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Traveling locum tenens work during ER
Old 06-01-2013, 11:06 AM   #1
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Traveling locum tenens work during ER

Hi folks. I know there are some physicians on this board. I'm wondering if anyone has done itinerant locum tenens work (that's latin for traveling doctor I guess) after ER.

My wife and I are looking at the idea. She is a family physician, I teach HS, and we have 3 daughters in school. The year our youngest daughter enters college is the earliest year I can qualify to retire from my district with full pension. My wife, who is younger than me has always had a wanderlust and suggests that when we finally get the last kid out of the house she wants to get a big RV or 5th wheel and hit the road, picking up the occasional locum tenens work when it comes up in interesting locations but not necessarily trying to do it full time. I expect we will have our own retirement finances squared away by that point so the working part would be mostly to help with the kids college costs and postpone the start of retirement savings draw down.

The other point of the exercise is that we don't want to retire in hot dry flat central Texas where we live now. So this will be a chance to explore many other potential places for longer than a quick trip.

Anyone else do this sort of thing as they ease into ER?
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:22 AM   #2
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I am a physician but have no personal experience in doing this. One big hassle is the need to apply for and maintain a medical license in every jurisdiction that you plan to practice in. That usually means cost, paperwork, getting references and doing interviews in each jurisdiction, and submitting evidence of continuing medical education with the annual renewal fee. If DW has a couple of specific states she wants to target, it might be worthwhile, but it would have to be very selective. The fixed costs are not insubstantial and there would be a break even point. That said, a family doctor should have lots of locum opportunities in underserved areas and some motivated healthcare organizations might help with these hurdles. I think it would be a good idea to look into these opportunities before hitting the road.
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
I am a physician but have no personal experience in doing this. One big hassle is the need to apply for and maintain a medical license in every jurisdiction that you plan to practice in. That usually means cost, paperwork, getting references and doing interviews in each jurisdiction, and submitting evidence of continuing medical education with the annual renewal fee. If DW has a couple of specific states she wants to target, it might be worthwhile, but it would have to be very selective. The fixed costs are not insubstantial and there would be a break even point. That said, a family doctor should have lots of locus opportunities in underserved areas and some motivated healthcare organizations might help with these hurdles. I think it would be a good idea to look into these opportunities before hitting the road.
I haven't looked into this much but my understanding is that the locum tenens agencies generally handle the licensing paperwork and have full time staff who are experts at this sort of thing. I expect my wife would be highly employable Well I know she is as she is constantly being recruited. She's Hispanic and completely bilingual and does a lot of OB work so she's very highly in demand in our local community. The other idea, of course, would be to just re-locate to somewhere more interesting where she can work part-time and skip the itinerant life. Once we aren't worried about both of our careers and local schools for the kids a whole lot of options open up. But she has this romantic notion of living and working on the open road somehow.
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:45 AM   #4
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I know of a couple of docs who do locum work. Usually the locum company takes care of the paperwork hassles as there is a broad need in underserved areas. (solo practitioners wanting a little,time off is common, or old never to,retire docs recovering from heart attacks or other medical setbacks)
It is usually good money but hard work.
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