What Is Locum Tenens and How Can Healthcare Providers Benefit?

Locum tenens is a Latin term meaning “to hold the place” which is what locum tenens physicians do by filling in when other permanent or ongoing physicians are not available. Locum tenens physicians provide temporary coverage for needed medical services while staffs search for a permanent replacement physician, or to fill in during vacation time and high-demand periods.

In the early 1970s, a federal grant was awarded to the University of Utah for the purpose of providing locum tenens physician staffing services to rural health clinics in medically under-served areas of the western United States. The program proved so successful that many hospital administrators and physicians began calling for locum tenens physician staffing assistance. Today thousands of physicians, CRNAs, PAs, NPs, and psychologists contract with locum tenens companies that provide staffing services for hospitals, outpatient medical centers, government, and correctional facilities.

Current State of Locum Tenens In The Healthcare Industry

Today, locum tenens has become an increasingly popular option for healthcare providers in the United States with estimates that up to 3% of the physicians employed in America are contracted locum tenens. This growth is attributed mainly to the need for more flexible staffing arrangements due to doctor shortages and rapid changes in healthcare policies.

Advantages of Locum Tenens For Healthcare Providers

For physicians and other healthcare providers, locum tenens offers several benefits. It provides an opportunity to experience different medical practices and specialties, gain unique insights from diverse colleagues, explore new geographic locations and enjoy the flexibility of setting their own hours.

Furthermore, since locum tenens physicians are paid on a contract basis, they earn higher reimbursement rates than what is traditionally offered by employers who hire full-time staff. Additionally, contracting with locum tenens companies also relieves healthcare providers from dealing with the administrative burden of managing payroll taxes and compliance issues that traditional staffing arrangements often involve.

Overall, locum tenens is a great option for healthcare providers looking for more flexible work arrangements as well as better pay opportunities.

Advantages of Locum Tenens For Healthcare Facilities

For healthcare facilities, locum tenens offers several advantages as well. The need for locum tenens physicians can be filled quickly and efficiently rather than waiting months to find a permanent replacement through the traditional recruitment process. Additionally, using locum tenens services alleviates the strain of having to cover shifts during peak demand periods such as holidays or weekends when staffing shortages are more likely.

Finally, because locum tenens physicians come with updated certifications and credentials, they can provide a higher quality medical service without as much administrative oversight compared to what is typically necessary for new employees.

Overall, locum tenens is an effective staffing solution for healthcare providers needing quick access to qualified temporary coverage in order to ensure their facility is providing quality and safe care.

Why Do Providers Choose Locum Tenens?

Locum tenens is an attractive option for physicians and other healthcare providers looking for temporary or flexible work arrangements. The fact that locum tenens offers higher reimbursement rates, more flexibility and better opportunities to experience different medical practices is what makes it so attractive. Additionally, locum tenens companies provide the administrative oversight needed in order to ensure that healthcare providers are compliant with all necessary regulations.

Work / Life Balance

Locum tenens allows physicians to set their own hours, it offers a great way for healthcare providers to achieve the desired work/life balance. The flexibility of locum tenens allows providers to choose what type of work they want and how much they want to work.


Locum tenens also offers an exciting opportunity for healthcare providers who are looking to explore different cities and states. Providers can choose what type of assignment they want and where they want to go, giving them the chance to experience different cultures and lifestyles.

Extra Income

Locum tenens provides the chance for healthcare providers to supplement their income. The higher reimbursement rates offered by locum tenens companies allow providers to earn what they are worth and take home more money than what is typically earned through traditional employment arrangements.
With great pay, no additional costs, and free malpractice coverage, locum tenens practice offers an attractive financial opportunity. Even providers who are otherwise employed full-time often supplement their income by accepting short-term contracts for weekend or holiday shifts.

Gain Valuable Experience

Locum tenens provides healthcare providers with the opportunity to gain a variety of valuable experiences in different medical settings. Working with locum tenens companies gives healthcare providers access to a wider range of patients and treatment options, allowing them to grow as clinicians while enhancing their skillset and expanding their knowledge base.

What Healthcare Providers Are Best Suited For Locum Tenens?

Many healthcare providers, including physicians, CRNAs, PAs, NPs and psychologists choose locum tenens as a way to gain valuable experience and supplement their income. Although the nature of locum tenens requires healthcare providers to have the flexibility to travel for short-term assignments, it can be an ideal solution for those looking for a more flexible schedule.

New Physicians

New physicians often use locum tenens to gain valuable experience before taking a permanent position. It allows them to get the practice and confidence they need to perform at their best in a clinical setting.

Experienced Physicians

Many experienced physicians choose locum tenens for the flexibility it provides, allowing them to work as much or as little as they want. It also gives them the opportunity to experience different medical settings, which can be beneficial for those looking to expand their skillset or build on what they already know.

Retired Physicians

Retired physicians who still have a desire to practice but no longer wish to commit to full-time employment often choose locum tenens as a way to stay engaged in their profession on a part-time basis.

Tips For Success In Locum Tenens

When it comes to locum tenens, there are a few tips that can help healthcare providers make the most of their experience. Make sure to:

  • Select a reputable locum tenens company
  • Build a Strong Professional Network
  • Stay Up To Date On Industry Trends
  • Maintain a Positive Attitude and Work Ethic
  • Be Open To New Opportunities and Experiences

How To Get Started

If you are considering locum tenens, the first step is to find a reputable locum tenens company. With so many companies out there, it’s important to do your research and make sure you select one that offers what you need. Once you have selected a company, they will provide all the necessary information on what to expect, what is required of you, and what opportunities are available.

By leveraging our established methods and approach, Frontera Search Partners has earned a prestigious reputation for swiftly connecting medical facilities with the highest caliber of experienced providers. We have become renowned throughout the industry for delivering on time – every time – to provide quality candidates that meet all criteria set forth by hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations when they need locum tenens options.

Get in touch with us today to find the perfect match for your healthcare facility!

Check out Frontera Search Partner’s Current Available Positions.

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What Is Locum Tenens and How Can Healthcare Providers Benefit?

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