is higher, such as rural areas, a locum tenens Physician can speed up paying off their medical school debt without pinching pennies.

Can I work locum tenens positions while still in residency?

For most residency programs, you are unable to work these positions at the beginning of the program. This is because most programs want you focused on your residency rather than adding more work to your schedule. However, some programs will allow you to work locum tenens positions part-time towards the end of your residency. 

Often, this occurs when your residency is for a specialty that requires a more extended residency than other programs. There are some excellent part-time opportunities for residents with locum positions. Speak to your administration before looking for a locum tenens position.

Can I work locum tenens positions while pursuing a fellowship?

It is possible that you may be able to work as a locum tenens Physician while pursuing a fellowship. The key is that it depends on your schedule and the fellowship program itself. Some programs specifically allow you to do so, but it will be up to you to make sure that you are not putting yourself in a position where you cannot handle the schedule. It is essential to examine the requirements of your fellowship to determine if you can work locums simultaneously.

Where can I find locum tenens jobs?

Open positions for locum tenens Physicians can be found throughout the United States. There are jobs for locum tenens Physicians in every area featuring part-time and full-time positions ready for you to find after residency. The best place to learn about what open jobs are available for locum tenens Physicians in different locations is to contact a locum tenens agency. 

With guidance from reputable locum tenens organizations, you find the most attractive locum tenens  positions available wherever you want to travel. And if you are not sure where to go, a locum tenens agency can help you find locum tenens positions where you can make more money while making a difference.

What are your next steps after medical residency?

Are there days when you worry about what comes after your medical residency? It is the next chapter of your life, and locum tenens jobs are a great first step. There are so many benefits for medical residents starting their career as a locum tenens Physician. 

You will get a chance to explore different positions, and locations and work a schedule you decide before signing up for a permanent position. You may even love working as a locum tenens Physician and never look back.

After checking out these FAQs, are you thinking that a locum tenens Physician opportunity might be right for you? Health Carousel Locum Tenens is here to help you with this transition. Feel free to contact our staffing professionals to get more information about our agency and how you can start moving toward a future working in a locum tenens job.

Who should consider locum tenens positions? 

Locum tenens positions could be a great fit for retired Physicians, Physicians with full or partial availability who are unsatisfied with their current medical practice, or Physicians who want to take some extra work on the side. Income for locum tenens Physicians is often more competitive than a full-time medical practice and gives locum tenens Physicians the ability to allot as much or as little time to their work as they choose.  

Any Physician who wants more flexibility in their work schedule, better work-life balance, and the opportunity to travel and see the country should consider locum work. Full-time locum tenens positions can also enjoy greater variety in the facilities where they work and the communities they serve. And with the support of a locum tenens agency that provides housing, malpractice insurance, and other benefits, Physicians can make the switch to locum work without worry. 

For Physicians just starting out in the field of medicine, work as a locum tenens Physician can be an opportunity to learn new skills to advance their medical career. Experiences with different hospital systems, standards of care, and types of assignments can all be highly beneficial to developing a more complete repertoire of skills. 

Locum tenens Physicians career outlook

Locum tenens positions are becoming increasingly popular in the healthcare industry. It’s estimated that up to 90% of healthcare facilities use locum tenens Physicians to fill vacancies. And as the United States begins to experience a shortage of full-time Physicians, opportunities for locum tenens Physicians are expected to grow exponentially by 2025.


Specialties with the highest locum tenens demand include:


  • Radiology
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Anesthesiology
  • Neurology
  • Thoracic Surgery


Cities with the highest demand for locum tenens Physicians include:


  • New York City
  • Boston
  • Baltimore
  • Washington D.C.
  • Miami


A career as a locum tenens Physician can be incredibly rewarding for those who enjoy variety, flexibility, and autonomy in their work. While full-time permanent medical professionals will remain essential to the American healthcare system, locum tenens Physicians will be increasingly relied on to care for patients in the coming years.