Locums for a Small World Blog

Global Medical's top 10 states for locum tenens doctors to explore in 2016 (pt. 2)

Posted by Everett Fitch

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2016, for you, should be a year of new experiences. It should be full of long hikes and aging under the sun with those close to you. Endless white lines dotting the road should be your compass from time to time. Looking down in awe from your airplane window at waves breaking and clouds rolling in over mountains should be an experience you start planning right away. When whatever type of landscape or cityscape you’re most captivated by calls to you this year, you should go.

We’re sure you’ll find some form of serenity in one of the destinations below. 

No more delaying: here’s part two of our Top 10 States to Explore in 2016 list.

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#5: West Virginia - John Denver was right. This place is "almost heaven."

We're willing to bet you've never seen rolling hills and unbroken mountains greener than the ones housed in West Virginia. In fact, we're positive - because if you have and you’re a lover of outdoor adventure then you wouldn’t have ever left these boundaries.

Why are we so emphatic? Well, because these very hills and mountains are the life-blood of this state; they provide the backdrop for every adventure, little or big. They’re right there in the background while you cliff-dive at Summersville Lake in central WV. They're jutting over while you fine dine at Market Vines Grill and Wine Bar in Wheeling. And they're your front-and-center focus while you whitewater raft down one of the oldest rivers (ironically named New River) on the continent.

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That’s right, welcome to the wild and wonderful world of West Virginia. The aptly named Mountain State is known as the outdoor recreation capital of the east. Many DC residents venture here on weekends and holidays and we can understand why. It has more rushing rivers, winding trails, snow-drenched ski resorts (Snowshoe Mountain), deep caverns, wild forestland (Monongahela National Forest) and fishing lakes within its borders than any of its neighbors. Not to mention there are amusement parks (Camden Park), spa towns (Greenbrier), museums, farmers' markets and art crawls galore. It doesn't matter if you're an athlete or an urbanite, we guarantee you’ll immediately fall in love with any portion of this heavenly state.

We realized we could’ve taken the easy route and just posted every last lyric from John Denver’s classic love song for West Virginia - “Take Me Home Country Roads” - but then we would’ve been deprived of the joy that comes from professing our own love. Hopefully our words were just as potent as JD’s, you know, enough to convince you to drop what you’re doing and take a locum tenens assignment in ol’ West Virginia right now.

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#4: South Carolina - A time-warp of quiet, oak-lined streets and raucous silvery beaches


Take a minute to describe your perfect day. We're willing to bet every last thing you listed can be found in South Carolina. If your solace can only be found high up in the mountains then venture to the bluest and largest of lakes, Lake Jocassee. If your happiness depends on crashing waves and amusement parks then stay put in the Southeast's most famous and raucous beach town, Myrtle Beach. Or if you’re looking for more of an island getaway then try Hilton Head, Kiawah or Seabrooke.

East to west, South Carolina’s landscape is a gorgeous climb: it starts with glinting Atlantic beaches, rises up to the Piedmont, and then settles high in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It's simply a stunning place. We weren't the first to figure that out though. Notable socialites such as the Goodyears and the Vanderbilts realized the potential of SC long ago. They partied hard and indulged in all the beautiful weather this green land has to offer.

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Author Pat Conroy is just as enamored with South Carolina. He pens his love often and we know why. The lush south is full of Spanish moss-draped cypress and gum trees. It exists in a time-warp of quiet, oak-lined streets and beaches where kids learn to "pick a blue crab clean." Small-town charm like this endures all across this state - and with a history that dates back to pre-revolutionary war that's saying a lot.

Then there are bigger cities like Columbia - the graceful capital with brilliant botanical gardens, history-rich state museums, and the 50,000-acre playground known as Lake Murray. If you want something with a little more shoreline, go coastal, all the way to Charleston. This city’s history is as captivating as its silvery sands. It has been burnt, buried, and marched on, plus weathered many-a-storm. Still, it has graciously incorporated its battle-torn past (i.e., Civil War) into its tourist-treasure present. Visit South Carolina for a uniquely rich experience.

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#3: Alaska - The Land of the Midnight Sun

There are places so incredible that when you visit them the only thing you're thinking is how can I live hereAlaska is one of those places. It screams epic from mountain to coast. Here, waves crash against glaciers. Glaciers crash against mountains. Mountains crash against sky. And people you can't call anything but salt of the earth call its vast expanse home.

Drifters, dreamers and pioneers populate this wild unknown. They’ve been drawn to these shores where nature and culture are inextricable. They’ve found miles of labyrinthine forest and tundra; golden towns filled with onion-domed churches left over from Russian settlers; groves marked with native totem poles; and swells of wildlife dancing around boomtown architecture.

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Yeah, you'll find it all in Alaska. Watch herds of caribou storm in the shadow of Mt. Denali. Experience summer’s midnight sun on Flattop Mountain. Or see winter’s Northern Lights with the best front-row seats, Chena Hot Springs. This place fills your lungs with air so crisp it’ll feel like your first breath - something those of us in the “Lower 48” can’t appreciate until we experience it firsthand.

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#2: North Carolina: Mountains of natural beauty and the rest is history

North Carolina has a history of making history. Over thirty years before the Pilgrims made it to America, a group of English explorers claimed Roanoke Island as their home. Centuries later, two famous brothers, the Wrights, launched the first ever powered flight in the town of Kitty Hawk. Fast-forward a few decades and you’ve got Greensboro at the helm of the Civil Rights movement. We bet you could step foot anywhere and kick up dirt left over from the birth of this country.

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It’s easy to see why so many settled here. People of Scots-Irish descent to Moravians to Cherokees saw trails to be blazed. And North Carolina - today - wouldn't be the same without them. Grandfather Mountain holds the Highland Games’ Scottish festival every year. Historic Salem illuminates a living history of Moravian architecture and cuisine. And Native Americans are honored in the “land of the blue mist” (AKA Smoky Mountains) through exhibits, museums and historic paths.

Everywhere from mountain to piedmont to coast you’ll see the East’s biggest ski resorts; the South’s most famed golf courses; and the country’s tallest lighthouses. This state’s history and natural beauty will awe you in its every crashing wave and cobblestone street.

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#1: Texas - Shine on in this big-and-bright state

Texans are proud. Why shouldn't they be? They've got a sky that won't quit and a world of contrasting country that respectfully puts other states to shame. It just feels like home everywhere, no matter if you're in the Panhandle Plains or along the Gulf Coast.

Texas is always redefining itself. True, Old West heritage still reigns and if you look up to the night sky you’ll see that big bright diamond canopy this state is known for, but things are changing. Houston is more cultural and culinary than it’s ever been with new galleries and gastronomic experiences. Austin is tramping ever-forward as the Live Music Capital of the World. And gone is the sports-only reputation of Dallas: welcome to an architectural wonderland known for its thrilling nightlife.

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Remember, Texas is big. The roads here are arteries that give life to epic trips across massive land. If you’re ever tired of city, then find a beach in Corpus Christi. If you’re ever tired of coastline, then head to Big Bend National Park in Far West Texas. This state has it all.

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Did you miss part one of our Top 10 states for locum tenens doctors to explore in 2016 list? You can find it here. If you want to dive right in and see what opportunities are available now, just click the button below.


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Topics: Texas, Alaska, North Carolina, United States, South Carolina, West Virginia, Top 10 States 2016

Texas is the reason to locum

Posted by Everett Fitch

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When you hear “Texas”—if you’re an out-of-towner—you probably think Old West and big sky, right? You wouldn’t be wrong to think that. That stuff still reigns. Rodeos are alive and museums, well, a lot are dedicated to legendary outlaws. Plus, no other place in the U.S. has as pretty a sky as ol’ Texas (arguably). It’s a wild blue yonder by day and a big-and-bright diamond canopy by night. Some things never change.

But remember, this state is big and dynamic. The cities here are always redefining themselves. Austin is tramping ever-forward as the go-to for music. Houston is more cultural and culinary than ever. And gone is the sports-only reputation of Dallas. Welcome to an architectural wonderland known for thrilling nightlife. If any of these claims floor you, keep reading. If any of these claims don’t floor you, still, keep reading. You have much to learn about this infinitely eclectic state. What follows is a painstaking (yet not exhaustive) list of the best eateries, best bars and best pastimes in the biggest Texas cities.

First up, Austin

Best Eatery: Looking for a Tex-Mex meal? Austin’s got the answer. Head to North Loop Boulevard. Keep driving until you spot a hacienda-like building. You know you've made it when you see elaborate and endearingly clunky wooden doors. Welcome to Fonda San Miguel—a 40-year-old restaurant replete with orange walls and bona fide art. It might not look like much. But believe me, it’s much. Even the complimentary chips and salsa are criminally good.

Want a real treat? Try the fall-off-the-bone cochinita pibil (pork baked in a banana leaf). Oh, and here's something noteworthy, most every vegetable and fruit is plucked fresh from the restaurant’s own garden. And every last meal on the menu has its roots in seven different regions of Mexico. This place sings authenticity, mi amigos.

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Best Bar:
Oh man, this was a tough one. The results are in…Whip In takes the cake. Or the beer? Cocktail? I don’t know. Either way, no trip to Austin is complete without a stop in this fine establishment. A lot’s on tap here. A lot’s also in bottle-form. In fact, this little pub is one of the best bottle shops in town (meaning it has a fine selection). Plus, it’s won awards for its red-blooded house brew. Definitely stop by this place for good music and malt.

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Best Pastime: It’s obvious, isn’t it? Austin is home to music. Everyone knows that. You’ve got Carnaval Brasileiro with samba and spirited people. Then there’s Rodeo Austin with country and culture. And who can forget SXSW? This is where filmmakers frequent and musicians mingle—and perform.

Here are more tremendous Austin-based fests: Urban Music Festival, Louisiana Swamp Thing and Crawfish Festival, Art City Austin, Old Settlers Music Festival, Austin Reggae Festival, Austin Psych Fest, Old Pecan Street Spring Arts Festival, Pachanga Music Fest, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and the Fun Fun Fun Fest. Starting to get the picture? Head here for all-things music.

Due north, Dallas

Best Eatery: It’s hard to dub just one Dallas restaurant the cream of the crop. You’re probably thinking it has to be a steakhouse. That’s too easy. No, we need something shocking yet traditional; something classically Texas with a twist. That place is CBD (“Central Business District”) Provisions. This modern brasserie is a must-eatery. With a commitment to local produce and time-honored recipes, this relatively new establishment has already made a name for itself. Not to mention its design and look is something of pure beauty. Get here, try the 18-hour pork shoulder, butcher’s steak or grass-fed beef burger. Or, if you're vegetarian, grab the house-made strozzapreti. You won’t regret it.

Best Bar: You might recognize this bar’s namesake if you’re an enthusiast of once-banned literature. Its appellation comes from the infamous novel, The Ginger Man. The book tells the tale of a young American living in Ireland, and all the misadventures he gets into. Apparently, the (previous) owner lived a similar life for some time. That’s neither here nor there. Want to know the ins and outs, the comings and goings of this watering hole? It has an endless amount of events—from Irish-themed to Belgian-themed, and of course, Texas-themed. You better believe it has the very same in beer. And cider. And wine. And cocktails. Check out The Ginger Man for a good time. It’s a community favorite.

Best Pastime: Okay, so this is slightly north of Dallas but it’s for good reason. No trip to this portion of Texas is complete without a fair and/or rodeo. And in this case it’s both. Mark your calendars. From August 15-23 is the North Texas Fair and Rodeo in Denton. It includes rodeo clowns and queens, bull riding, authentic country music and barrel racing. That’s just a taste. Carnival rides, cook-offs, livestock shows and the most delicious fried food you’ll ever have is all right here, too. Travel to Denton for a true Texas experience. It’s worth it.

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Last stop, Houston

Best Eatery:
It’s not uncommon to find a line out the door at Gatlin’s BBQ in the Heights area of Houston. There's no doubt about it, it’s because of the ribs. You’ll find two kinds here: meaty baby back and rich St. Louis-style. I know what you’re thinking. All this time and I’m barely getting to the best barbecue joint in Texas. It’s for good reason. Save the best for last. You absolutely can’t leave here without trying a pork slider complete with a side of ranch-style beans. The menu’s simple but the food is intricate.

Best Bar:
Mongoose vs. Cobra. No, I’m not asking you who would win. I’m stating a fact. Mongoose vs. Cobra is hands down one of the best bars. It was once a single-family home, next a roller skating rink, then a grocery store, an auto repair shop, a printing company, a post office branch, and now a respectable pub. (That's certainly a storied past.) Over 40 delicious craft brews and interesting cocktails make up this establishment’s personality. Some describe it as Brooklyn-esque. I say it’s Texas all its own.

Best Pastime: Let’s be honest, it gets hot in Texas. That calls for a cool-down. Time to hit up the local swimming holes! Every Houstonite knows about Lake Conroe. It has lots of beach and greener-than-green trees but that barely begins to describe the frills this place showcases.

There’s also Clear Lake with the best boating and fishing and Lake Houston with cool water, lots of coastline and nature trails. Those are the favorites. They all have stunning views. They all have relaxation. And most importantly they all have a bit of solitude.

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If you haven’t caught the message...

Texas is not a state to pass up. And not solely for these reasons. I could write a near-infinite list detailing a slew of golden experiences. That wouldn’t be fun though. It’s better to find out firsthand. Fortunately, we have locum tenens opportunities for doctors throughout the Lone Star State. You're welcome to find out more here.

In the meantime, here’s some inspiration.

Topics: Everett Fitch, Texas, Austin, Dallas, Houston, SXSW, Mongoose vs. Cobra, Tex-Mex, The Ginger Man, Gatlin's BBQ

Locums for a Small World Blog

Twice a month, our inquisitive locum tenens community asks us to tackle topics ranging from cuisine and culture to recreation and entertainment. We also include great storytelling from our doctors. Have a topic you’d like to read about? Let us know.

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