Direct Care Blackup Plan: 8 Reasons To Go Locum Tenens

We know that physicians are unhappy with the way things are going in healthcare.

Some even believe that up to a third of the US physician work force is planning to leave the profession in the next 3 years

Direct primary care practices are the single best way to restore patient and provider satisfaction. Those brave enough to cut the red tape (i.e. health insurers, both public and private) find a remarkable reduction in billing paperwork, unrecovered fees, and electronic documentation requirements.

We’ve seen countless docs who are extremely happy to be able to spend most of their time in direct patient care, unfettered by most rules, regulations, and coding systems.

We get to solve problems via phone, email, text, video chat, or in-office as the need arises without having to worry about whether or not the manner of interaction will be reimbursed.

Direct primary care is freedom and happiness in practicing outpatient medicine.

But what about physicians who are tied to hospital care due to the nature of their specialty (surgeons, intensivists, anesthesiologists, etc.)? Is there any way for them to find a brighter future?

Val Jones offers 8 reasons that working as a locum tenens hospital-based physician dramatically improved his work satisfaction.

If you can’t make the switch to Direct Care, maybe this alternative will keep you practicing medicine.

1. You can take as much time off as you want, anytime you want.

Don’t underestimate the power of frequent vacations. The hospital is much more tolerable in short doses.

2. You can avoid most political drama.

Hospitals are incredibly stressful environments filled with hierarchical and territorial land mines. Being a short-timer allows you to avoid the petty stuff.

3. You learn all kinds of new things.

Exposure to different patient populations, hospital expertise and different peer groups exposes you to a broader swath of technology and humanity. You won’t be tied to the idiosyncrasies of a single hospital — and you’ll learn how to tackle problems from many different angles.

4. You are free to leave.

There’s power in knowing that you can leave a place that you don’t like without any repercussions.

5. You make more money.

Believe it or not, locums work can be quite lucrative if you find the right assignments. A team of hospitalists who travel the country together are negotiating higher rates. Their “one stop” solution includes housing, travel, and cars that are paid for by the agency, and they have take home pay (before taxes) around $350,000 per year.

6. You can live in the warm states in the winter, and the cold ones in the summer.


7. You can try before you buy.

This is a great way to get a taste of different climates, cultures, lifestyles until you find a place to settle down.

8. You can use your experience to become an excellent consultant.

With long term exposure to various hospital systems, you are in a unique position to develop an encyclopedic knowledge of best practices. And that knowledge can become very marketable.

Check out the complete article on