Locum tenens jobs can be a great way to stretch yourself, supplement your income and travel to places you’ve never seen before. But how do you find an assignment in your specialty and desired location? What paperwork do you have to provide? Is there someone to help with credentialing and licensing?
Fortunately, you don’t have to call up a hospital administrator to start the process. When you work with a staffing agency like Weatherby Healthcare, you have someone helping you from the initial phone call to the day you walk through the hospital doors (and checking up after that). See the steps for landing a locum tenens job below.
Connect with a physician recruiter
When you call a locum tenens agency for the first time, you’ll be connected with a consultant in your specialty. He or she will get to know you and find out what types of assignments and states interest you. Your first call with a recruiter is also the right time to explain what motivates you to travel and what’s most important to you in a job.
Complete an application and send your CV
Once you’ve spoken with a recruiter, you’ll need to fill out an application and send in your CV. He or she can then complete your profile and match you to locum tenens jobs that might interest you. Ensure that you have a complete work history, have listed all certifications and licenses, and have current references your recruiter can call. Finishing the application quickly means you’ll be able to apply for open jobs faster.
Apply for a job and then wait for an interview
Your recruiter will present your profile to a facility you’re interested in for approval once you’ve completed all the paperwork. You’ll have to wait to hear back from the hiring manager and see whether they’d like to interview you over the phone. Your recruiter will help you prepare for the phone interview and make a good impression if you’re selected as a candidate.
Accept an assignment and sign the contract
If the facility decides to hire you for an assignment, you’ll receive the details of your contract and have a chance to go over them with your recruiter before signing. Review everything carefully and make sure you agree with the salary, shifts you’ll be working and other details. If you do have questions, consult with your recruiter, who can then get in touch with the hospital hiring manager for more information.
Work with the credentialing team
To speed up the hospital credentialing process, start gathering this information in advance:
- Active state medical licenses
- Board certifications
- DEA registration
- Medical school diplomas
- ECFMG certicicate
- National provider identifier (NPI) documentation
- Malpractice liability insurance certification
Submit the requested documents as quickly as possible once you’ve signed a contract so the credentialing team can begin. Tell your recruiter if you won’t be able to turn in paperwork by the deadline or if you need help finding information.
Complete the licensing process
If you’re already licensed in the state where you’ll be working as a locum tenens provider, you’ll simply need to make sure your license has not expired. However, obtaining a new state license can take months, depending on the state board. Streamline the process by preparing the following:
- Original education and specialty board certificates
- A chronological work history from medical school forward
- Explanations for adverse events in your medical history (e.g., substance abuse, criminal history)
- A recent color passport photo
- Malpractice summaries and court documents
Consult with your recruiter and the agency’s licensing team if you have questions, because state boards have very strict guidelines.
Get details about your housing and travel
Most staffing agencies have dedicated travel and housing teams, but you’ll need to provide details so they can help. Let the teams know whether you’ll need any special accommodations, how many people will be traveling and living with you, and if you’ll be bringing pets along. Once your travel and housing is confirmed, you’ll receive emails so you have all the details and know how early you can move in before you start working.
Want more information about getting a locum tenens job? Check out this infographic that lists the nine main steps.