Being a doctor isn’t really easy. In fact, it might just be the most complicated job there is, and a lot of people struggle and quit halfway through their studies or residency. If you do, however, make it and become a doctor, it is one of the most rewarding careers there is –– both financially and emotionally. You get to help a lot of people and make a difference, and you also make good money while doing it. Yet, not all doctors choose to be residents in a particular hospital in one state. Some prefer to be locum tenens physicians, which is the equivalent of a freelancer in the medical world. They are basically substitute doctors that can work in any state and with several hospitals at once.
So, if you want to become one, how do you choose the best local tenens company that can connect you to the proper assignments?
A company that doesn’t charge you
You will find plenty of locum tenens companies looking to recruit physicians, but that does not imply that it is you that should pay for their service fees. The hospitals or clinics that are looking for locum tenens doctors are the ones that should pay the recruitment agency, but it should never be you. If you found that the recruiters are trying to charge you for money, you should definitely look elsewhere and find a company that would follow protocol in the industry and charge the parties seeking a physician.
Don’t follow the advertisements
It is important that you don’t get fooled by ads and major recruitment companies trying to poach your services. Those companies are indeed big and they talk a big game, but in order for them to send you those emails and post those numerous ads you find online, they pay a lot of money. Those overhead costs are definitely not yours to pay, but this might mean you will get lower rates from those major companies. Smaller companies, on the other hand, might not have the same juice and reach as the major ones, but when they do land you a job, it will be for a higher rate.
You cannot just sign up with a locum tenens company without thoroughly checking the benefits offered. While this job can pay a lot of money, it also costs much, and you have to make sure you are well compensated. Fortunately, most of these companies offer a lot of benefits that you are going to need. For starters, they must have malpractice insurance, and if that is not available, don’t even consider dealing with the agency because it means that you would be liable to any random lawsuits without protection. The company should also cover your travel arrangements, whether that is car rentals, airline tickets, hotel accommodation, and so on. These are all benefits that you should look for, and most respectable locum tenens companies will be offering those, and more.
While looking for a locum tenens recruitment agency, you will come across dozens of shady ones, because anyone can just start a website and call themselves a recruitment agency. It is important that you always be on your guard so you could ensure that you’re dealing with legitimate entities that wouldn’t try to scam you or anything. Always check for credentials and ask around and find out how long have these people been in business. Exercise good judgment and try to evaluate their level of professionalism and whether or not they are who they say they are.
Read the agreements
A lot of locum tenens recruitment companies might include a clause in your agreement that they own your presentation for a certain amount of time. This is definitely not in your best interest as it means that you have to work with those people, even if you get better offers. So, remember to always check the contracts and make sure they don’t have this particularly limiting clause.
Be specific with your demands
It is imperative that you should be specific with your demands with the recruiting agency. Tell them exactly what you need at this point in your career, and be clear with what it is that you want, whether that is a part time job with a certain hospital or trying your luck with several ones across the state. Whatever it is, make sure you communicate it with the agency early on and see what they have to say about it.
You definitely need to shop around for a bit, and make sure you get different perspectives from more than one company. Each will have its pros and cons, and it is up to you eventually to weigh them and select the best locum tenens company that suits you.