The Benefits of Locum Tenens for Residents and Fellows

Locum Tenens News >> The Benefits of Locum Tenens for Residents and Fellows


It's not a secret—how a doctor decides to finish residency can have a far-reaching effect. This first job can be vital to long-term success. It can influence skills, actions, potential gain, satisfaction, and so much more. Many are starting their job after residency, and after working for many months, they realize that it was not what they wanted to do. 

The locum tenens is all about finding ways to help people improve their opportunities while still a resident. And from our experience as a staffing agency, more residents and fellows see the importance of locum tenens and are willing to take advantage of it. 

Although locum tenens is not for every doctor—and it should be remembered that residents have some limitations when it comes to operating on it—there are some undeniable advantages for residents and fellows who want to go that path.

Here are the reasons why residents and fellows choose locums:

Experience different settings.

If you were educated in a large medical hospital, you would wonder what it would be like to practice in a small group environment, a rural hospital, or a government facility. On the other hand, if you were living in a teaching hospital, you could be leaning towards a similar place because you really enjoyed the environment, and you see a future in that setting.

If you plan to remain in your comfort zone or try something new, you can always select a different practice environment for the following task. Accepting locum tenens jobs at different facilities helps you to test more alternatives than you would with a permanent job. Then you can decide your ideal practice environment and only pick assignments that match those qualifications. 

Enjoy a more flexible schedule.


For more than three to seven years as a resident, you have followed a full, well-defined schedule that left no space for flexibility or downtime. The rigors of residence may be gruesome. However, some residents find that locum tenens give them a chance to pick and choose how to fill the margins of their days. This discipline serves them well as they complete their residency and can function locum tenens on their own without restrictions.

Locum tenens experience allows you to work full or part-time and select shifts that appeal to you based on the opportunities available. Don't think that someone else has to set your timetable.

Perform on-the-job research.

Launching your career as a locum tenens helps you to step back and do some on-the-job research. You will unite your perfect future by seeking out different practice environments and geographical areas. In addition to gaining new exposure when you start your career, you have a rare opportunity to reap the benefits that you are unlikely to receive if you are committed to a permanent position.

Earn money to help pay off student loans.

Although the latest resident salary and debt study showed a small improvement in the average resident salary, which is $63,400 in 2020 and $61,200 in 2019, this bump does nothing to benefit approximately 70% of physicians who leave medical school with more than $100,000 in loans. 

Faced with such large student loans, many people opt to take extra shifts and gain additional income from working locum tenens. By doing so, residents increase their earning power and can use the funds to make their financial fit faster.

Expanding professional networks.

Locum tenens is not just a way to make money while getting things set up for your own private practice. This takes us back to where we started: to land the first job. Every resident wants a great job at a hospital that's a dream fit or at least a decent match. 

Locum tenens is a perfect opportunity for residents and fellows to try different locations before they commit to the long term. They get a chance to collaborate with the team, meet with colleagues, observe the workplace's politics, and be involved in the group.

If they feel that the facility is a great fit and empowers them to excel, they can turn it into a permanent full-time job. However, if it proves troublesome and unfulfilled, they simply move on and take on another role in a different facility. In the end, locum tenens is a powerful way for any physician to take charge of their careers.


Being a locum tenens provider brings many benefits. As a resident or fellow, you can always have a vast option when choosing locum tenens between your residency or after your residency. Explore your career, and you will be surprised how locum can shape you to become the best in your field.


Tags: healthcare , healthcare staffing , locum tenens , workforce

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