Physician Provider Stories

Locum tenens physicans meet the needs of underserved patients

Each year, approximately 40,000 locum tenens physicians provide much-needed healthcare to millions of patients across the country, often through temporary jobs in rural and underserved communities that have difficulty sustaining full-time providers.

Locum tenens physicians step in to ensure patients have access to the care they need. Weatherby Healthcare is honored to work with thousands of talented providers committed to making this happen.

Here, we share videos of three physicians who go above and beyond, getting involved in communities, forming meaningful relationships with their patients, and consistently demonstrating exemplary skills, adaptability, and compassion.

John Gray, DO

“Any time a physician is able to help another human being, that is the best thing that can happen to the doctor. Of course it’s good for the patient too.”

This belief from John Gray, DO, is what drives him to seek out locum tenens opportunities in underserved areas, and what keeps him passionate about connecting with the patients he treats.

Dr. Gray has been treating the whole patient – physically, emotionally and spiritually – for more than 30 years. After closing his private practice, he began working as a locum tenens provider with Weatherby Healthcare in 2013.

Since then, Dr. Gray has worked in a variety of locum tenens positions and enjoys the various experiences in community healthcare clinics, local universities and correctional institutions. He says that the regional differences in approach, diagnosis and treatment are stimulating, and the advantages of flexible scheduling and travel allow him to pursue other activities and maintain a sense of balance in his life.

Demetri Poulis, MD

“I know my work makes a difference every day. When you go to these little places they really need someone. Usually they’re grateful you’re there and they extend everything to you.”

These are the thoughts of general surgeon Demetri Poulis, MD, who works as a full-time locum tenens provider. Dr. Poulis enjoys the lifelong learning that comes from being inside the operating room of multiple facilities, and speaks passionately about how locums is a great way to keep the work exciting while staving off becoming lethargic.

Locum tenens has allowed Dr. Poulis to find the life balance he was seeking. For 11 years he worked as the only surgeon at a hospital where he was on call every day. Feeling worn down, he eventually decided to try out locum tenens. Now, he can choose his own schedule, which has opened up opportunities he cherishes, such as traveling, visiting family, and developing new hobbies, such as surfing. Dr. Poulis credits much of his success to his Weatherby consultant, Hopal Watson.

Larry Daugherty, MD

During residency, radiation oncologist Larry Daugherty, MD, provided locum tenens services to help makes ends meet. These days he has switched to the other side of locum tenens, relying on the support of other locum tenens doctors to carve out time away from his position as director of radiation oncology at a cancer center in Alaska.

“I felt like I was a great locum tenens physician myself and wanted to do a high-quality job, and I’ve had a similar caliber of people cover for me. I have an established relationship with Weatherby, and now I have a predictable and reliable pool of physicians I like and trust.”

Being able to get away from the office is important to Dr. Daugherty, because he is passionate about his nonprofit, Radiating Hope, which aims to improve radiation oncology care around the world.

Looking for similar experiences in your life? Maybe it’s time to give locum tenens a try. Check out our open jobs.

About the author

Lisa Daggett

Lisa Daggett is well-versed on the topic of locum tenens staffing and was a regular contributor to LocumLife, Healthcare Traveler, and Travel Nurse magazines. She served as associate editor of RN Magazine and as an editorial assistant for Business & Health.

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