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What Is Locum Tenens In Medical Recruitment?

Traditionally a locum tenens is a professional who replaces another person and provides the same service for the same fee. Locum tenens can be used for teachers, police officers, lawyers, and members of the clergy, but work as locum tenens is most commonly associated with people in the medical field.

Why Are Locums Used?

A locum tenens doctor or other medical professional may be needed for several reasons, ranging from a regular doctor’s vacation to a vacant position that needs to be filled temporarily.

Where Does The Term Locum Come From?

In Latin, this term literally means “someone who occupies a place.” Depending on where you are in the world, people may use the abbreviation “locum” to refer to someone in a temporary position and “locums” in the plural. In regions where people are fans of their Latin, the plural “locum tenens” can be used. Terms such as “substitute teacher” can be used to talk about specific professions in specific industries or service sectors.

How Do Locums Find Work?

A physician who works as a locum may do so through a professional organization or physician recruiter that places the locums or may work independently, filling positions as needed upon request. In small towns, doctors and veterinarians often make surrogate arrangements with each other to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to take time off and to confirm that medical care will always be available to the community.

Where Do Locums Work?        

When someone works as a locum, the work is carried out in someone else’s medical practice, clinic, or health center using their equipment, laboratory services, etc. The surrogate must be able to offer the standard care offered by the regular doctor, along with the same fees. Specific job details are usually spelled out in a contract, in which fees, hourly wages, etc. are discussed, along with specific terms like an “out” clause allowing the doctor to leave if the position doesn’t work.

Locums And Patients

Patients may feel uncomfortable seeing a locum doctor if they have an established relationship with their regular doctor, but they should remember that the temporary placeholder has the same capacity as their regular doctor. If patients have special arrangements with their physicians regarding payment, check-ups, etc., they may wish to get the details in writing for the benefit of the surrogate.

Are There Any Benefits Of Working As A Locum?

For clinicians, working as locums can be interesting as it exposes medical professionals to all kinds of people, clinical settings, and places. A much wider variety of cases than they would normally see. However, both parties, the doctor or physician and the healthcare facility manager need to read the contract carefully to ensure that the terms are fully understood.

Defining The Locum Arrangement

Do you need to hire a locum? Are you a medical professional who wants to work as a locum? There are certain aspects of the arrangement that need to be discussed and agreed upon before work begins. Some things to think about include who is responsible for carrying malpractice insurance, what kinds of hours are expected, and whether the doctor is paid directly or through an agency.