Here’s the biggest perk you get when you book your own locum tenens assignments. In theory, you can make more money. Common sense says that with no locum tenens agency charging a markup, the physician should get to pocket the difference. In some cases, you may earn a better than average rate, depending on the facility, but you’ll also spend a little more managing the details on your own.
Locum tenens agencies vs. DIY – things to consider
Keep in mind that when you’re on assignment, you’re often filling an urgent need, especially for holiday or vacation gaps. Facilities with established agency relationships tend to pay competitive rates to begin with. It’s also important to remember that for the fraction of the rate you may be giving up to work with an agency, you’re also giving up stress and personal expenses. Here are just a few of the things that a good locum tenens consultant will handle for you.
1. Licensing and credentialing
One of the first and best advantages of locum tenens agencies vs. DIY is that they help you prove you’re who you say you are. Your consultant takes care of documentation and primary source verification and simplifies all the paperwork between you and the facility. Good agencies will also help with the paperwork and make it faster and easier to get you licensed in the states where you want to work.
2. Travel arrangements
That extra percentage you might see by going direct can disappear fast when you have to cover your own travel costs. That’s not counting the value of your time lining up flights, booking ground transportation, dealing with lost luggage or cancelled flights or other problems that come up on the road. With an agency your consultant manages all those details so all you have to do is show up.
3. Housing arrangements
When you book your own assignments, you have to search housing websites, deal with deposits, applications, and countless other moving details. With an agency, your consultant not only handles everything to get you into the temporary home that’s right for you – they can also get you out of there fast if something unexpected isn’t to your liking and move you somewhere better.
4. Malpractice coverage
With Weatherby you’re covered, even for short assignments. We have a master policy with a top-rated insurance company and add physicians to the policy in line with their assignments. You don’t have to fill out separate applications, so you’re free to do your work without the need to worry about having the right coverage.
5. Finding your next job
Having a personal relationship with a staffing consultant who knows your specialty is a big advantage when you’re coming to the end of your assignment. While you focus on healing your patients (and enjoying your location) they’re busy lining up your next locum tenens job. They know your work preferences, your travel needs, and the housing details that suit your lifestyle. All you need to do is say when and go.
Making the choice – agency or do-it-yourself?
Technology is great. With mobile apps you can book your own flights, find a ride, search for housing, or handle any number of other essential tasks. But when there’s negotiation involved, or added complexity, it’s nice to have someone experienced do the heavy lifting for you. If you’re a detail person and a technology buff who loves to be in control of the details, locum tenens DIY might be your best option.
On the other hand, if you want to be free to focus on your specialty and your patients, consider talking to a Weatherby consultant. They can give you a no-obligation rundown on all the professional and lifestyle benefits you can get from a reputable locum tenens agency.