What is Locum Tenens?

Locum Tenens is a Latin word meaning “to hold the place”. In the health care
industry, locum tenens refers to when healthcare providers take temporary
shifts/assignments in different hospitals, clinics, or outpatient centers that are in need of additional staff. Assignments vary in duration from a few days to several months and more

What are the benefits of working Locum Tenens?/Why should I consider working locum tenens? Is Locum Tenens right for me?

Health care providers work locum tenens for a variety of reasons, including, but
not limited to the flexibility of schedule, better work-life balance, extra income, and for a wide berth of experience in regards to different settings/systems

Can I start immediately after residency?/Can new graduates work locum tenens?/What are the benefits of Locums for Doctors in different stages of their training/careers (mid-career or near retirement)? Can I work Locum Tenens after retirement?

Locum Tenens is suitable for healthcare providers in every stage of their careers. For new graduates, it gives them a chance to explore what’s out there before committing to a permanent position and offers better compensation to pay off loans. Even graduates who have already settled into full-time jobs may be drawn to locums due to the opportunity to travel and trial different places/systems.

For more seasoned physicians, it gives them an opportunity to broaden their
horizons and maintain a better work-life balance. It also offers them a chance to work whilst in between permanent positions and to escape redundancy.

For physicians considering retirement, it gives them a chance to cut down their hours as they see fit and work only as much as they like. It helps them stay in touch with their field, potentially be able to travel to be closer to family or see new places and share their expertise anew.

Why do I need a Locums agency or recruiter?

Locum agencies/recruiters are experienced in matching healthcare providers with facilities that fit their personal & professional aspirations. We gauge your requirements/preferences, sort through our contacts and partnerships, and match you with the best position possible. We prep you and answer any queries that you may have along the way. We help with fast credentialing, smooth onboarding, and we provide malpractice insurance. We also aid you with any issues during your assignment.

What is credentialing?

Applying for any position requires verification of your education/training, work
experience, and license along with additional documents (immunization records, medical exam, background check) before privileges are granted at any facility. In most cases, a CV, medical school diploma, residency/fellowship certificate, and references will be required. We will assist you with each of these steps.

Who provides medical malpractice insurance?

We provide all our providers with industry-standard malpractice insurance.

How much information will I have about an assignment or position before I accept the offer?

We will provide detailed and relevant information as possible. We get the key information from the facility for each specialty and regarding the health care system as a whole. You get to review all of this information (patient census,timing, duration of shifts, required procedures, responsibilities, support staff availability, etc.) before you give us your approval to share your file with that facility. We also arrange for you to talk to someone from the facility prior to you committing to the position.

Is Locum Tenens right fit for me?

Different health care providers find working locums attractive for a variety of reasons and the number of doctors working locums is consistently increasing over the years. To find the benefits of locums in detail, please click here. But the good thing is, if you don’t like an assignment, you can either choose to work in an entirely new location/system or can opt-out of working locums, unlike with permanent positions.

Is it possible to work locums as a trainee (resident/fellow)?

Yes. Previously, doctors have worked locums shifts in training. Depending on the regulations of their training program and the hiring facilities’ requirements, residents can work locums during the last year of their training on the side.
Many fellows have found locums to be an excellent source of extra income that they can devote to paying off loans.

Where are most of the jobs and can I choose where I work?/Can I work close to home or in a desired city?

Locums positions are available in every type of setting (rural, urban) and type of facility (academic centers, community hospitals, outpatient clinics, partial hospitalization programs). You decide where you may want to work and we make the arrangements. Depending on availability, you should certainly be able to find something close to home, but if you are open to travel, your prospects increase substantially.

Who arranges travel and housing?

Most facilities compensate you for travel and lodging and we make all the necessary arrangements for you

Will I be an employee of the locum tenens agency or hiring facility?

No. You will be working as an independent contractor and you will get 1099 form from us to file your tax returns.

Are some specialties more in demand than others? / What specialties are in demand?

It varies from state to state and hospital to hospital. In general, demand for internal medicine, family medicine, hospitalists, emergency medicine,psychiatrists, OB/GYNs, pediatricians, and pulmonologists/critical care doctors is higher, though all specialties are needed.

What is the duration of Locum Tenens assignments? / How long is Locum Tenens assignment?

Locums assignments can be as short as 1 day or as long as many months. The The duration of an assignment depends on the facility’s needs/requirements. However, many locum providers work in the same facility for more than 1 assignment when additional shifts are available.

As a locum provider, what will my typical schedule look like?

You can accept as few or as many shifts as you prefer and take off as much time as you like in between. During an assignment, the schedule varies by specialty and practice requirements. Information regarding certain specialties’ on-call shifts, weekends, night shifts, and other details are provided by the facility before you commit to a job. We facilitate communication between you and the facility to help answer any questions that you may have

How do locum providers file their taxes?

Locum providers work as independent contractors and file taxes on their own.We provide 1099 forms for your tax return purposes. However, you may be eligible to get tax benefits by creating a corporation, such as S Corp or an LLC.

Can I bring my family along for locum assignments?

Yes, many providers prefer to bring their family along and tour/sightsee when they have to time off in between shifts. However, please let us know in advance so that we can make appropriate arrangements. Any additional travel/housing costs is the provider’s responsibility.

Can I bring my pets along for locum assignments?

Yes, pets can be brought along, but you need to bear any extra expense and inform us in advance. If you have never traveled with your pet before or you have a new pet, please take these factors into consideration

How many locums shifts can I take in a year? / Can I take more than one assignment ?

As many as you like. There is no upper limit to the number of shifts you can take,provided there is availability in your specialty and location of choice.

Is there a minimum number of locum assignments I have to take?

There is no lower limit to the number of locum shifts you do. You can turn down assignments any time it is inconvenient for you. However, once you commit to an assignment, it is a binding contract that you obliged to complete.

Can I work Locum Tenens while keeping my permanent job?

No, you can take shifts around your regular schedule. Some physicians prefer to work full time as a locum provider while others take on locum shifts in addition to their full-time permanent position, whenever they have time off, on weekends, or holidays, per their preference.

Can I make a full time career out of working locums? Is it possible to work shifts back to back at the same or different facilities?

In fact, many providers only work as locum providers due to the many benefits, including increased flexibility, better income, and greater variety. If you’re open to working in different locations, your chances of getting more assignments increase. Your staffing agency will be crucial to introducing you to new opportunities in line with your preferences and helping you to keep your schedule booked weeks/months in advance.

What about choosing to sign on as a full time employee at a facility I really like?

Yes, many facilities have an ongoing need for locum providers and they will often request a well-liked provider return if possible. Many facilities also prefer locum-to-permanent provider transitions, as it gives them a chance to get to know the provider before hiring them. Likewise, providers also get to know what to expect before committing to a permanent job.

Can you explain the process of locum tenens’ payment and how it works?

Locum tenens providers are self-employed and work with locum agencies as independent contractors. The agency pays them, not the hiring facility. Galaxy Medical Staffing pays its providers bi-weekly. If you prefer, you can sign up for direct deposits to your account. For tax purposes, you file taxes on your own and get 1099 from us.

If I work full time locums, what about benefits?

We provide malpractice insurance for our providers’ locum assignments.However, health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits are not included because locum providers are not employees and are self-employed contractors.However, they earn more as compared to permanent providers and can purchase their own benefits or obtain benefits through a working spouse.

How do I get started with locum tenens job and how long does it take?

The process is quite simple: you contact us, we gauge your needs/preferences and match you with the best opportunity available. You may start immediately if an opportunity is available and you are licensed in that state. Healthcare facilities may do expedited credentialing depending on their needs and you provide all required documents in a timely manner. However, if you only want to take assignments in a specific location or you are not licensed in the state, it may take up to a few months before you can find the best match. We help to expedite your application and credentialing process

What are the required documents when working locum tenens?

For a detailed list of required documents, please click here Documents Checklist

Usually, you need to complete our application form, agency contract. You need to provide your updated CV, active licenses, 3-4 references, immunization records, health exam, malpractice and background check release, and your training certificates, along with any other required documents per the hiring facility

How do I get licensed in a state where I want to take an assignment?

In order to see patients in a different state, you need to be licensed in that state. Different states have different rules and regulations and average time to obtain a license may vary from a few weeks (MI, MS, IL, KY, OH) to several months (TX, CA, FL, AR). We help you obtain a new license and file all required documents in a timely manner. If you are already licensed in multiple states, your chances of obtaining locum assignments consistently increase. Depending on the state where you are primarily licensed and the state where you wish to work locums, you may be eligible to get expedited licensure, through the Interstate Licensure

What are the roles and responsibilities of the locums agency?

We provide professional help in finding the best-fit position for you and arrange
travel and lodging, and malpractice insurance for you. We also help with credentialing and filling your schedule.

What are the next steps after I contact Galaxy Medical Staffing?/What should I expect from Galaxy Medical Staffing after signing up?

We will assign a single point of contact for you and will set up a phone call to get
to know you, your needs, your preferences, and then will search for the best matches for you. After you make a selection, we will present your file to the facility, and arrange communication between you and the facility. After a successful match, as determined by both parties, we help with the arranging of the necessary paperwork. For your assignment, we arrange travel/lodging and malpractice insurance for you. After your assignment, we pay you for the number of shifts you have worked.

Do I need to sign a contract with Galaxy Medical Staffing?

Providers need to sign an agreement with Galaxy Medical Staffing before starting as independent contractors. For each assignment that you accept, the details are finalized via an addendum that includes the assignment dates, locations,reimbursement, travel/lodging details, among others. After the agreement is made, if you cannot complete the assignment, you may be accountable for the fines from the facility or expenses sustained by the agency for that particular assignment. However, your contract has a force majeure clause to protect both parties in cases of unforeseeable/extraordinary circumstances

What if something happens whilst I’m on an assignment?

If something goes wrong during your travel, stay, or time in the hospital, please
contact your personal recruiter and we will work with you to the best of our ability to resolve the issue satisfactorily.

What types of healthcare settings can I work in as a locums provider?

Locum tenens assignments are available in a variety of healthcare settings,including hospitals, urgent care centers, outpatient clinics, surgical centers,partial hospitalization programs, rehabilitation centers. Positions are also available with the VA hospitals and government/federal facilities.