Nicholas Kusnezov, MD, shares his experiences as a military physician and why you should consider locum tenens.
From the standpoint of a military physician, the benefits of working locum tenens are manifold. While training within the military will more than prepare you for either continued military practice or eventual transition to civilian practice, locums provides you with the opportunity to effectively increase your practice volume. You will hone your skillset with additional cases, expand the scope of your practice beyond what you may be exposed to at your military medical center, and substantially supplement your income. It will also endow you with increased versatility with which to adapt to new situations and circumstances.
Expanded practice opportunities
While residency within the military is comparable to that in the civilian sector, once you have completed your training your practice options are admittedly significantly more limited. You will be assigned to one of the handful of military medical centers across the U.S., the number of which pales in comparison to the possibilities in the civilian sector. As a result, your practice volume and composition are largely predetermined by where you end up being stationed.
As a military physician, locum tenens will allow you to significantly increase the number and variety of clinical and surgical cases you manage, all while still permitting you to maintain a rich and busy military practice. You are moreover exposed to a different patient demographic and injury profile in the civilian sector as compared to that within the military. For instance, whereas your military practice may be predominantly elective sports cases in younger and more active individuals, you may choose to pursue higher acuity trauma in a busy level 1 facility where the patients may be older or have more complex cases. Altogether, locum tenens serves to facilitate sharper and more robust clinical and surgical skillsets and is beneficial to all military specialties across the board.
As military physicians we are frequently faced with new situations, either in the setting of deployment or frequent change of station. Experience with locum tenens provides you with the ability to easily adapt to new environments and circumstances. As a traveling physician, you will be faced with vastly different hospital systems, clinical settings, electronic medical records, support staff, call and clinic tempos, and case variety. Developing an ability to adapt to these various components strengthens your resolve and makes you a more versatile physician.
Higher earning potential
Lastly, but perhaps for some physicians most importantly, locum tenens affords you a substantial increase in your income. It’s no secret that military physicians make — in most cases — substantially less than their civilian counterparts. Service often comes at a cost. This often factors in to the desire to remain active within the military, potentially in a practice setting that you enjoy but feel undercompensated for. However, the additional compensation from even short or periodic locum assignments can more than compensate for this difference. This furthermore allows you to weigh the decision of continued military service based on other lifestyle factors aside from just money.
Weatherby can help you find locum tenens assignments that work with your military physician lifestyle. Give us a call at 954.343.3050 to get started.