Before you accept a locum tenens assignment, make sure you are working with the best locum tenens company for you. Each agency is different -- some you will work well with and others won't be a good fit. To find the best locum tenens agency, speak with recruiters at several different companies, and use the questions below as a resource:
1). What specialties do you represent and how much do the recruiters know about them?
The best locum tenens companies represent a variety of specialties, including core specialties like primary care, general surgery, psychiatry, and anesthesiology. However, you will still want to confirm that the agency can place you on assignments and that the recruiter has experience working with your specialty. Recruiters should be well-versed in specialties to help find an ideal placement for you and understand the challenges and triumphs of your role.
2). How do I reach someone if there are problems during my contract?
Any good healthcare staffing company will have recruiters that are dedicated to their providers and available to answer questions day or night. Many agencies also have another number or person to contact for any middle of the night emergencies.
3). Do you have employee testimonials?
The best way to learn about a company is from providers that have worked with the locum tenens company before. Check out the company's website -- if they have testimonials online that shows providers have good experiences working with that agency.
4). Do I have to handle my own travel and relocation?
A quality locum tenens company will have a travel and housing team dedicated to getting you to and from your assignment. Many agencies also assist with covering the cost of travel arrangements.
5). Will someone help me with licensing and any resulting questions?
Reputable agencies will have a credentialing verification team to answer your questions and help you get state licenses and hospital privileges before your contract starts. The credentialing verification process can seem daunting, but a good company will be able to walk you through each step and make the process run smoothly.
6). Do you provide malpractice insurance?
This should be a make or break requirement. The locum tenens staffing agency should provide malpractice insurance coverage. Be sure they clearly communicate if it’s a comprehensive policy, if there are associated charges, and when the policy ends.
7). Are you a member of NALTO?
NALTO is the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations. It’s important to you because this group enforces rigid industry standards about honesty, objectivity, integrity, and competency – the key ingredients to a harmonious working relationship and the building blocks for a strong medical career.
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Disclaimer: Any personal views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent and are not intended to represent the views of the company or its employees.