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Physician Locums July 13, 2023

Near & Far: Discover Your Locum Tenens Travel Options

You are dedicated to your medical career, working hard day after day, and try to imagine a time when you can actually use your hard-earned money to explore the country. But many physicians who dream about traveling don’t want to wait until retirement.

The good news: You do have some options that will allow you to travel now—whether you are a new physician, have a few years of experience, or are nearing the end of your career.

Some of the top ways to experience life as a traveling physician include:

  • Volunteering as a medical missionary
  • Traveling between permanent jobs, or on a short vacation
  • Relocating your practice to another state
  • Serving in the military or military reserves
  • Taking a sabbatical (these opportunities are rare)
  • Working locum tenens assignments in your choice of locations

Traveling to take a locum tenens job is an attractive option for many providers, especially considering the paid housing and other benefits, and the fact that working as a locum does not involve a long-term commitment.

Yet locum tenens physicians and advanced practitioners may not have to travel far at all.

Whether you are longing for a cross-country adventure or prefer to find an assignment that keeps you close to home, the choice is up to you.


Choose when, and how long, to work locum tenens

Physicians and advanced practitioners can choose locum tenens to travel jobs or local assignments for one short-term contract, for several successive contracts, or at different times throughout their career. Locum assignments can be part-time or full-time and will vary in length.

The flexibility and freedom to choose when and where you work is a key benefit of working locum tenens.

And any time is a good time to start, according to the traveling physicians and other locum practitioners who responded in AMN Healthcare 2017 Survey of Temporary Physician Staffing Trends. The results showed:

  • 14.9% took their first locum tenens job right after residency
  • 49.2% took their first locum assignment in mid-career
  • 35.9% first worked as a locum after retiring from permanent practice

Locum tenens jobs that keep you close to home

Depending on where you live and what the current demand is for your medical specialty, there are options to work locum tenens within driving distance of home.

If you live in a small town, you may have to go farther to find short-term work. But if you live in a larger city or close to a town with a few hospitals or private practices, your recruiter may be able to find locum work that will still let you go home at the end of a shift.

Another option is taking a locum tenens job that is located just a few hours from home. This allows traveling physicians to take advantage of agency-provided housing on the days they work and return home to friends and family on their days off.

Locum tenens jobs across the U.S.

For those who want to get farther away and relish the thought of traveling to new places, choosing the location for your locum assignments can be half the fun.

In fact, location is one of the main incentives for working locums. In the 2017 AMN Healthcare survey, 89% of respondents said they choose their locum assignments based on location.

The team at AMN Healthcare can make your locum teens travel dreams come true, by helping match you with jobs in your chosen location, coordinating the details to get you ready to work and live there, providing free housing, and supporting you throughout your assignments.

Locum tenens' love to travel

There are several advantages to working a travel locum tenens assignment, including:

You can try before you move. Before a permanent relocation, locum tenens travel assignments allow you to test out new facilities and cities.

You can earn higher salaries. Most locum tenens jobs offer very competitive salaries, and positions that are harder to fill may pay better or provide more room for negotiation.

You have freedom of choice. As a locum tenens independent contractor, you’ll have full control over where you work, how often you work, and for what length of time. Some assignment contracts may also be extended by mutual agreement.

You get paid to travel. Locum tenens travel assignments allow you to see the country while getting paid. Housing, malpractice insurance, and other benefits are included.

Recruiters do the heavy lifting. Once you choose a preferred location, your locum tenens recruiter will find appropriate positions and prepare you for your move, should you decide to accept a position. Their team will assist with credentialing, licensing, and privileging; making travel and housing arrangements, and providing professional liability insurance. There is never a charge for these services for locum tenens candidates who work with AMN Healthcare.

AMN Healthcare places physicians and advanced practitioners in top locum tenens opportunities, near your home and across the country.

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