What are locum tenens providers?
Locum tenens is a Latin term meaning “to substitute for” and is used to describe healthcare providers who work on a short-term, contractual basis. These temporary staff members give extra assistance to medical facilities.
Locum tenens physicians may work in many places, including:
- Community health centers
- Outpatient facilities
An example of locum tenens providers is travel nurses, who move around the country to temporarily practice at healthcare facilities facing staffing shortages. In times of widespread need, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for travel nurses can significantly grow across markets.
Why are locum tenens physicians important to healthcare?
Locum tenens physicians are important to healthcare because they can help fill critical roles when a provider leaves, takes vacation or goes on sabbatical. They can also offer extra support during peak seasons or health emergencies.
Using locum tenens physicians is affordable for medical centers, as it lets them maintain a lower level of staffing and only supplement when needed.
Locum tenens physicians also enjoy unique career benefits, including extra income, travel opportunities and broadened clinical experience.