Take Control of Your Healthcare Career: 5 Life-Changing Benefits of Working Locum Tenens

Have you noticed that more healthcare professionals are working locum tenens? Approximately 6% of all practicing physicians (about 52,000) in the U.S. worked locum tenens in 2019. Notably, 21% of healthcare facilities hired locum tenens physicians in 2019, 10% more than in 2016. You, too, would likely consider working locum tenens full-time if you knew the numerous benefits of adopting this work strategy. 

5 Benefits of Working Locum Tenens 

What makes working locum tenens such an appealing alternative to permanent placement? Here is an overview of five ways how working locum tenens can help you take more control over your career and unlock more opportunities. 

1. Better Compensation 

Healthcare facilities need locum tenens physicians to fill crucial gaps in their staff. Essentially, healthcare facilities are competing to retain these physicians' services, and they offer higher hourly rates to entice them. Higher wages will help improve your financial stability and your life's overall quality. It is also worth noting that you can identify more job opportunities and save substantial money on related expenses by working with a staffing agency. 

2. Work-Life Balance  

Working locum tenens essentially entails taking temporary assignments at different healthcare facilities in different locations. Different assignments' contracts last for varying periods, ranging from several days or weeks to several months. This means that you can choose when, where, and how long you want to work – you can also take breaks in-between different assignments

In contrast, physicians working in a permanent placement work tight schedules and often have to sacrifice their personal time. Balancing their personal and professional lives can feel like a complex juggling act. 

3. Skill-Imparting Experiences 

Working locum tenens entails taking different assignments. Some of these assignments may be unique or complicated, and the experience can sharpen and broaden your medical skills. The experience and imparted skills will make your future assignments easier. More importantly, they will be valuable additions to your resume, making you a more appealing candidate (and unlocking more job opportunities) and increasing your services' value (higher compensation). 

It is also worth noting that exposure to more assignments and experiences may motivate you to further your education in your current and related (or new) specialties. Fortunately, your flexible schedule will afford you more free time to attend classes. 

4. Fewer Administrative Duties 

Physicians working under a permanent placement arrangement split their duties and responsibilities between their patients and administrative roles. Administrative duties are crucial for ensuring that the healthcare facility operates smoothly, but most physicians feel that their patients deserve more of their time. 

Fortunately, this is not an issue for locum tenens physicians because their assignments include fewer administrative duties. It is also worth noting that many healthcare facilities call the same locum tenens physicians for repeat assignments. Overall, you get to spend more time with your patients doing what you love most. 

5. Determine Your Career Path 

For physicians just beginning their careers, locum tenens work is an excellent way to begin a career in medicine. You’ll get to experience a wide variety of practice settings including urban, rural, solo, small group, multi-specialty groups, hospital-associated practices, and so on. 

The experience and skills gained from handling different assignments as a locum tenens physician will help improve your understanding of the job market and give you a more informed perspective of your career. This will help you make informed decisions when determining your career path. Who knows, maybe you’ll love the freedom and variety that working locums provides and decide to make it your full-time career.


Are you interested in working locum tenens full-time? It is a less hectic and more rewarding alternative to a permanent placement arrangement, and it can improve your overall quality of life. Med X can help you explore this career path by pairing you with job opportunities that match your skills. We can also handle complex logistical issues such as traveling. Get in touch to learn more about how we can help.