In the modern medical world, there are a growing number of ways to connect organizations with temporary or permanent medical professionals, so the traditional locum tenens model may appear to be somewhat antiquated. It can be appealing to many newcomers to avoid locum tenens firms and find a position independently, but there are some compelling benefits to working with an established firm.
The foremost reason to choose an agency to manage your locum tenens placement is that it makes the entire process considerably easier. In order to work in a hospital or practice, you must complete a time-consuming and involved process of license verification and credentialing. This typically involves documentation of academic and professional achievements, personal references and verification of board certification. This process must be repeated for each new position and jurisdiction, which requires additional effort to learn the local protocol.
A competent locum tenens agency will require a client to provide the necessary paperwork at the beginning of the relationship and then submit them as needed for additional placements. Agencies not only fulfill licensing paperwork requirements, but also book travel plans, provide housing and obtain malpractice insurance, making the entire process easier and saving you time and money.
If you are unfamiliar with the way that staffing agencies operate, you should know that there is typically a fee that they charge providers. This may be difficult to accept, but you should consider the current state of the medical industry. There is a huge shortage of physicians, nurses and advanced practice providers. While the costs to medical organizations is high, the costs of operating without these qualified professionals far exceeds salary and firm fees. For example, a family physician costs a provider about $720 a day, but generates almost $1,463 in daily fees as well as almost $6,400 daily in revenue opportunities, according to a recent study.
Staffing agencies also offer opportunities that you are unlikely to find on your own. While there are a plethora of locum tenens positions available, health care providers are anxious to fill them as soon as possible. These organizations usually have longstanding relationships with multiple agencies, and the agency that can fill the vacancy fastest is almost always chosen. So it is important to have your own agency working for you to learn what positions are currently available, so you can pick one that best suits your tastes.
Finally, it is important to consider the luxuries of having a partner in the locum market. Going it alone has its appeal, but having an organization that can offer reliable advice is priceless. If you remain with an agency you like, you will probably develop a relationship with a recruiter. This professional will not only look out for your interests by helping you find jobs you will probably enjoy, provide a generous fee, or offer sage advice, but they become the point-of-contact for you when you run into travel, housing or employment difficulties. They often act as your representative when negotiating with employers, and, if necessary, they can even serve as personal confidantes.
Article written by:
Robert Moghim, M.D.
CEO, Health Carousel Locum Tenens