Dr. Marilyn Berko was growing tired of her demanding hospital schedule and wanted more flexibility. The pediatrician also looked forward to traveling and some new adventures in a different setting. After years of hearing about locum tenens jobs, she decided to give the practice a try.
“Since starting locum tenens in 2015, I’ve been extremely satisfied with Weatherby Healthcare’s service,” Dr. Berko says. “They do a fantastic job of finding me the right fit and making all the logistics feel as seamless as possible. My consultant is very responsive and knows me personally, and everyone there is willing to help if anything goes wrong or I need anything.”
Customizing your Workload
Even with less than a year of locum tenens experience behind her, Dr. Berko is quick to point out that choosing the length and gradient of her assignment is one of the biggest benefits.
“One thing people might not realize about locum tenens jobs is that you can choose facilities with a better fit for you in terms of workload, whether you want hospitalist assignments that are very busy or a more relaxed schedule,” she says. “You also don’t realize how much you’re valued and how grateful the staff is that you’re there.”
Making Time Away Easier
Though she doesn’t like to be away from family, Dr. Berko says her husband has come to see her on assignments and she’s driven home on weekends to see him, which makes it easier. Taking short jobs (two weeks or less) in varied locations also helps her continue to enjoy her work.
“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 expresses. “I really like the people I’ve met and have been able to travel to some interesting places. I’ve even improved in ways I wouldn’t have otherwise. My Spanish is getting better every day.”
Remembering Your Purpose
For doctors taking their first locum tenens assignment, Dr. Berko suggests being open to learning new things and realizing what an asset you are for a lot of practices.
“It’s so important to have a locum tenens physician. I initially thought of locums as a go-between service, but now I realize that these doctors fill an essential role in many places — sometimes for many years,” Dr. Berko says. “It’s very gratifying to come together as physicians, and I feel valued to be part of a team and in a critical role. I’m so glad I decided to do locum tenens.”
Learn more about pediatric intensivist Dr. Bruce Banwart’s experience with locum tenens — and visit Weatherby Healthcare representatives at the American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA) annual meeting May 15-17 in San Diego, Calif.!