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Part two: The pros of locum tenens anesthesiology positions

Anesthesiologist administering anesthesia
January 31, 2023

Being a part of the anesthesiology community is exciting in many ways. One such way is that anesthesiologists, CRNAs, and anesthesiologist assistants can often choose to work in a long-term permanent position or travel the country as a locum. These positions are often utilized to cover for another provider who may be vacationing, on leave, or retiring, or fill in gaps where medical centers are experiencing increased patient load or physician shortages.

In part one of our blog series, we took a deeper dive into the benefits of staying in one place as an anesthesiology provider. Regular and predictable paychecks, benefits, and being part of a practice’s culture may appeal to many, but not all physicians and nurses feel the same way. For anesthesiologists, CRNAs, and AAs, there are several upsides to choosing a locum position depending on professional and personal pursuits. Selecting the option that best aligns with interests, goals, and lifestyle preferences will enable providers to get the most out of each opportunity.

Below we look at some of the main advantages of being a locum provider in anesthesiology.


Flexibility to select a work schedule

Unlike permanent positions with traditional hours, locum tenens nurses and physicians choose where and when they want to work. As assignments can last anywhere from two weeks to two years, providers have the flexibility to take time off in between contracts to travel, spend time with family, or take up other interests, which has been shown to decrease burnout significantly (more on that below).


Explore new locations

Some providers tend to be adventurous, want to travel extensively, meet new people, experience unexplored lifestyles – and be paid for it. Others are still determining where they would like to move permanently and use a locum opportunity to test out a new city. Traveling to various locations also gives providers the possibility of helping out in underserved communities that may be experiencing physician shortages.


Gain experience in diverse environments

By traveling to different locations, locum providers have the advantage of learning in a variety of healthcare settings from numerous medical professionals. The knowledge acquired in large hospitals compared to small medical clinics can help a provider throughout every stage of their career, making them more valuable to other employers in the future.


 A higher rate of pay

It is sometimes the case that, depending on the hours worked and location, that locum providers can make a higher hourly rate than permanent, full-time staff. Some doctors add locum work to their existing schedule to supplement their income or pay off medical school debt. While locum providers are considered independent contractors without benefits, many expenses can be written off, and travel costs and lodging are often paid for.


Fight provider burnout

Burnout is a genuine concern for the healthcare industry as many in the field struggle with work/life balance. With the ability to choose a schedule in a place that meets their needs, those administering care tend to stay more interested in their work. Knowing they have control over their career is often the solution to stress or burnout.


The downside

Working as a locum provider may sound exciting and fulfilling, but it also comes with some challenges. For those with families, it is not always easy moving from place to place, or contract to contract. As mentioned earlier, locum jobs often do not come with benefits, making the provider responsible for finding their own health insurance. Lastly, building a rapport with other team members takes time, and moving means that each new employer will have a different work style that may take a while to get used to.


Premier Anesthesia can help you reach your full potential 

Whether you are looking for something short-term or a permanent position, we offer lucrative compensation plans to those seeking to provide quality patient care. Because we work with a variety of practices, from well-known hospital groups in large cities to community clinics in small towns, we are always looking for dedicated and talented anesthesiologists, CRNAs, and AAs for exciting opportunities. Learn more.