The TheraEx Locums Blog

News and insights from our team of experts.


The Pros And Cons of The Locum Tenens Life

Are you considering becoming a Locum Tenens but are just a little unsure if the position is right for you? Stress a little less, you’ve come to the right place! We understand a step into a new position can be worrisome and uncomfortable, but a leap into a travel job can be downright terrifying, and that’s okay. Sometimes the best thing for us is the scariest, but inevitably transports us in a new direction in life.

In saying this, just like with any job, there are pros and cons. When making momentous decisions, it’s always a great idea to place everything down in front of us and really put into perspective if we can deal with the cons to know if we can reap the rewards of the pros.

Here are the top pros and cons of Locum Tenens jobs.


The Paycheck

For many Locum Tenens, the income you receive on assignments is one of the biggest pros of the job. So much so, that there are even students who come right out of residency and jump straight into a Locum Tenens position to pay off student loans. This means that if you have any payments you’d like to get out of the way, this is an excellent opportunity to do so.

Or, you could be on the opposite spectrum, wanting to create a foundation for yourself. A nice block to build your career, your surroundings and yourself on. Whatever your reasonings are, being in demand for hospitals needing your extra hands comes with great pay.

On top of this, having a specialty under your belt could bring you more lucrative positions with once again, greater pay.

Work/Life Balance

We have spoken about this before, and it should be an important focus for many people. Many positions in the workforce, unfortunately, run you into the ground. While the health care industry is not so much different, its reasonings definitely provide a more understandable ground. We mean this in the sense that you are consistently helping people with any injury or illness. All day long. The issue with people needing doctors and nurses so badly is burnout. Burnout happens when we work until we are emotionally or physically drained, when we are in a high-stress role or when we feel we aren’t being supported correctly.

Burnout can be managed, diminished or avoided in a position like Locum Tenens. This is due to your short-term contracts. Once your assignment is completed, you have the option to go straight back into another role or take some time off before beginning again. You can work and take a week, even a month, to get ready for your next assignment.

Avoiding The Politics

If office politics isn’t something you particularly enjoy or want to be a part of, then this most definitely is a position for you.

When you are hired as a Locum Tenens, the healthcare facilities only want you for one thing, your skills. Anything to do with you or what you are doing; naturally lands on someone else’s desk. Morning and afternoon meetings don’t involve you, you won’t be asked to weigh in on anything, typically concerning policies and you get to go home at the end of the day hands-free. A very, very significant pro of working as a Locum Tenens.


Without a doubt, one of the biggest pros of becoming a Locum Tenens is the travel. Maybe not as pro as the pay, but definitely up there. If you have a sense of adventure and have been cooped up in one place for far too long, then the travel aspect of the job is going to be huge for you. There are many incredible places to visit around the country, plenty of cool things to do, food to eat and people to meet. You’ll really have the opportunity to venture out and see what each area you land in has to offer.

While you are making friends with your co-workers, be sure to use travel as a means of becoming friends. You can always have them show you the local spots and things you won’t be able to find on TripAdvisor.


Being Flexible

While you could plan out your whole calendar to line up with your perfect outcome, we have to remember that sometimes things just don’t go to plan. This too can happen in a Locum Tenens position.

Hospitals are able to halt contracts on short notice due to issues like insurance. You could also be let go early due to changes in the hospitals or may be thrown off course by a position available in a rural area.

Taking on this position means needing to roll with the punches. Positions that fall through can be picked up by other opportunities and rural positions can not only bring a brand-new experience but much more pay. If you can see the good in the sudden changes, or at least be ready for them, you’re going to be okay.

You Are Temporary

Some people thrive in leadership positions. They handle the people, shifts and unconventional circumstances super well. In a Locum Tenens position, your usual leadership role will fall to just another physician.

You must remember you are not only in a temporary position, but your role is just to practice medicine. There is a high chance your advice or opinion won’t be asked for or taken seriously if you express it.

Other than, of course, practicing medicine, your position in the facility kind of really depends on you. You may miss out on office gatherings, but if you put your best foot forward, your colleagues will do their best to keep you in the loop and involved.

Time Away From Family

Something that many of us struggle with is being away from home. We often get so swept up in our own routines with our people that we couldn’t imagine heading off into the unknown by ourselves. Though, a normal part of a travel job, and not suggesting you will be completely isolated, but it’s important to be prepared for the difference between how your home life and work life will be.

Jobs will always have their pros and cons, but it is how we view the cons that allow us to be able to enjoy the pros. Heading into a travel position can have some struggles in its limited time frame, but boasts massive benefits in pay, balance and travel. If you have any questions on how to become a Locum Tenens, please do not hesitate to contact us here.