Choosing between permanent positions or locum tenens can be an intimidating decision. On one hand, you could choose the security of having a stable career at an organization that is familiar and reliable to you. However, opting for locum tenens offers unparalleled flexibility and liberation not typically found in typical jobs. Which alternative works best for your individual needs?

A locum tenens physician is someone who temporarily fills in for another doctor who is unavailable. The other employee may be needed due to vacation, illness, maternity leave, or other reasons.

Staff that have more flexibilities can work in a variety of medical settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices. See more about the differences between locum tenens vs. permanent placement in the link provided. Additional employees with different backgrounds also provide coverage for special events, such as mass immunization programs or natural disasters.

The duration of a locum tenens medical practitioner’s stay in one area may vary drastically. Some brief postings are available with only a few days required, while others could be stationed in remote areas for several months depending on the terms established between them and the facility.

There are many benefits to working as a locum tenens physician such as having the ability to choose their own schedules and practice locations. They also have the opportunity to gain experience in different types of medical facilities and with different patient populations. For others, this is a way for them to explore their adventurous sides and get another source of income and you can see more about this on this page.

What about Permanent Position?

For those looking to settle down, or who have many commitments in their lives, a permanent medical position can be an ideal way to go. Not only does it provide benefits such as health insurance and holidays, but it is also a full-time role with one specific employer which makes it more ideal for people who needed job security.

Why Choose Locum Tenens?

When you’re looking for a more reliable career, it’s essential to weigh the benefits and drawbacks before deciding on locum tenens. On one hand, flexibility can be an invaluable asset when transitioning into a new facility or expanding your skill set outside of your comfort zone. Plus, you won’t need to work alongside people that don’t mesh with you well since after each assignment is completed there’s no guarantee that those same individuals will be around again.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Permanent Position

With a permanent position, you will have stability and security in your job, and you can build long-term relationships with patients and co-workers. The salary and benefits will be set, so you will know what to expect financially and you will have more opportunities for advancement within the company.

However, it can feel like you are stuck in one place if you do not like the company or location. You can become bored with your daily routine after a while and the income may be limited by your salary, even if you are working extra hours.

Locum Tenens

With locum tenens, you have the freedom to choose when and where you work. You take on as many or as few assignments as you want, and you can fully control your income. This arrangement can also be ideal for those who want to travel or experience different locations and types of facilities.

However, it can be difficult to find assignments that fit your desired schedule or location. The pay rate for locum tenens positions can also vary and it might not be enough when you have family.

Deciding Which One is Right For You

1. Are You Content with Where You Are?

Are you happy in your current position or looking for a change? If you’re content where you are, then a permanent position may be the best option. But if you’re interested in exploring different opportunities or locations, then locum tenens could be a good fit and see more about the top qualities of the staff here:

2. Do you know your long-term goals?

Do you see yourself in the same place 5 years from now or do you want the flexibility to move around? If you’re looking for stability and predictability, then a permanent position is likely the better choice. But if you want the freedom to pick up and move as your career progresses, locum tenens could be a better option.

3. What’s your financial situation?

Permanent positions typically come with higher salaries and benefits than flexible positions. So, if money is important to you, permanent residency may be the way to go. However, locum tenens can often be more lucrative in the long run since you have the ability to work as much or as little as you want.


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