Premier Physician Services is committed to being your career partner during the good times and the tough times.

While rightfully deemed the heroes of the coronavirus crisis, healthcare industry workers are among the individuals hit hardest by the pandemic’s economic devastation. According to a report published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job losses in the healthcare sector are second only to those in the restaurant industry. During the initial days of the pandemic, many hospitals and healthcare facilities made the decision to cancel all elective procedures and non-emergency visits, hoping to flatten the curve and make essential medical supplies available for COVID-19 treatment. However, as the early days of the crisis have evolved into weeks and months, many healthcare workers, especially locum tenens physicians, find themselves out of work, wondering when life will begin to normalize again.

As a locum tenens agency, Premier Physician Services cannot offer any insight into how much longer COVID-19 will continue to interrupt the ebb and flow of daily life. However, our years of experience has taught us that all bad things eventually come to an end and that there’s no time like the present to prepare for the future. To that end, we offer the following five tips to help you advance your locum tenens career while we wait together for this storm to pass.

5 Ways to Prepare for Your Next Locum Tenens Assignment

1. Update Your CV

hands-typing-on-a-laptopWhen was the last time you updated your CV? If you’re like most locum tenens physicians, it has probably been a while since you looked at it. Never fear! The questions outlined below will walk you through the process of updating your CV, ensuring that everything is in sterling order for your next submittal.

  • Does your CV list your current home address, email address and cell phone number?
  • Does your CV have a concise “objective” or “professional summary” statement?
  • Does your CV outline all your relevant education and training?
  • Does your CV accurately reflect your work history for the last 10-15 years?
  • Does your CV list all board certifications and other accreditations and include the date of issue, re-certification and expiration?
  • Does your CV list all active and inactive medical licenses and the issuing state?
  • Does your CV reflect your military service (if any)?
  • Does your CV feature your medical volunteerism (if any)?
  • Does your CV highlight the honors and awards that you have received (if any)?
  • Does your CV showcase the opportunities that you have had to teach or mentor (if any)?
  • Does your CV identify the medical and/or professional organizations that you are currently a member of (if any)?

After you’ve taken the time to carefully review and revise your CV, don’t forget to update any professional profiles that you have created online (i.e. LinkedIn, JAMA Career Center, Health eCareers, etc.). Updating your professional profiles will make it easier for locum tenens agencies to find and connect with you about potential job opportunities.

2. Get Your Paperwork Ready

Medical credentialing is one of the most important tasks that needs to be completed before a locum tenens physician can accept a new assignment. However, lost documentation and missing information can substantially slow down the process, ultimately delaying a physician’s start time. To help ensure that things flow smoothly for your next contract, we highly recommend gathering the following information into a secure location:

  • Medical school diploma
  • Proof of training (including residency and fellowship)
  • Board certifications
  • DEA certification
  • Life support certifications (i.e. ACLS)
  • Medical licenses
  • Official change-of-name documentation (if applicable)
  • Proof of current vaccinations for:
    • Hepatitis B
    • Measles, mumps and rubella
    • Varicella
    • Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis
    • Meningococcal disease
    • Negative tuberculosis test result (performed within the past year)

Many locum tenens physicians find it extremely beneficial to create electronic copies of all these documents. That way, when an assignment becomes available and your agency is urgently requesting copies, it’s only a matter of sending a quick email.

3. Network, Network, Network

man-and-woman-shaking-handsEach locum tenens agency is unique and will be able to compliment your strengths and goals differently. Furthermore, each locum tenens agency has access to different contracts at different locations throughout the country. Physicians that take the time to network with multiple agencies have a substantial advantage over those that don’t. In essence, they have multiple recruiters working on their behalf, attempting to locate assignments that closely match their specifications. As hospitals begin to offer elective and non-emergent procedures again, well-networked locum tenens physicians will be the first to know about available opportunities. We strongly recommend that you take the time to connect with Premier Physician Services while you are in between contracts. Our experienced recruiters are passionate about building long-term relationships that will help you achieve your career goals.

4. Plan Your Future

Preparation is the cornerstone of success and locum tenens physicians that take the time to plan are building their future on a rock-solid foundation. We strongly encourage all locum tenens physicians to use the time between assignments to plan their ideal travel schedule for the next year or more. Have you always wanted to be in a warm, sunny location for the winter months? Is it important that your contract get you within close proximity of family for the holidays? What destinations have always been on your bucket list?

Once you have determined where you want to go and when, you can share this information with your locum tenens agency. Armed with this knowledge, your recruiter will be able to secure placements that align with both your short- and long-term travel goals. We have found that locum tenens physicians that actively plan their future experience higher levels of professional and personal satisfaction. There’s no time like the present to spend a little time daydreaming.

5. Take Care of Your Health & Fitness

woman-streching-on-the-groundRegular work schedules have the uncanny ability to bring structure and stability to life. People go to bed and get up at set times to ensure that they are not tired for work the next day. Exercise routines are scheduled before or after work and are generally stuck to. Nutritious meals are consumed at regular intervals. While it is extremely tempting to think that the rituals that drive daily living can be relaxed while a locum tenens physician looks for their next assignment, doing so can cause more stress to the body during an already difficult time. Furthermore, when the physician finds their next assignment and tries to “get back into the swing of things,” their body has become accustomed to a new routine. Long-term locum tenens physicians know that the key to success is a continual focus on health and fitness. By using the time between contracts to focus on your health and fitness, you will ensure that your body is ready to go when the next opportunity comes knocking.

While it’s never fun to be looking for work, we know that the time between contracts (when used correctly) can be extremely beneficial for your career. By following the five steps outlined above, you will ensure that you are prepared in all aspects for your next assignment. As always, Premier Physician Services is committed to being your career partner during the good times and the tough times. We look forward to working together in the days to come.