More than half of U.S. physicians are experiencing burnout, according to Medscape’s 2017 physician bias and burnout report. Why are so many doctors burned out? They’re spending too much time on bureaucratic tasks and long hours in the office.
Achieving a healthy work/life balance is easier said than done — but taking locum tenens jobs is one solution. Find out how these three Weatherby Healthcare doctors gained more control over their schedules through temporary assignments.
Setting work boundaries
“One thing people might not realize about locum tenens jobs is you can choose facilities with a better fit for you in terms of workload, whether you want assignments that are very busy or a more relaxed schedule,” says Dr. Marilyn Berko, a pediatrician who’s worked with Weatherby Healthcare since 2015.
When her demanding hospital schedule became too much, Dr. Berko realized she needed a break and wanted time to travel.
It isn’t easy for her to be away from family, but she takes short assignments and sometimes even heads home on the weekends to see her husband.
“Each assignment has pros and cons, but I’ve loved the adventures and the fact that I’m working in communities and better reimbursed for the level of work I choose,” Dr. Berko says.
Bringing less baggage home from work
“I don’t always get to see the final outcome of patient care when I work locum tenens, but I also don’t get bogged down with the complexity of my work every day and am able to maintain my family life,” Dr. Prasanta Chandra, an OB/GYN, says. “I don’t bring home all these problems because I can be there and do the work.”
Dr. Chandra works part-time at his practice in New York City and takes locum tenens assignments — usually 10 days at a time — during the rest of the month.
He also takes time for himself, and recently took a two-week vacation to India. This wouldn’t have been possible while working full time.
“I have the freedom to pursue what I want to do and time in my schedule for new opportunities,” Dr. Chandra expresses. “I am a better doctor when I work locum tenens because I’m more present — and that makes the patients and the staff feel secure.”
Living a quiet life with your family
“I prefer to stay at a facility for two or three weeks at a time, which lets me offer my patients continuity of care. And then I like to be home with my family for two or three weeks, without any work distractions,” says Dr. Anthony Nunez, a cardiothoracic surgeon.
“This is now possible because I’m not getting called out in the middle of the night, or having to work late and miss planned activities. When I’m home, I am 100 percent there for my family.”
Thanks to locum tenens jobs, Dr. Nunez was able to move back to his childhood home in the Caribbean with his wife and three young children. He says locum tenens is a safe way to try out jobs before accepting a permanent position. It also helps him grow his reputation in cardiothoracic surgery.
““It is definitely advantageous to work in the United States and live in the Caribbean. My money goes a lot farther at home,” Dr. Nunez says. “I can work for just a few weeks at a time and still have enough money to live comfortably, with adequate free time to slow down and enjoy life.”
Looking for more flexibility in your work schedule? Check out our open locum tenens jobs to see what best fits your lifestyle.