Massachusetts hospitalist Paymon Kayhani fled his native country as a teenager and arrived in the Boston area as a refugee with his parents and older sister. This experience had an enormous impact on his future and who he would become. Because of his background, he always has a smile on his face regardless of how difficult things are.
“I think that I feel not only lucky but blessed and fortunate to have had this opportunity and I think I don’t take a single day lightly. And especially given that it’s in the service of caring for others in the times of need and the times of pain and anguish. I can’t think of anything more edifying as a career given that history.”
Working Locum Tenens without leaving home
Dr. Kayhani spent his first 13 years as a physician working one week on and one week off. He frequently took on extra work during his off weeks — until he realized that locum tenens was a better solution.
Discovering the flexibility of locum tenens
“I would pick up extra shifts to make ends meet. It took me perhaps about seven months to realize that there was an immense amount of work out there I could participate in as locums,” Kayhani says. “I could have the constancy I depended on as a permanent hospitalist and could continue to work locum tenens exclusively.”
Serving more patients through locum tenens work
An anthropology major in college in New Mexico, Dr. Kayhani didn’t discover his love for medicine until he worked as a nurse’s aide in a psychiatry facility. From his first day assisting patients, he knew he wanted to provide care for others.
“Not having ever had any exposure to healthcare this was my first interaction with healthcare and did not know what to expect, and I can tell you that on that very first day on the job with that first patient…I knew that my calling was in delivering care and being a provider for others…I knew I wanted to be a physician,” says Kayhani.
Now, through his work as a full-time locum tenens physician, Dr. Kayhani can focus on patient care. His situation is a bit unique in that he regularly works at 10 different facilities, all within driving distance of his home, so he gets to sleep in his bed each night
“I’ve worked locum tenens for two years with no interruptions and no loss of contracts,” Kayhani says.
“I like working full-time locums because I can extend the flexibility that locums is known for across my entire year, throughout my entire career.”
The hospitalist schedule is a great fit for locum tenens
Locum tenens is a great fit for hospitalists who work on the block schedule. Dr. Kayhani discovered firsthand the benefits of a hybrid approach to working locums while on his off weeks. In addition to enabling him to work locum tenens the block schedule has also allowed him to find more balance.
This personal life balance has encouraged him to pursue hobbies such as medical missions and photography.
“The block schedule over the years has allowed me, as you can imagine, do many different things. One of the things I have done is to engage with nongovernmental organizations and travel to Latin America specifically to Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala to do delivery of healthcare in places that people…do not have access to medical providers…it’s exceedingly easy or easier for us as hospitalists because of the nature of the block schedule,” Kayhani said. “A standard hospitalist would have a minimum of 26 weeks off per year, it’s easy to fit that in. I also do photography, I do workshops, attend workshops, spend time with my family, we travel, and all of this has really been made possible for me by being a hospitalist.”
Finding out if locum tenens is right for you
Though Dr. Kayhani is happy with his decision to leave his permanent position, he is quick to let others know that locum tenens isn’t the best fit for everyone.
“I always like to tell colleagues of mine that locum tenens is not one-size-fits-all. There are certain people who are best suited to a permanent contract, including those in academia who are doing research,” Kayhani says.
“For me, it works. I can reach out and work in multiple institutions and address them in some of their highest moments of need. I find that very edifying.”
Making locum tenens jobs work for your lifestyle
Right now, Dr. Kayhani finds all the work he needs near his home, but he looks forward to traveling with his wife later on.
“One thing unique to me is I have thus far only worked in one state and go home every night. I know when I’m ready locums can change with my changing needs,” Kayhani says. “When my wife and I would like to travel at some later time, we can do just that. I think locums is the path that really allows you to do that best.”
Whether you’re interested in taking locum tenens jobs to explore the United States or simply want to make a difference in your home state or region, you can make this lifestyle work for you. Find out how Dr. Michael Higginbotham achieved the flexibility to become a dog breeder through locum tenens work.