6 Myths About Locum Tenens Debunked

A rise in healthcare staffing shortages has developed a huge demand for locum tenens in recent times. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) report, the United States is expected to see a shortage of up to 122,000 by the year 2032.

Hence, care facilities need extra staff to support their already existing staff or fill in for a care provider on leave. 

This is where becoming a locum tenens proves to be a great option for providers seeking more balance and flexibility over their work schedule, pay rates, as well as family time. 

However, many providers are currently not comfortable with locum opportunities due to persistent myths about the locum tenens’ way of life. This article aims to debunk six myths that will help you decide whether a locum opportunity is appropriate for you. 

1. Locums are not paid well

Low pay is one of the biggest myths that likely drive away locum tenens opportunities. Locum tenens are considered independent contractors who get hourly pay. They are typically paid more compared to permanent positions despite seeing many patients or performing many procedures.

Moreover, rates are determined by specialty and not by the duration of experience in practice.

Primary care physicians are the most in-demand locum opportunity where you get paid at a rate of $600-$800 every day. The minimum average salary of a physician assistant locum tenens was $120,975. Hence, remember that locum physicians pay only for their own benefits.

 2. You cannot develop a rapport with patients

Compared to non-locum tenens providers, you have more time with patients although you are not in a permanent position. These locum providers do not have to do administrative duties like redundant paperwork, meetings, etc. As you don’t have to do these additional duties, you can spend more time with patients

Locum assignments are exempt from the usual load of administrative duties such as meetings or redundant paperwork. Because of your lack of extra duties, you’ll be able to spend more quality time with patients without any hassle.

3. Your schedule will be inconsistent 

Physicians are interested in locum tenens opportunities specifically because of their control over scheduling. Locum tenens can have a flexible consistent schedule that fits their routine lifestyle. They can travel to new places and meet new people while getting extra income. All these factors are achievable within a predictable schedule that they can plan.

4. The existing staff won’t welcome you

You are working at a healthcare facility as a locum tenens to fill a staffing need. Hence, the staff will be welcoming you with open arms. However, be proactive about your expectations. Be prepared for your locum assignment in advance by discussing with your recruiter about work culture, job expectations, and any other factors that might bother you.

5. You won’t get a full-time job if you opt for a locum job

Recruiters don’t associate temporary assignments with full-time job opportunities. However, the majority of locum tenens providers usually opt for locum tenens who can work 40 hours per week. If you are not getting full-time work, the reason could be that you choose the part-time option due to another job. It’s ultimately you who will decide the amount of work.

6. Your CV won’t be strong 

Many providers think that shifting from assignment to assignment will make their CV look less appealing. However, that’s not true. Mostly, it’s the resumes of locum tenens that seem to attract potential employers. By pursuing multiple locum assignments, you would have practiced in various clinical settings. Hence, you can bring innovative ideas to a new care facility. Having a history of successful locum assignments makes you versatile and adaptable with a top-level professional commitment.


Locum tenens opportunities prove to be an effective and economical solution to providing high-quality care. Consider your experience under your belt and explore a new career path that may prove more flexible, exciting, and fulfilling.

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