Provider Stories

Physician Finds Work-Life Balance with Locum Tenens

Dr. Anthony NunezWhen Dr. Anthony Nunez found himself between permanent positions last year due to organizational changes, he was reluctant to make another long-term commitment too quickly. Instead, he turned to locum tenens practice.

“I know locum tenens is a safe and practical way to test the waters in new places,” says Dr. Nunez. “I had done some locum tenens work in the past, and enjoyed it. I appreciate the opportunity it provides to try things out first-hand, without being dazzled by unrealistic first impressions.”

Over the past year, the cardiothoracic surgeon has also discovered that providing locum tenens services offers significant advantages in his personal life.

“I have a wife and three young children,” he says. “Since I started doing locum tenens work on a regular basis, the flexibility has allowed us to move back to my childhood home in the Caribbean.”

Together with his Weatherby Healthcare consultant, Lesli Monahan, Dr. Nunez has worked out a system that lets him alternate between a few weeks at home with his family and a few weeks providing services at facilities in the United States.

“Over the last year, I have been to five different facilities, and I return to two of them on a semi-regular basis,” explains Dr. Nunez. “Both are in the eastern part of the country, which I prefer because it shortens my travel time.”

This arrangement is working out ideally, both professionally and personally.

“I prefer to stay at a facility for two or three weeks at a time, which lets me offer my patients continuity of care,” says Dr. Nunez. “And then I like to be home with my family for two or three weeks, without any work distractions. This is now possible because I’m not getting called out in the middle of the night, or having to work late and miss planned activities. When I’m home, I am 100 percent there for my family.”

The situation works well financially, too.

“It is definitely advantageous to work in the United States and live in the Caribbean. My money goes a lot farther at home,” acknowledges Dr. Nunez. “So I can work for just a few weeks at a time and still have enough money to live comfortably, with adequate free time to slow down and enjoy life.”

Dr. Nunez expects he will continue working this way for the foreseeable future.

“I will keep taking locum tenens opportunities for the next four or five years, at least,” he predicts. “And I may do some work near my home, as well. Another plus is that the more contracts I take, the more well-known I become. The cardiothoracic community is relatively small, so as I move from state to state, I continue to grow my national reputation. This may prove helpful later on, when my children are older and I consider returning to a more permanent position.”

If you are interested in trying out new settings or locations, check out Weatherby Healthcare’s locum tenens opportunities throughout the country.

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.

3 Comments

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  • I had the fortune to work with Dr. Nunez in Pennsylvania while both managing a surgical research project and supporting his advancing surgical acre with new instrumentation. His skill set is matched by his compassion for all of his patients. I can see how his locum tenens activities would be satisfying for all reasons mentioned in this article. His passion for surgery is matched by his compassion for patients and families.

    As a specialist in life support technologies, I was able to team with him on new procedures, and help train staff. His creativity fits his current lifestyle and all in his area of service will benefit from a highly trained cardiothoracic surgeon, with the compassion of the country doctor.

  • I only know Dr. Nunez because he did open heart surgery on my husband. We can’t begin to express how wonderful Dr. Nunez was to our family. He has the most sincere bedside manner I have ever experienced. He always took time to answer any questions we had or to explain what for us to expect. We had complete faith in him. He didn’t sugarcoat anything yet he was very positive.
    When I found out he had left Good Sam. In Mt. Vernon II. It came as quite the shock. I think they should have done everything humanly possible to keep Dr. Nunez on staff. He was definitely an asset to the cardiac unit, as well as, the complete hospital.

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