Skip to content

How Locums Can Be a Fit for Any Physician

This time of the year always brings a surge in the number of doctors interested in learning about locums. Some of these physicians are just completing their training and are exploring their career options. Others are doctors who are looking to make a career change. However, many of the physicians I have spoken to recently are physicians who have just lost their jobs or who feel their current roles are in jeopardy. This latter group of physicians are often in a panic because they need to get another position immediately. Whatever situation a doctor is in, every physician needs to incorporate locums as a part of their career. Here are five reasons.

Instability. One of the things I learned in business school is: Medicine is an unstable market, and unstable markets consolidate. Because of the instability, practices are closing or being bought out, hospitals are closing or being merged with other hospitals, hospital departments are being re-organized, and physician groups are losing their contracts.

With these changes, doctors could lose their jobs. These job losses often come as a shock to physicians as they are oftentimes not privy to “behind-the-scenes” negotiations. To mitigate the chances of you losing your job and possibly your only source of income, you need to start performing locums work now. Even if you are not permitted to do locums because of your current job contract, start the process. Update your CV. Reach out to some locums recruiters. Get credentialed with some locums companies. Because if a time comes where you lose your job, you will already be in the job market and will find your next job much quicker—whether it be locums or a permanent role.

Permanence (or lack thereof). One of my favorite sayings is: There is no such thing as a permanent job. Even if you are an employed physician, your job is not “permanent.” Check the termination clause in your contract. You will see that you can be fired without cause as long as you are given a 30-, 60-, or 90-day notice. This means that your employment is only guaranteed for 30, 60, or 90 days from now. You can be fired with cause immediately. Because your permanent employment is only guaranteed for a short amount of time, you should always be in the job market and be considering locums work.

Reliability. Because the medical market is so unstable—and organizations are always being restructured—there will always be a need for locums physicians to fill the staffing needs temporarily until permanent physicians can be found. That’s because locums doctors are a reliable staffing option for healthcare organizations (some organizations cannot run without them). Therefore, in an unstable market, working as a locums physician provides a reliable source of income, if only for a short period of time.

Uncertainty. Many physicians who have just completed their training are uncertain about the type of job they want to take, and they don’t want to be in a rush to sign a contract. Other physicians, who are more established in their careers, may be uncertain about whether they want to continue the status quo or to make career changes. Whatever the cause of uncertainty in your career as a physician, working as a locums physician is an option you need to pursue. Locums can be done on a short-term, temporary basis, and no long-term commitment is needed.

Flexibility. Working a locums physician provides flexibility. You can work when and where you want. You are in control over your schedule. You don’t have to take any assignment you don’t want to take, and if you find that you don’t like an assignment, you don’t have to go back.

Performing locums work provides physicians with security and certainty in uncertain times. To start the process, contact the locums experts at Floyd Lee Locums.

Stephanie E. Freeman, MD, earned her Medical Degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and her Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Freeman also completed a Geriatrics fellowship at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. She obtained her Masters of Business Administration at Auburn University.

Learn more at