Posted on
February 1, 2023

Should You Venture Into The Locum Jobs Industry After Residency? FAQ for Graduating Residents

As a medical school student and resident, you have likely had a set schedule to follow regardless of your preferences. Imagine what your job would be like if you could have more control over where and when you work. When considering jobs for graduating residents, a locum tenens position may be an excellent fit for many. While you always have the option to find a permanent position at a hospital or clinic, it can be beneficial to explore working locum tenens positions after residency.

What Is “Locum Tenens”?

Locum tenens is a Latin phrase meaning “to hold a place.” When it comes to locum tenens jobs for Physicians, it means that a Physician comes and works in place of another Physician on a short or long-term basis. Working a locum tenens position helps medical facilities stay staffed while looking for Physicians to take permanent roles.

Can I Work Locum Tenens Positions While Still In Residency?

At the beginning of your residency, you cannot work locums tenens positions. However, some programs allow residents to work locum tenens positions part-time near the end of their residency. You must speak with your administration before applying to ensure that the program will enable you to add locums jobs to your schedule. Locum tenens jobs can offer great part-time opportunities for residents.

Can I Work Locum Tenens Positions While Pursuing A Fellowship?

As with residency, there is no cut-and-dry answer that fits every situation. Working locum tenens positions while pursuing a fellowship typically depends on a Physician's specific program and schedule. Some programs allow for it, but you should ensure you are not over-scheduling yourself. Some Physicians will want to go into a fellowship and work locum tenens positions simultaneously. In that case, you will want to carefully review the fellowship requirements and ensure it will not restrict you to only working for them.

Can Locum Tenens Positions After Residency Help Pay Off Medical School Debt Quicker?

Working locum tenens jobs as a graduated resident is an excellent way to pay off your medical school debt quicker. Locum tenens jobs typically pay more than most permanent positions because these employers want to attract individuals to fill their openings. This higher pay rate can make these roles a great first full-time position after residency. You could also work locum tenens positions part-time, working around your regular schedule for extra shifts.

Working locum tenens positions after residency in less desirable areas or in-demand specialties can benefit those looking to make even more money. Positions in specific specialties and less desirable locations often have significantly higher pay rates.

What Are The Benefits Of Working Locum Tenens Positions After Residency?

Several benefits come from working locum tenens positions right after finishing your residency.

More Flexibility

Locum tenens work allows Physicians to have more flexible schedules. Physicians get more control over when and where they work. With short-term and long-term positions available, you will have more control than most Physicians in permanent positions.

Better Work/Life Balance

A locum tenens assignment can offer a more reasonable work/life balance. After the long hours spent working as a resident and in medical school, a better work and life balance can be beneficial.

Increase Your Income

Locum tenens positions are a great way to earn additional income, help pay off loans, and increase savings.


A locum tenens assignment often offers the benefit of traveling anywhere you want for your work.

Experience A Variety Of Job Options

Locum tenens work allows you to gain experience with various employers and work environments so you can understand what you enjoy the most. Signing on the bottom line as a permanent employee means that you will only get to experience that particular environment after your residency. With locum tenens work, you can further your career in a variety of settings, including:

  • Urban, Suburban, and Rural Areas
  • High-Volume Clinics and Hospitals That Have Higher Numbers of Patients
  • High Acuity Cases
  • Different Socioeconomic and Demographic Areas

What Kind Of Opportunities Are Available With Locum Tenens Positions?

Believe it or not, you can find both full-time and part-time opportunities for residents when working locum tenens jobs. What this means for you is that you’ll be able to find locum tenens jobs that fit your particular needs and lifestyle. Getting in touch with a locum tenens agency is often a great starting point in your job search. A locum tenens agency can help you find your first locum tenens job quickly by identifying the different assignments that suit your needs.

How Long Are Typical Assignments?

Those who have worked locum tenens positions before can speak to the fact that every locum tenens job is unique. It is often one of the reasons why Physicians are attracted to these assignments. You can stay a very short time in one position, just a few days, or you may be in a locum tenens position that is more of a long-term commitment. In some circumstances, you will know the exact timeline of your locum tenens assignment, but others have no precise conclusion. The flexibility that this arrangement offers is excellent for:

  • In-Between Positions
  • A Stop-Gap After Residency
  • When You Enjoy Exploring A Variety Of Settings Before Finding A Permanent Job

For some, it can be a ‘try it before you sign on the dotted line’ opportunity to get the right fit.

Where Can I Find Locum Tenens Jobs?

There has never been a better time to explore your options with locum tenens positions. Openings are available throughout the county with varying needs, such as part-time, full-time, and different specialties that you can take advantage of when starting your medical career after your residency.

Getting connected to a locum tenens agency can often be your best bet in finding the most lucrative and attractive positions that fit your plans.

What Is The Average Salary For Locum Tenens Positions?

In many specialties, the average salary for locum tenens positions is higher than the average pay for Physicians with a permanent position. In addition, some states have higher wages than others due to the growing demand for these temporary locum positions. Because many factors determine the salary of a locum tenens, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact average salary for locum tenens positions. However, on average, locum tenens Physicians can expect 33% higher pay than working a permanent job.

In addition, you should also consider that your agency may provide you with housing, money for travel expenses, malpractice insurance coverage, and assistanceregarding the paperwork required for licensing, credentials, and other necessary information to work in other states. Keep in mind, though, that locum tenens Physicians are responsible for finding their own health insurance.

What Are Your Next Steps After Medical Residency?

It can be challenging to know what to do after your medical residency. Locum tenens jobs can be an exciting opportunity when starting your career. You will enjoy the benefits of traveling, working when you want, and exploring different positions before you settle on one that fits your needs. Or, you could decide that you enjoy working around the country and stick with being an independent locum tenens Provider as a full-time career.

Are you curious about the locum tenens Physician opportunities open to you as a resident or graduating resident? Caliber is here to guide you through the process. Contact our elite Physician-staffing-solution professionals today to learn more about your future working in a locum tenens position.

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