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Locum Perspectives

How Locums Shaped My Career as a Urologist

4/17/2024
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As a Urologist, over the years I have utilized locum tenens for different reasons. Typically this has been to provide supplemental income at times when I might have needed an extra boost - either when putting a down payment on a house or buying a car, etc. I think it is nice to not have to dip into savings buckets to purchase these big ticket items. 

Over the past few years specifically, I have taken four or five weekend shifts per year - I enjoy the flexibility involved with earning that extra income and the ability to do so on my own terms. 

One of the things I like most about completing locums assignments is that it can be a side hustle that does not require learning any new skills.You are basically doing what you already know how to do very well - there are no start-up “costs.”

It’s also nice to observe how other practices are run and how other hospital systems treat doctors, provide care to patients, and what technologies they utilize. I also think it’s a nice way to explore another city and location if you think it might be a location you would like to live in down the line or just if you just think it’s a nice place to learn about and visit. This obviously depends on how busy your assignment is expected to be.  

 

Another benefit to doing locums work is the ability to earn income in a new manner. Earning 1099 income allows one to start an Individual or Solo 401k and increase retirement contributions (assuming your employer has not maxed you out for the calendar year). I also enjoyed using a rental car for the assignment as it allowed me to save on work-related car expenses. Depending on people’s particular work circumstances, there are even more side benefits, but for me these were the two most meaningful financial perks of earning income as a contractor.  

 

Overall, I’ve had a very positive experience with locums and Era Locums has been particularly helpful. They were extremely quick in getting me credentialed, very responsive to any questions, and were very proactive in addressing any potential issues I might face.

When I first worked with Era Locums, it was at a time when I was in need of a temporary work experience that fit a very defined time interval for me. I was in between two permanent full-time positions, and wanted to have a time where I could take a little bit of time to go on some vacations as well as plan our family’s move. We needed to select new schools as well as a new house during a difficult time in the housing market. I also wanted some time to catch up on some reading and learning.

The nice thing about locums work is you only need to work as much as you agree upon and you can pick a schedule that meets your needs both financially and time-wise, which Era helped me do. They also have an easy technological interface to work with and they have a leadership team that goes the extra mile to ensure that you have a positive experience.

My recruiter had regular check-ins with me that allowed me to provide immediate and seamless feedback. They provided a few unexpected “touches'' along the way like a meal card on them that made me feel that they truly cared about my experience with them. They even worked with the hospital I was assigned at to obtain a virtual scribe to make my note writing easier. They are quick to get things done that need to get done and address any potential issues that came up head on so that they ended up not being really issues at all.

I left the experience really enjoying the town I practiced in. The hospital even offered me a full-time job. While it is not the type of job I would consider at this point in my career, it definitely is in the back of my head as a viable option down the road. 

The experience opened my eyes to what practicing in a small town could be like. It was something that I didn’t realize I would enjoy as much I did. There are actually several advantages to that type of practice setting that I had never considered. I think having experiences like this is important because it opens your mind to new possibilities.  

 

For these reasons and more, I continue to recommend a locums lifestyle to friends, and I would happily work with Era Locums again in the future.

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