Physician assistant Lisa Wentling lived and worked in a rural New Mexico town and was familiar with the healthcare challenges of the area. When she and her husband befriended a doctor and his wife on a locum tenens job there, Lisa was intrigued by the idea of traveling.
Exploring new career options
“He talked about what a good time he and his wife were having, traveling the country and working in different settings,” Lisa recalls. “I didn’t think about locum tenens for myself then, but a couple years later, when the doctor at the practice I worked at was retiring, I started to look for other options. I reached out to Weatherby Healthcare, and they really took me under their wing.”
Building a relationship with your consultant
Lisa searched for a locum tenens agency with a good reputation online and remembers being impressed with Weatherby’s quick response, warm reception and friendliness. She is especially grateful for her consultant, Carolyn, and her attentiveness during every assignment.
“Carolyn is first and foremost my lifeline while I’m out in the field. She always responds very promptly and solves problems that come up,” Lisa says. “I feel like I can really talk to her. Weatherby foresees what your needs might be and takes care of them in a professional way.”
Exploring different hospital settings and destinations
As a PA, Lisa likes that she can work in various specialties and not be limited to just one area of medicine. This same flexibility appeals to her in locum tenens work.
“I like the opportunity to work in different settings and different locations — wherever there’s a need. I like traveling at this point in my career and learning new skills in different places, rather than being stuck in one place,” Lisa expresses. “I’m not caught up in hospital politics and can do what I enjoy doing: taking care of people.”
Providing more focused care to patients
Though it can be challenging to become credentialed, learn a new electronic health records system, and meet new people every few months, Lisa enjoys the independence locum tenens jobs offer, coupled with her more hands-on role as a PA.
“I like the unique connection with the patients I have as a PA. I can be more accessible and spend more time with them,” she says. “Locum tenens improves access for patients to healthcare, and it uses the best skills of the best providers who work as locums.”
Looking to the future as a physician assistant
Physician assistants are valuable members of a patient’s healthcare treatment plan, Lisa notes, and can do anything a doctor can for a patient through team collaboration.
“PAs are helping to transform healthcare by promoting preventive care and extending the care that physicians can provide. We work in physician-PA teams to improve coordination of care and improve treatment outcomes to those most in need,” she says.
And locum tenens work has allowed Lisa to help even more patients than she imagined.
“Working locum tenens has opened a whole world of exploring and seeing parts of the country I never would have thought to see,” she says. “I can really work doing what I enjoy.”