Locum Tenens Jobs Open Doors for Physicians Entering Workforce

One quarter of surveyed physicians say that temporary "locum tenens" work has expanded their case experience and provided a competitive professional advantage.

A locum tenens covers the duties of an absent physician or supplements during peak seasons. According to a CompHealth survey of 1,000 U.S. physicians, 22 percent have worked locum tenens jobs, and 97 percent had a positive experience. Physicians pursued locum tenens work for compensation (55 percent), to assist during a personal transition (44 percent) or to expand their experience with new cases (26 percent).         

Bassam Rimawi, MD, says he believes his acceptance to a highly competitive OB-GYN fellowship in South Carolina can be largely credited to the experience he gained during locum tenens work. "Even though I was doing a research job, [the fellowship committee] wanted to see actual work," Dr. Rimawi said. "When I explained that I was also working as a locum tenens, and that this enabled me to gain a variety of experiences, including both hands-on work on the ward, as well as practice-based medicine in the clinics, they were impressed."

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