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Locum Tenens Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is locum tenens?
Locum tenens is a Latin phrase that literally means 'one who "holds the place,"' and refers to a physician who temporarily carries on the practice of an absent colleague.  Locum tenens physicians contract with a staffing company to perform medical services for a healthcare organization for a specified length of time.

What are the benefits of working as a locum tenens?
The locum tenens lifestyle appeals to many physicians because of the unlimited earning potential, myriad travel options, and the professional challenges associated with practicing in different clinical settings with culturally diverse patients. Locum tenens is a good way to acquire a wider breadth of experience that you might not otherwise be exposed to in a single setting. Since you accept assignments in locations where you are needed, you have the opportunity to work with different physicians and observe new approaches and procedures, thereby increasing your clinical knowledge and networking capabilities.  Read more in our Why Locum Tenens section.

Why do medical facilities use locum tenens physicians?
Healthcare organizations, hospitals, and practices of all types and sizes seek locum tenens physicians to cover sabbaticals, vacations, or maternity leave; to help out while a permanent physician is being recruited; or simply to meet patient loads during peak demand periods. As such, locum tenens physicians seeking variety might find themselves in a rural Northwest hospital one month and a large urban facility a few weeks later. 

What should I look for in a locum tenens company?
When searching for a locum tenens staffing company, make sure the firm you choose places a high priority on quality service. This means: a professional staff to provide with you personal attention and handles all the details for you; comprehensive service offerings such as paid malpractice insurance, travel and housing departments; qualified physicians who meet strict credentialing standards; and most importantly, enough assignments for locum tenens physicians to choose from and enough locum tenens physicians for clients to choose from. Browse our hundreds of jobs from well-known locum tenens staffing agencies to see what opportunities await you.

What's the average length of a locum tenens assignment?
Assignments range from a long weekend to several months or even a few years, but the average is four to six weeks. The great part about being a locum tenens is that you can set your schedule by taking assignments for the length of time you want to work.

What type of housing will I have as a locum tenens?
Housing varies depending on the area, from condos or single-family houses to hotels or rustic cabins. Locum tenens firms also welcome physicians who wish to travel with spouses or families and will work to find suitable housing.  Browse through our articles to learn more about the locum tenens lifestyle.

How much will I make as a locum tenens physician?
Physicians working locum tenens are independent contractors and usually earn close to, or over, market wages for their specialty, when the expenses they don't have to assume are factored in. The locum tenens companies pay for travel to the assignment, housing, professional liability coverage, and other incidentals. The locum tenens staffing firms also handle much of the paperwork and legwork involved in state licensing and credentialing, streamlining the process for locum tenens physicians.

What's required to work as a locum tenens in different states?
Your locum tenens staffing company should hand all the required work and get you the license you need for each state you work in through the agency.  The locum tenens company should pay for your license in every state that you work a locum tenens assignment.

How do I begin?
Simply fill out the form on the left of this page!  A Locum Tenens Jobs representative will contact you directly with more information.