Locum Tenens Tips Physician

2018 New Year resolutions for healthcare providers

Weatherby Healthcare - new year resolutions for healthcare professionals - featured image of black and gold 2018 new year decoration

Why is it every time the calendar flips to January 1 people feel compelled to make promises? According to the History Channel website, the concept of annual resolutions was practiced as far back as 4,000 years ago. Historians believe ancient Babylonians used springtime planting as a seasonal reminder to promise to repay debts and return borrowed goods. Obviously, the tradition has evolved over time, and now millions of people use the turning of the calendar as an inspiration to set new goals, both personal and professional.

This year, instead of reverting to the same stale resolutions everybody tries year after year – and most find easy to forget by February – think about incremental goals that can pay off all year long, such as these four thought starters:

1.  Build healthy habits instead of resolving to lose weight

Instead of assigning yourself an arbitrary weight loss goal, vow to incorporate a healthy habit that could positively impact many aspects of your life. It doesn’t have to be a grandiose gesture. Think of reasonable behaviors that can make each day a bit better.

  • Make a point of adding meditation to your daily routine as a de-stressor you can do anywhere
  • Improve sleep patterns. Bring your personal bedding to each assignment to make sleep more familiar, comfortable, and refreshing

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2. Say yes to opportunities instead of resolving to save money

Banking extra cash can sometimes feel out of reach when your salary is already tapped for repaying medical school loans, taking care of a family, or covering cost of living, including home repairs and other financial emergencies. By saying yes to locum tenens contracts, even occasionally, you could increase your earning potential.

  • Locum tenens physicians often receive a greater hourly pay rate than staff members
  • Most major expenses (i.e., airfare, rental cars, hotel fees, or rent) are covered for you
  • If your schedule is accommodating, assignments that request immediate placements often offer premium rates

3. Embrace the unexpected instead of resolving to check off bucket list items

It’s fun to indulge in the fantasy of creating a wish list of once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Unfortunately, most people don’t get the chance to actually accomplish these dream adventures. That doesn’t mean you won’t encounter unique experiences in everyday life, especially when traveling to various communities for locum tenens opportunities.

  • Each town, large or small, rural or urban, has its own personality. Discover what makes the location special, from the local music and art scene to quirky festivals and traditions. You name it, there’s a local celebration built around it somewhere.
  • Eat like a local! Locum tenens contracts serve up a perfect opportunity to experiment with iconic regional food experiences. Test your preference for red or green chilis in New Mexico. Take a stand on whether New York, New Haven, or Chicago has the one “best” variety of pizza. Be your own judge on the great Kansas versus South Carolina barbecue rivalry. Vegan, Paleo, or gluten-free? Sample the alternative cuisine scene along the California coast.
  • Work it out! More than two-thirds of the residents surveyed for the 2017 Medscape Lifestyle and Happiness Report say they rely on exercise to relieve stress and burnout. However, certain sports and outdoor activities require specific geography, so take advantage of that on assignment. Kayak in the ocean. Climb rocks in the West. Ski in the Northeast or Rockies. Unlike a typical vacation, depending on the contract length, you may be living in a locale for a few weeks, which gives you more time to explore the natural environment.

Weatherby Healthcare - new year resolutions for healthcare professionals - image of couple exploring the local scene on assignment

4. Collect professional experience instead of resolving to switch jobs

Whether recruited or changing positions on your own accord, searching, interviewing, and credentialing for a new practice can be a lengthy and involved process. If relocation is on the table with an offer, that’s another process with which to contend. Locum tenens opportunities allow you to take on as many new professional experiences as you wish – with the benefit of experts to help you navigate through the paperwork maze – without being asked to make a major life decision and commit the next several years of your career.

  • Temporary contracts empower doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners to audition various clinical settings and communities while contemplating a career move
  • Locum tenens clinicians expand their curriculum vitae without changing jobs. Accepting a temp position lets you practice in different settings, consult with various specialists who may have different approaches, and witness how cultural influences impact care

Of course, not all New Year’s resolutions can be fulfilled by accepting locum tenens opportunities, but if you’re interested in learning how temporary assignments may help you succeed in keeping your resolutions for 2018, reach out to a Weatherby Healthcare consultant today.

About the author

Anne Baye Ericksen

Anne Baye Ericksen is a journalist and locum tenens subject-matter expert with more than two decades of experience. She was a regular contributor to LocumLife, Healthcare Traveler and Healthcare Staffing and Management Solutions magazines.


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