“Locum tenens” is the term for the practice of hiring a physician full-time but for a fixed period, usually months. The nature of the work helps to address shortages in hospitals when they exist, and offers physicians chances to widen their practice and discover new possibilities in a “home-away-from-home.”
Employers may have to worry about whether or not their new hire will be worth the cost of transition; uphold quality service; or learn to embody their hospital’s unique mission and vision.
But our health systems will make significant headway if we acknowledge what each physician is capable of, and use whatever time we have to inculcate good values and heal the community as a whole.
Compassion Fostered in Time
A locum tenens hire shouldn’t simply be looking to survey new territory, follow the bureaucracy, or be nothing but a “stopgap measure.”
Instead, this health professional should be inspired by their Hippocratic oath, the core of which is compassion. If the physician enters as a locum tenens critical care staff, for example, they should give their all in those moments between life and death.
The staff should excel where they are needed, gaining both experience and insight to better their present, and future, institution.
Filling the Gaps in the Healthcare System
Companies like interimphysicians.com help deal with inevitable gaps in the healthcare system. Though hiring permanent staff is not always an option, let’s see how many holistic possibilities there are for our communities’ health. Hospitals must also treat their new staff well, and contractors must be clear and fair to all parties about their services (for ‘make-or-break’ factors on the locum tenens experience, click here).
The impact of good work will last forever. This holds truest when a physician saves lives because they were at the right place, at the right time.