How locums has helped me stay fresh and challenged by medicine

Illustration - physician enjoying the benefits of locum tenens and how it keeps him fresh and challenged

Nicholas Kusnezov, MD, shares how working locum tenens has broadened his horizons and increased his versatility as a physician.

In my experience, one of the greatest benefits of locums is that new assignments force you to remain versatile by continually challenging your knowledge and skills.

Medicine is a dynamic, ever-changing field that is advancing at an accelerated pace. Locums will expose you to a variety of different settings, medical staff, and novel concepts in diagnosis and management, which will in turn keep you sharp, relevant, and up-to-date with the state-of-the-art. Moreover, you will train yourself to be able to adapt to new situations, cases, and patient demographics that you may otherwise have limited or infrequent exposure to.

Medicine is a team sport

While your primary practice may stagnate — in the sense that new staff are not frequently coming and going or perhaps have accrued from the same geographic area — locums promotes mixing of ideas and experience.

Medicine is essentially a team sport. Having the opportunity to work alongside other physicians with different backgrounds, training, and from different areas than your own allows you to learn from their experience. You have the unique prospect of discussing potentially unfamiliar or complex cases with other physicians and gaining their insights and perspective. As a result, such collaboration can in turn enrich your own practice of medicine and promote the best patient care.

Determining the scope of your practice

Additionally, you may end up in a practice that confines you to a certain “niche”. For instance, you might be the orthoapedic “shoulder” guy, stuck filling your schedule with labral repairs or procedures which you may not be passionate about, while your partner ends up siphoning all the sought-after total joint replacements. Or the converse may be true, and you may be relegated to seeing any general pathology that presents to your clinic, while you have aspirations to instead focus on a specific subset of patients.

Locums offers the potential to selectively diversify and control the scope of your practice and thereby increase your professional experience and skillset. As one of the largest locums companies, Weatherby will present you with many opportunities in a variety of different settings, and you are given the freedom to select a locum assignment which aligns with your own career goals, something that may otherwise be difficult or even impossible based on your primary geographic location or practice composition.

Diverse settings

The final component of the versatility afforded by locums is exposure to a variety of diverse institutional settings. It is easy to get comfortable and soft while practicing in the same day-to-day environment. However, working potentially at a variety of different and unfamiliar locations with different medical staff and medical record systems will keep you fresh and adaptable.

Considering all these factors, the benefits of locums are manifold and will sculpt you into a more versatile and multi-faceted physician. While there are many locum companies, each with various exposure to potential assignments, Weatherby offers among the greatest variety and reliability in securing favorable jobs.

This article first appeared on Reprinted with permission.

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