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

Global Medical's top 10 states for locum tenens doctors to explore in 2016 (pt. 1)

Posted by Everett Fitch

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Every state has all new sights to see and all sorts of new things to do. For instance, in this top ten lineup you have two states that share a massive national park where you can almost feel the earth bubbling underneath. Another on this list has world-famous ski resorts where you can catch fresh snow and maybe even rub elbows with celebrities. And another is home to a city built on chocolate (not literally), and it's appropriately referred to as "The Sweetest Place on Earth." 

Every bit of countryside in these states, too, if you drive far enough, has new scenery and new smells, new sounds and new sights all set to liven up your senses - rarin' to give you a jolt. That’s a good thing, too. You give up a little bit of yourself to be a big bit of everything else in these wide open spaces - just in a different way than in the city. You’re a little less on high alert and a little more present. You're more aware of being yourself, unabashedly. It’s a reset and everyone deserves one once in a while.



You're sure to find plenty of both city and countryside in the following top 10. You're also sure to find lots of physician opportunities within these states. This new year, take time to experience somewhere new. Here's part one of our two-part top 10 list. 

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#10: Montana - Big sky, big adventure and craft beer

Montana isn't a place you visit; Montana is a place you experience. It’s a dream of a state where alpine peaks meet rolling prairies and an orb-stretching sky swallows you whole. The Great Plains (America’s version of the Serengeti) start here. Yellowstone and Glacier stretch their mountainous backs across boundaries. And 16 ski areas and 54 state parks keep the tourists coming.

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This state is about big adventure more than anything: the American West at its finest. The kind of place Ken Burns could live out his fantasies. It’s not all grit and galloping horses; it has a chic side, too. Spend an entire day in Billings, Missoula or Great Falls and come out a more sophisticated citizen of the world. Museums, art galleries, festivals, farmers’ markets, wineries, rustic restaurants…these cities have all that. Plus, the entire state ranks high for breweries per capita (over 40 and growing). Stop in for big sky and a brew. You won’t regret it.

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#9: Kentucky - It ain't all bluegrass and horses here

Think Kentucky and we bet a lot of things come to mind: bluegrass music, bourbon, baseball bats and barbecue to name a few. (Don't forget the famous Derby, either.) This state is most certainly a travel heavyweight because of all that, but it ain't all bluegrass and thoroughbreds here. For instance, Abraham Lincoln’s tales are told on historic trails and Muhammad Ali’s fights are emblazoned in eponymous museums. Plus, there's a whole countryside ripe for exploring.

It’s not hard to paint a pretty picture of Kentucky. It’s got four beautiful seasons awash with color, and a myriad of caves, lakes, and mountains. You're a short drive away from everything. Come hike otherworldly sandstone formations in the Garden of the Gods; walk Louisville's version of a pub crawl on the "Urban Bourbon" trail; and spelunk in the state's famed cave country. Yep, the state houses the best of the untamed outdoors (including, but not limited to: Daniel Boone National Forest and Cumberland Falls State Park).

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Some more things to do: you can follow in the paths of bootleggers and moonshiners on driving tours. You can plan an itinerary of eerie graveyards and forgotten wards or take to dark jazz clubs, historic neighborhoods or all of those thin, wiggly lines on the map that represent the rural byways of this adventure land. Or just content yourself with sitting on a porch and sipping mint juleps. Believe us, you've stumbled upon a veritable goldmine in Kentucky. The locals are proud to call this land home; when you get here you'll see why.

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#8: Colorado - Rocky Mountain adventure underneath 300 days of sunshine


If the rest of the country knew how legendary every last spoil is in Colorado, everyone would move here. This state boasts 300 or so annual days of sunshine, famous landmarks galore, the too-tall mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park and more culture in every last city than the local farmer's butter.

Take Denver (and surrounds) for example. Its live-music, couture-clothing-shop, art-gallery and nightlife scene are all super-sized. Not to mention there's top-notch food and brew on every corner. All the above and more makes the Mile High City's downtown atmosphere second to none.

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If you want to get away from the hustle, that's easily done. Head two hours or so west to Vail and you'll be on America's longest ski run. Go a little farther southwest to Aspen and you'll get more than powder. You'll get a mountain town filled with music festivals, plus an interesting mishmash of Hollywood elite and tough cowboys piling in and out, rubbing elbows at cafes and in hot tubs.

Camp out in Colorado Springs for a while and frequent the famous Garden of the Gods park (not to be confused with Kentucky's park of the same name). Or take a little road trip to Pikes Peak and day-hike this Rocky Mountain "fourteener." More national parks and wondrous ski towns make up the rest of the state for some of the best adventuring, relaxing, skiing and hiking in the country. We know you've been itching for a reason to head to the Rocky Mountain State. Who could blame you? Plan your city getaway or mountain escape to Colorado today.

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#7: Idaho - Adventure was born here


Have a real-deal Western experience in Idaho. How? Easy. This state gives you pure nature (Sawtooth National Forest); it feeds your mind with local art and culture (The Basque Block); and most of all it brings you outdoor adventure (Sun Valley Resort)—no matter which way you turn.

Come to think of it, adventure was born in Idaho. Pioneers, mountain men and fur traders journeyed on the famed Oregon Trail here. And today, outdoorsmen carve iceholes and slopes on endless turquoise-blue lakes and on over 80 ski runs in the Yellowstone Teton Territory. And the rest of us enjoy the bubbling hot springs, legendary caves, ancient volcanoes, melted glaciers and endless backcountry that complete the Gem State (aptly named for its abundance of natural resources).

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Sure, we could go on about all the lakes, forests and mountains that make up Idaho but all the adjectives in the world wouldn't give them due justice and it would only take time away from you learning about all the opportunities to work here. Don’t wait. Come enjoy the scenic byways (Northwest Passage) and resort towns (Coeur d'Alene), plus every other slice of paradise Idaho has to offer.

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#6: Pennsylvania - From Steel City to the City of Brotherly Love, Pennsylvania is alive


Those of you who haven't had the opportunity to explore the lively world of Pennsylvania, that's unfortunate. It's East Coast living at its finest. The food's phenomenal. The music and art scenes are expanding like crazy. And the cities are as historic and raucous as it gets.

Take Philadelphia for example. For all its nation-birthing prowess, there's more to the City of Brotherly Love than Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. It’s a city that just emanates good times. Stop by the Fringe Arts Festival for some drama; head to a Phillies game for some fun; then take a restaurant tour along famous East Passyunk Avenue for some fare.

Northcentral Pennsylvania is just as beautiful only a bit more sprawling. There are parts throughout the Wilds (as this region is otherwise known) that look exactly like old black-and-white photographs. White pines and oaks stand tall in Cook Forest. Stars flit and sparkle like nowhere else in Cherry Springs State Park. And local pubs like Straub Brewery pour all-natural blends that have little changed in over 100 years.

Just west of the Wilds is the Great Lakes Region. Google this portion and you're in for a sight. Shipping ports and grand architecture will make up most of the images you'll see. The rest will be breathtaking shots of the Erie National Wildlife Refuge and stunning pictures of the lighthouses at Presque Isle State Park.

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Head south and you’re in Pittsburgh (voted "Top Ten Most Beautiful Places in America” by USA Weekend). During antebellum years you might've encountered local residents helping slaves escape the South via the Underground Railroad. Back east in Dutch Country the landscape will make your jaw drop. This region is home to Hershey which has two of our favorite things: rollercoasters and chocolate. It’s also home to famous shoofly pie (irresistibly sweet molasses pie), true-blue farmers’ markets, the Civil War Museum, and Hunters Valley Wineries.

Pennsylvania is truly a land alive. It's a place where Colonial and Victorian buildings scrape the sky; pink sunsets happen every day; vineyards and classic bed-and-breakfasts dot the landscape; and mighty blue rivers massage vast green valleys.

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Be sure to read part two of our Top 10 states for locum tenens doctors to explore in 2016 list. Also, feel free to see what opportunities are available now.


Find your next adventure

 

Topics: Colorado, United States, Montana, Kentucky, Top 10 States 2016, Idaho, Pennsylvania

Your locum tenens guide to the 4 eclectic, electric regions of the United States

Posted by Everett Fitch

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It’s an almost impossible task to respectfully describe the United States’ four regions in their entirety. They’re all so bountiful and beautiful. They’re all so chock-full of diversity. We don’t want to accidentally favor one over the other (we'll leave that to you), or even fail in naming off every great thing about them. What’s important to remember though is that each region has its own unique flair and verve. They all have extraordinarily diverse cultures, dialects and landscapes that make up their life-blood. Even the weather packs a different punch everywhere you go.

Below we explore the Northeast with its nation-birthing prowess and world-famous cities, then the South with its home-style cooking and historic music scene. We dive into the Midwest, too—America’s Heartland. It’s full of Great Lakes, Great Plains and great people. Last but not least we find ourselves in the West. Don’t worry it’s still wild (just not the exact kind of wild you would've encountered in Billy the Kid’s days). Today, its wild is wonderfully preserved in massive canyons and red deserts, and in crashing waves and tall trees.

Now, bear in mind, in what follows we'll very likely leave something iconic out (not on purpose, of course) but that only lends to the fact that these regions are too grandiose to fit on one page. So when you're on your next locum tenens assignment in any one of these regions, it's up to you to explore as much city and country as you can.

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The Northeast:

The U.S. has managed to pack about 60 million people into this one corner of the country. That means you get all kinds of variety from culture to cuisine and it’s all at your beck and call. You can drive state to state in the blink of an eye and while you’re driving you’ll find some of the most amazing landscapes in the country—especially during leaf-peeping time and cherry-blossom time.

Seriously, an itinerary in the Northeast reads more like a fantasy or action-adventure novel. It’s a place where you’ll find fiddleheads, oyster sloops, and whoopee pies next to Tiffany’s, old money, and Wall Street. It’s a place where leather jackets and skinny jeans meet belt buckles and cowboy boots. It’s a place where Michelin Star Chefs reign supreme yet fluffernutters are frequently touted as the greatest sandwich of all time...read more.

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The South:

Learn to love the drawl, y’all, because while each U.S. region has a unique identity and personality the South offers a world of differences—and one of the most recognizable is their vocal inflection. No matter where you go in the South, everything is served up with gracious hospitality and sweet tea. Even the weather is hospitable.

Beaches run for hundreds of miles down the Atlantic coast and sailboats bob on the water from Galveston Bay in Texas to the Golden Isles of Georgia. Cities vary from genteel (think Savannah) to slick (think Raleigh), yet nothing is as fulfilling as taking a journey into the heart of the deep South to see its historically rich, culturally scenic splendors...read more.

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The Midwest:

Ah, the Midwest. We find it at the intersection of those two disparate but quintessentially American Coasts: east and west. The divide between the two began in 1849, when hundreds of thousands of forty-niners, migrated to California and—legend has it—they were carrying lattes and surfboards. You could say they left their Burberry scarves for North Face gear; the Great White Way for Hollywood. Early settlers of the frontier didn’t fly at the time, but some of the states here have been erroneously dubbed “fly-over” states. Yes, erroneous because we think America’s Heartland is full of great destinations. Gold Rushers who never made it past the Midwest—seems they found their own field of dreams right here—will tell you it’s true...read more.

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The West:

In the Great American West everything somehow seems grander and larger than life. Long before the first cowboy rode onto the silver screen, the world's love affair with the American Frontier burned bright.

Come here to witness the spectacle that is the Grand Canyon; admire the giant saguaros (pronounced "sah-wah-ro”) that dot the Sonoran Desert; or stand at the celebrated Four Corners—the only point in the U.S. where the boundaries of four states touch (though if you read the news, the surveyors apparently missed the real mark by 2.5 miles). Hike the hoodoos of Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park or tread lightly at Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico, America's oldest settlement...read more.

Topics: United States, south, midwest, regions, northeast, west, united states regions, travel

Global Medical's top 10 states for locum tenens doctors to explore in 2015 (pt. 2)

Posted by Everett Fitch

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Sometimes it’s difficult to see the beauty in your own backyard. But that’s exactly what we implore you to do with the good ol’ United States. That’s why we painstakingly researched what this year’s top 10 states should be. Stop, take a breath, look around and make the familiar, unfamiliar again. Do it and you’ll see a world of adventure open up. We now present to you part two of Global Medical’s “Top 10 States to Explore” series. Read on and be inspired.

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#5 Minnesota: Find your wide-open field of dreams right here


Ah, the Midwest. We find it at the intersection of those two disparate but quintessentially American coasts: east and west. The divide between the two began in 1849, when hundreds of thousands of forty-niners, migrated to California and—legend has it—they were carrying lattes and surfboards.

Early settlers of the frontier didn’t fly at the time, but some of the states here have been erroneously dubbed “fly-over” states. Yes, erroneous because we think America’s Heartland is full of great destinations—like Minnesota. All those Gold Rushers who never made it past the Midwest—seems they found their own wide-open field of dreams right here.

Minnesota alone has 90,000 miles of beautiful shoreline—that’s more than California, Florida, and Hawaii combined. In fact, if you have a penchant for wide rivers, mighty hills and deep culture, then this state is for you: its roots run incredibly deep when it comes to adventure. Between wild places like the Minnesota River and the Southern Lakes; small-town excursions like the North Shore Beer Trail in Duluth; and Native American heritage stops all along the Minnesota River Valley, this state is an endless eruption of spoils. All that is just a smattering of potential outdoor diversions you'll experience.

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Then there’s the food. Philadelphia may have its cheesesteak, but Minneapolis has its Juicy Lucy. Plus, the folks you’ll meet in the Twin Cities area can’t be beat. Minnesotans are open, friendly, and straightforward and they prize themselves on their work ethic, heritage and independence. A sunny day in June may come with a price tag, but they take the winter weather with a shrug and a stoical smile.

In the end you don't find many places like Minnesota. Not just because it has miles of boast-worthy beaches along countless top-notch fishing lakes (Darling, Winona and Victoria to name a few). No, the real reason is because when you set foot in this portion of the U.S., it just feels like home. In fact, the Land of 10,000 Lakes is the very definition of "welcome." Come work in the middle of America; you'll leave thinking the Midwest is best, too.

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#4 Hawaii: Less neon lights, more white-sand beaches


Trust us, you won’t tire of this place. You’ll enjoy its luster. You’ll end up preferring its Pacific waves to those blaring neon lights in the contiguous United States you're used to. That's right, Hawaii replaces that stop-and-go lifestyle with its own unique glow. You’ll see it in its dissonant cliffs; in its harmonious beaches; in its twisty-turny roads; and in the tanned smile of every local that's so enormously thankful to call these shores home.

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Six islands make up this state. Three active volcanoes continue to sculpt its boundaries. And every last one of these ocean sanctuaries has quite the distinct personality. Kauai has perspective-shattering cliffs along the Napali Coast. Oahu gives just the right amount of city life while still blessing tourists with famous Hawaiian views (think Waikiki Beach). Molokai packs an incredible haymaker with its white-sand Papohaku Beach. Lanai trades in traffic lights for moon-invoking landscape at Keahikawelo (Garden of the Gods). Maui attracts artists and artisans alike due to its inspiring landscape. (Head to the top of Haleakala National Park to understand why these locals are so endlessly inspired.) And the Big Island, can we just say wow. The coffee farms of Holualoa. The rainforests of the Hamakua Coast. The black beaches of Punaluu. A few footsteps in any one of these above-mentioned sights will tempt you to abandon everything you know and let the ground below be your new home. Find yourself here.

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#3 New York: The world turns with the Empire State


When it comes to great mountain and beach destinations, New York isn't always first-to-mind. Tall buildings, yes. Hiking boots and bikinis, no. Believe it or not there are places in the Empire State where there's rarely a hint of city life and always a steady influx of relaxation. In Upstate New York for example, sky-high mountains take the place of towering skyscrapers. Gridlocked traffic is traded in for infinite hiking trails. And the bright lights of Time Square are replaced by the most star-filled skies imaginable.

Head to Northeastern New York and visit the historic and beautiful and large Lake Champlain. Fishermen know it grows the biggest bass and the rest of us know its waters host wonderful distractions: kayaking, sailing and island-hopping. You'll also see orchards and wineries and gorges and caves and the rest of the land is beautifully battle-torn from the War of 1812.

West of that, in the Finger Lakes Region, you’re surrounded by sprawling vineyards and quiet roadways. Still, this portion packs a lot of punch. We're sure Mark Twain would completely agree. He wrote his most famous works high on a hilltop (Quarry Farm) with his head literally in the clouds. We can see why he adored it so much: Victorian homes dot leagues of blue hills and breweries and festivals add luster to the city.

Farther west you can watch 40 million gallons of water rush over 170-foot cliffs at Niagara Falls. Though, the Greater Niagara region is more than crashing water. It’s also a mecca of art (think Albright Knox Museum) and architecture (Frank Lloyd Wright anyone?) And when it comes to food, where else are you going to find the original Buffalo chicken wings (Anchor Bar in Buffalo is where it all started).

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Don’t leave New York State without visiting New York City. Its skyline is world-famous and its streets and nightlife have an unmistakable beat you can’t help but dance to. The world turns with this iconic city and you should, too. Never been? A number of stops belong on your list. The Empire State Building, Central Park, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty just to name a few. After, sink your teeth into real-deal New York art (MoMA), food (A Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour) and culture (Carnegie Hall).

When you depart this expansive state, you may not remember every landmark conquered but you won't soon forget the miles of Upstate country you carved, the series of NYC restaurants you frequented, and the feeling of the Empire sun beating on your back every last mile. Spend some time in New York where every moment is inescapably great.

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#2 Washington: Rain or shine, this state is picture-perfect

People travel to Washington for very specific reasons: relaxing at mountain resorts, dining at farm-to-table restaurants, driving along scenic byways, imbibing in local beer, and yes, stocking up on coffee beans.

Now, coffee may be the drug of choice in Seattle but there's a lot more to this city than skinny lattes (or dreams of winning back-to-back Super Bowls). Seattle is one of those rare American cities where you can be outdoors almost year-round without freezing or sweating. The foodie in you will appreciate the enclaves of fresh seafood restaurants and a journey through Pike Place. And come rain (no doubt about it) or shine the outdoors enthusiast in you will enjoy North Cascades National Park, plus all the vibrant seaside parks scattered along the coast.

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Southwestern Washington is in a class all its own. When you're right between Portland and Seattle nothing's out of reach. You can sip on local wines, spend a day pulling in champion-sized salmon and steelhead from nearby rivers, or take a private tour of one of the world's most famous volcanoes (Mount St. Helens).

In Eastern Washington you'll find a near infinite amount of lakes, an almost impossible expanse of mountains and a passionate-about-nature-and-nightlife city sitting beautifully in the center of it all, Spokane. More than 20 wineries are nearby but we suggest Arbor Crest since it's about the cliff-top views as much as the fantastic wine.

You can probably tell, it's not hard to paint a pretty picture of Washington. On the west, you’ve got a year-round mild climate and the greenest of views. And in the rest of the Evergreen State, you've got resorts and unending outdoor adventure. What's not to love? The residents are proud to call this cross-section of America home; when you get here you'll see why.

arizona - a too-huge world of wonders
#1 Arizona: A too-huge world of wonders

In Arizona everything somehow seems grander and larger than life. Long before the first cowboy rode onto the silver screen, the world's love affair with this Wild West state burned bright.

Come here to witness the spectacle that is the Grand Canyon; admire the giant saguaros (pronounced "suh-wah-ro”) that dot the Sonoran Desert; or stand at the celebrated Four Corners—the only point in the U.S. where the boundaries of four states touch (though if you read the news, the surveyors apparently missed the real mark by 2.5 miles).

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Then there’s Phoenix—the oasis town that has it all. Just imagine: you can raft in the sun-filled Salt River Canyon, hike in McDowell Preserve, and dive into endless spas and retreats all in a short amount of time. Two hours south of Phoenix you'll find another something-special city, Tucson. There aren't any beaches here, but there are deserts and mountains that frontier legends blazed through. There isn't infinite mild weather, but there are four un-boring seasons awash with color. And there aren't any waves crashing but it does grow tons of grapes, in fact, the area is surging with wineries (the region's appropriately called Napa-zona).

Ultimately, Arizona's more than warm temperatures and desert landscapes. There are caves to cool off in and forests to hike through. Find out what lava-tube-spelunking is all about in the entirely underground, 1.5-mile long Coconino Cave. Or trek near seven national parks and monuments in the world's largest ponderosa pine forest. Go on, rethink Arizona. Then grab your hiking boots and head out into this too-huge world of wonders.

Be sure to read part one of "Global Medical's top 10 states for locum tenens doctors to explore in 2015"

get out there - explore - thinkstock

Topics: Top 10 States, Washington, New York, Minnesota, Hawaii, Arizona, United States

Global Medical's top 10 states for locum tenens doctors to explore in 2015 (pt. 1)

Posted by Everett Fitch

top 10 states to explore in 2015
The U.S. is a beautiful, electrified land: east to west, too-tall mountains storm onto too-long plains and then disappear into too-big coast. Each state is respectively remarkable. (They all have their own landscape, their own character, even their own energy.) Part one of Global Medical’s two-part "Top 10 States to Explore" series highlights some of the most remarkable states in the union. Read on and be inspired.

virginia - gateway to the south
#10 Virginia: America's beautiful battleground and gateway to the South

Powerful Native American nations lived off the land now known as Virginia for centuries. English settlers then came and established their first permanent colony in 1607 giving birth to a new way of life in the New World.

You could say Virginia is old—because it is. Its age shows even in its nicknames (e.g., Old Dominion and the Mother of States). It’s not ashamed though. This state is proud to show its hard-fought scars. It’s been a battleground for many violent paradigm shifts throughout American history (think the Revolutionary War and the Civil Rights movement). So we look to VA and what we find wrapped up in its 42,774.2 square miles is an abundance of wisdom, beauty and character.

On the state's eastern coast you can bet there are a slew of great places to explore. Like Ferry Farm—on the banks of the gorgeous Rappahannock River—where you can visit the house George Washington grew up in. Or take to the Grapes and Grains Trail: you'll come across four wineries, a brewery, a distillery and tons of jaw-dropping scenery along the way. Oh, and if you run out of things to do (which you won't), Washington D.C. isn’t far off.

mountains in virginiawaves-in-virginia

Farther in-state you can road-trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway; kayak the Upper James River; drink and dance at the Blue Ridge Blues and BBQ festival; or cruise into the famous orange-hued Virginia sunset on Smith Mountain Lake. There's Shenandoah National Park, too, with 196,000 acres of trails, caves and rivers.

Life moves pretty fast. It's important to slow down and take a deep breath every once in a while. Luckily that's not hard to do in Virginia. Come breathe in rich colonial towns (think Jamestowne), golden mountain communities (think Roanoke), silvery coastal cities (think Virginia Beach) and the most happening capital city in the South (Richmond). Take time to experience everything the Mother of States has to offer.

oregon-world-famous wine and craggy coastline
#9 Oregon: World-famous wine, craggy coastline and America's most European city

Try as you might you won't find another place like Oregon. In the south of the state there's this incredibly blue body of water high up on a mountaintop: It's called Crater Lake and it's the deepest lake in the United States. Make it to the top and you've got 2,000-foot-high views with nothing but infinite old-growth forest and rivers in every direction. Oh, and have you ever heard of a cliff-top lighthouse called Heceta Head? No? Drive north along the coast to catch it. Whale watching is probably at its finest here.

Keep heading north for a while and you'll start seeing massive rocks jutting out of the ocean at Cannon Beach. This place is much more than mist and monoliths though, it also doubles as an artistic town. Change course east with a slight southward bent and you'll arrive at Multnomah Falls—a grand waterfall that fringes the Historic Columbia River Highway. Then there's Mount Hood southeast of that (Portland's eye candy and Oregon's resort hotspot), Smith Rock southeast of that (a towering rock notorious to climbers everywhere), and the Painted Hills a tad east of that (a sea of multi-colored mountains). Make sure you check out all of Oregon's wonders.

Next to all these peaks and waterfalls and lighthouses you'll find farmers' markets, wineries and breweries with the freshest produce, the choicest of Pinot Noir and the frothiest of ales. And these places are only a few short hours from awesome cities and towns.

vineyard in oregon thinkstockportland oregon sign

What about Portland? How can we forget the Rose City (named for its three stunning rose gardens plus the Annual Rose Festival)? The city that's been described as America's most European? The city that comes to mind whenever you think Oregon? If a pretty magazine is your only source for choosing travel destinations, you probably won't visit this riverside city. Because as gorgeous as it is, as cultured as it is, as downright everything-you’ve-ever-wanted-in-a-city as it is, you won’t find it bookmarked in some glossy brochure: you’ll hear about it from outdoorsmen, foodies, artists, explorers of all types, and now us. Here's a litany of things to do in Portland.

florida
#8 Florida: There's no getting away with being uninspired in this inspiring land

Break your routine and try something new. Try Florida. A place with ineffable beaches and bogs; with waves that flit and sparkle; and with cities that dance and shine. Keep in mind, blue skies and pristine beaches are just the beginning of what makes the Sunshine State a can't-miss.

Northern Florida, for example, is replete with diversity. What with its oak-canopied Tallahassee, its raucous-nightlife-having Panama City, its river-city-by-the-sea Jacksonville, its food-with-a-Cajun-flair Gainesville, and its relax-in-the-morning-surf-in-the-afternoon Pensacola—there's no getting away with being uninspired in this inspiring land.

Jump way southeast and you’re in the thick of striking scenery—Port St. Lucie. Residents and tourists have long referred to this stretch of Florida as the Treasure Coast. Spend any time here and you'll agree the name is fitting. The waters offer up awe-inspiring marine life and a fishing scene second to none. Back on dry land, you'll find beachside boardwalks and farmers' markets galore. And with over 250 days of sunshine each year, how could you not treasure a place like this?

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Farther south you'll find a sparkling city. It doesn't matter where you grew up, you've heard of Miami. In fact, you probably have an indelible composition of the city's colors in your head: green, blue, gold and every imaginable shade between. You'd be right to conjure that up. But if you go beyond the pretty images, you'll see a city with colors that don't register on any spectrum. We won't fault you for being blissfully unaware. Come see all the colorful music, dance, theatre, film, art and nightlife going on behind the scenes.

It's not too often you can say a single place has it all. It turns out that's exactly what we found in Florida. Everything.

massachusetts - a state made of greatness
#7 Massachusetts: Imbibe in a state made of greatness

Massachusetts is great for so many reasons. Let’s start with reason number one, Boston. Four centuries of iron-hearted American history radiate through this town. It’s a proud city and it shows everywhere. It's not called the Cradle of Liberty…the Athens of America…the Hub of the Universe for no reason. It’s because cultural and political revolutions were born here. It’s because colonial and cutting-edge architecture is housed here. It’s because cream-of-the-crop colleges and universities drive the world ever-forward. It’s because top-notch seafood is served, sports history is made, avant-garde art and music is created, and the most epic showing of Independence Day is echoed across New England.

Southeast of the Hub you’ll find Cape Cod and the Islands (AKA reason number two Massachusetts is great). You get all kinds of culture, adventure and cuisine here. It’s all at your beck and call, too. Take a daytrip to Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket; try a fried-oyster slider at a top-notch seaside restaurant; or whale-watch on a speedy catamaran. Blue skies are known to stretch for miles in summer. And amazing surf notoriously pounds the white sand and snow in winter. This portion of the state is stunning in every season.

lighthouse in massachusetts thinkstockbeacon hill boston thinkstock

Come to Central and Western Massachusetts and you’ll find another reason this state is so great. In fact, you’ll roll around in greatness here. There’s perhaps the perfect amount of vineyards. And where there isn’t a winery there’s a historic town beautifully boxed in by farmland. Some notables: the Berkshires with bed-and-breakfasts and spa retreats, the Mohawk Trail with 63 miles of heritage and hiking, and Old Sturbridge Village with country stores, water-powered mills, and blacksmiths all showing you what life was like in the 19th century.

What are you waiting for? All of Massachusetts is glorious. Come pay homage to opulence in Cape Cod or honor history at the Freedom Trail in Boston (2.5 miles of epic American history). Come visit the Salem Witch Museum or eat your way through the North of Boston Seafood Trail; relive the “shot heard ‘round the world” in Lexington and Concord, relax near the craggy coastline of the North Shore. No matter what, you’re bound to have a good time. It’s family-friendly. It’s high-energy. It’s down-to-earth. And it’s all here.

california - for those with an appetite for everything
#6 California: For those with an appetite for everything

Remember when you first saw the ocean? It was bigger than you could’ve imagined. California stirs the very same sentiment. There’s nothing like standing at Half Moon Bay at full morning mist, or catching the energy of Yosemite as the moon rolls into the forest, or getting drenched by sun and crystal-clear waters at Lake Tahoe, or even climbing toward the sky on the 90-year-old Giant Dipper rollercoaster in Santa Cruz. California is full of sights to make you feel small again.

Every traveler with an all-encompassing appetite should consider this state. It has coast. It has mountains. It has amusement parks. It has giant cities known the world over. Robust art scenes dominate in San Francisco and San Diego. Los Angeles’ culinary legacy continues to grow. And the scenes that authors and artists past painted of Big Sur still exist.

santa-cruz-rollercoaster-thinkstocksan-francisco-skyline-thinkstock

There’s nary a soul who doesn’t know about the power of California: its Hollywood streets, its golden beaches, and its poeticized tracts of land. The Redwoods stand tall. The wineries smooth over. The waves break. California is brilliant.

If you want to see all the above and more in one fast-paced adventure, then drive down coastal Highway 1. It’s a must to head down this stretch of California. In fact, go out of your way to make this happen. Why? Well, let us paint the picture. There are endless streams of clouds covering the sea. Underneath those big whites are cliffs and bridges and mountains and beaches. And while you’re barreling down that quintessential highway, those very same clouds roll far below you making it look like you’re on top of the world. Believe us, other motorists are just as mesmerized.

stay tuned pt 2 global medical

Stay tuned for our next blog to see which states made the rest of the lineup!

Topics: Massachusetts, Florida, Virginia, Top 10 States, United States, California, Oregon

For those about to camp...we salute you

Posted by Saralynn White

elk-sunset-united-states


We do a lot of storytelling about creatures from down under—echidnas, koalas, cassowaries, kiwi birds, penguins, kea parrots...they’re a fascinating lot. Perhaps it’s because some of them, like the Tasmanian devil, are in danger of disappearing. As much as we love Australia (and New Zealand), I’m gratified that we have spectacular creatures living right on our home soil. And since we’re heading into camping season in the Northern Hemisphere (‘tis the season for visiting U.S. National Parks) I think it’s time we covered critters right here. This is, after all, "where the buffalo roam, and the deer and the antelope play."

bison-plains-americaA Mountain Goat in Glacier

Yellowstone National Park is known as the American Serengeti and when you see the sprawling landscape and rich wildlife—you’ll know why. This 2.2-million-acre national park has the largest concentration of mammal species in the lower 48 states (nearly 70). Wildlife aficionado and contributor to National Geographic's The 10 Best of Everything National Parks book, Bob Howells, says the wildlife in Yellowstone on his first visit “blew him away...the national parks are the envy of the world."

At Glacier National Park in Montana everything is bigger—even the sky. The Blackfeet Native Americans call it the “Backbone of the World”, and its glacier-carved mountains, 200 lakes, and pristine forests are a testament to the moniker. One of North America's largest grizzly populations makes its home here, along with mountain lions, lynx, moose, mountain goats, white-tailed deer, and more than 270 species of birds, including bald and golden eagles.

quail-in-grass-united-statesBlack Bears in Great Smoky Mountain National Park


Head south to Saguaro National Park in Arizona (named after the giant cacti that symbolize the American West) and you’ll see Darwinism at its finest. Here, only the fittest (and strangest) survive. Flora and fauna have had to adapt to the wildly swinging temperatures and incessant drought. Jackrabbits here cool off through their huge ears. And javelinas can eat prickly pear cacti without the prick. Saguaro is also a reptilian paradise: desert tortoises and regal horned lizards roam freely alongside Gila monsters and Sonoran mountain king snakes, and they all live in harmony with roadrunners, American kestrels, and Gambel’s quail.

Farther east you’ll find “them thar bears” in Tennessee, at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Spot some of the park’s famed 1,500 resident black bears; it’s also one of the few refuges for elk and white-tailed deer east of the Mississippi River. There are a lot of smaller residents, too, like the hundreds of thousands of synchronous fireflies that put on an incredible display.

whale-jumping-united-statesA Red Fox


For animals beyond the four-legged variety, go to Acadia National Park. This Maine-coast archipelago covers nearly 50,000 acres from mountains to foothills that meet the sea. Red foxes, beavers and long-tailed weasels call the forest home; porpoises, seals and humpback whales inhabit the surrounding waters. There are also nearly 350 species of birds in Acadia: American kestrels, broad-winged hawks and Peregrine falcons (among others) all pass by Cadillac Mountain every season.

Of course, there are 53 other U.S. National Parks where the wild things are, too. These vast swaths of pristine nature have afforded protected habitats for creatures to live in since President Ulysses S. Grant signed Yellowstone (the first national park) into law in 1872. Today, U.S. national parkland comprises 52 million acres and is home to some 5,399 species of vertebrates. If you haven’t seen the PBS/Ken Burns documentary series, The National Park “America’s Best Idea”, it’s a great start—“You'd be hard pressed to find something that was a purer expression of the democratic impulse, in setting aside land, not for the privileged, not for the kings and nobility, but for everybody. For all time.”

deer-in-forrest-united-statesbig-horned-sheep-cliff-united-states


Oh, and do I have to say it? National parks aren’t zoos, so be sure to follow park guidelines for viewing animals! Ask park rangers for the latest information and brush up on your wildlife viewing skills before you go. To catch a glimpse, consult literature and rangers for the best spots, and use telephoto lenses, binoculars, or spotting scopes. Last: plan your park visits around prime viewing hours—dawn, dusk, and after dark.

Who's heading to a U.S. National Park this summer? We'd love to hear all about it.


Topics: U.S. National Parks, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Acadia National Park, America, United States

Why locum in Colorado? It's no great mystery.

Posted by Saralynn White

panorama-clake-mountains-colorado

The Colorado Rocky Mountain high. If you’re into skiing, hiking, biking, birding, hunting, campingyou name itthere’s no better place to connect with your inner 'mountain man' than in this beautiful state. The Rockies (and what lies beyond them) simply offer too much to keep any outdoor fanatic away.

The air is thinner here. More than 54 mountain peaks reach 14,000 feet, but it’s not all uphill. Come down from the snowcapped summits and you’ll discover places like Boulder and Golden, Rainbow Curve and Roaring River. Slip a little further off the beaten path and you’ll find a place that’ll make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Welcome to Estes Park, a village surrounded by nationally protected lands. Listen the whisper of aspen leaves. Take in the breathtaking scenery. Oh, and enjoy your stay at the Stanley Hotel.

A throwback to opulent times, the Georgian-style hotel sparked the attention of Easterners heading to the frontier over a century ago. The Stanley’s guest ledger boasts names like Teddy Roosevelt, the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown and Emperor Akihito of Japan. In 1976, the hotel hosted Stephen King and the rest, as they say, is history.

After spending one night in the now-famous room #217 (featured prominently in the 1977 movie), King was inspired to pen his page-turner, The Shining. Skim its pages, then buy a ticket to the hotel's Ghost Tour and you’ll be you questioning just how much of King’s book is fiction.

The Stanley sits on a sprawling 160 acres that boasts a golf course, concert hall, spa and more. Unlike the “Overlook Hotel” depicted in the onscreen adaptation of King’s thriller, the Stanley is open year round and has been restored to the incredible grandeur deserving of its place on the National Register of Historic Places.

All play and no work? Jack’s no dull boy here. Step outside and soaring crags are on the A-list for rock and ice climbers; mountain biking and horseback trails forge into the forests and meadows; and snowshoeing and ski trails crisscross the landscape. Leave australia skii jumper 123rfyour binoculars in the room, too. Wildlife watching here is as simple as looking over your shoulder. Elk, big-horn sheep, and foxes roam freely, foraging in the open meadows and dense thickets. On occasion, Elk herds mosey through town and snarl local traffic.

Colorado’s signature, fluffy snow is on the ground now. Locals are gearing up for another winter in the Rockies. And as luck would have it, locum tenens opportunities are aplenty here.  

 

Topics: Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Estes Park, The Stanley Hotel, Locum Tenens, United States

Southern California: The happiest place to locum

Posted by Saralynn White

Locum dreams really can come true in Southern California. If you're immune to the magic of Disneyland, or just prefer your excursions without wall-to-wall people then here are some lesser-known, yet worthy spots to indulge your California dreamin'.

surf-sunset-southern-californiacoastal-beach-view-southern-california

Jalama Beach. Donated to the County of Santa Barbara by the Chumash Indians in 1943, Jalama Beach is not your typical SoCal seaside park. Bring your surfboard, windsurfing board, kite board or kayak; this remote coastline boasts the most consistent surf around. Then, relax and savor the rustic beachfront camping but do not leave without hitting the beach grill for a Jalama Burger and Aunt Ruth’s Raw Apple Cake.

Hernandez Hideaway. It’s arguable, but this hole-in-the-wall watering hole claims to be the inventor of the Margarita. Whether you like it frozen or on the rocks, with salt or sin sal, this Mexican eatery has been a San Diego North County haunt since 1972. Hidden near Lake Hodges, the building was once a stage coach stop; it was also rumored to have been a brothel. Either way, you can still revel in the original architecture and Mexican fare accompanied by potent margaritas (you’ve been warned).



Devil's Punchbowl. Some good things do come from earthquakes and the proof is in the pudding right here. With a little help from run-off water from the San Gabriel Mountains, earthquakes created this beautiful County Park. Bring the family and your hiking boots. Three trails cater to every hiker—from the easy, 1/3 mile Pinyon Pathway Trail to the 7-1/2 mile Devil’s Chair round-trip trek. Somewhere in the middle, you’ll find the mile-long Loop Trail: it’s short, but it drops 300 feet and while going down is fairly easy, you do have to go back up again.

San Andreas Fault Line Tours. Southern Californians are well aware of the impending "big one," but few know they can take a guided tour of the "mega-fault." And for earthquake freaks, the best place in the world to experience an active fault line is south of Palm Springs in a small stretch called Box Canyon. Elite Land Tours will get you up close and personal on a four-hour tour and desert safari that promises glimpses of mountain lions, vultures, roadrunners and huge chuckwalla lizards. You may even feel the earth move under your feet. 

lemon-pie-southern-californiaturkey-and-bread-southern-california

Sprinkles Cupcake Bakery. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as authenticity in Beverly Hills and you’ll find it at Sprinkles. In a city known for fakery and celebrity, this bakery has earned real world fame and you’ll know it when you bite into a chocolate marshmallow or coconut cupcake. And we dare you to resist the red velvet straight from the oven. You might say this "cakery" is the sprinkles on top of a Southern California adventure.
australia trees and flowers 123rfwooden-boardwalk-southern-california



The Channel Islands. The least visited National Park in the country, these islands are likely to leave the biggest impression on you. Five of the eight islands in this archipelago comprise the Park, which snakes from 12 to 45 miles (19 to 72 kilometers) off of the coast. The two inner islands, Anacapa and Santa Cruz, are closest to the mainland and easy to reach on scheduled boat trips. The three outer islands, Santa Rosa, Santa Barbara and San Miguel, can be difficult to get to—boat service is infrequent and subject to mercurial weather and sea conditions. The adventure quotient is high, but a trip to any island in the Park is not to be missed. 

Topics: Hernandez Hideaway, Disneyland, San Andreas Fault Line Tours, Jalama Beach, Southern California, Locum Tenens, United States, California

'Tis the season for tailgating

Posted by Jesse Black

Ahh, September, the most wonderful time of the year. Cool breezes and changing leaves signal the start of autumn while caravans of SUVs haul the kiddies off to school, much to the delight of parents everywhere. Weekends devoted to raking endless piles of leaves are interrupted by high-fives and belly-bumps as the clock is reset for America’s favorite past time – and we’re not talking about baseball.

College football is in its second week and fans are anxiously watching as teams shake off the cobwebs of summer in pursuit of a division championship or a bowl bid. More exciting than the play on the field, however, is the action in the parking lot before kick-off. Tailgaters everywhere have dusted off their grills, cleaned out their ice bins and stocked up on bratwurst in anticipation of another great tailgating year.

ESPN’s Road Warrior counted down the best places to tailgate for the 2010-2011 college football season and some of the best places to don your team’s jersey and down a few cold ones, it just so happens, are also some great places to locum. So break out your lawn chair and hang out your shingle for football season.

The first stop on our our list of best tailgating spots is the pristine mountain setting of Colorado. With three universities of its own, the towering Rockies and thinner air are an ideal setting for any die-hard fan pumped up to watch the pigskin fly. A rugged, wild west aura permeates the parking lot as fans grill everything from elk burgers, to buffalo dogs and even fresh Rocky Mountain oysters. With the Coors Brewery just a few miles away in Golden, you can bet the beverages come fresh from the factory and are ice cold to boot.

The University of California Los Angeles is home to the Rose Bowl. With a football legacy steeped in tradition, this venue has all the trappings of a memorable pre-game experience. California sunshine, tanned co-eds, and lean turkey burgers on the grill give even non-fans a reason to cheer for the Bruins. With a laid-back, beach bum mentality, it’s not uncommon to see tailgaters in flip-flops and tank-tops. Plus, a win for the home team includes a change of venue to a sandy beach for a bon fire and a night cap.

Finally, the University of Washington offers tailgaters something altogether different. While the main tailgating venue is pretty much what you’d expect, it’s the stern-gaiting that has everyone talking. Sail up to Husky Stadium while dining on Dungeness crab or wild salmon and sipping on a bottle of Red Hook or a glass of Chateau St. Michelle. Keep the beverages cold in the galley fridge or simply submerge your six-pack in the cool waters of the Pacific Northwest. When the final whistle has been blown pull up anchor and set sail – let everyone else deal with the traffic.


Each college town has its own nuances and unique traditions just waiting to be discovered. Locum in one of these and you're likely to be knee-deep in a pile of nachos or port-side on a 20ft. schooner watching the scoreboard though binoculars. You game?

Topics: Colorado, Washington, UCLA, College Football, ESPN, United States

For your next locum adventure, look to the skies

Posted by Saralynn White


colorado lake 123rfIt may take a bit to acclimatize to the altitude in Colorado, but once your locum feet are firmly on terra firma, look up. It's a bird...it's a plane...it's 450 avian species who all call Colorado home. In fact, that renowned Rocky Mountain high has a lot to do with the sport of birding.

king-bird-usaNow, don't go "tsk-ing" your tongue. Birders are no longer khaki or tweed-wearing geeks or binocular-toting Miss Jane Hathaways; they come from every walk of life and there are over 50 million of them in the United States alone. Some birders travel the world to add another "lifer" to their list. Others sit quietly in the woods, certain that one day a black-capped chickadee will look them straight in the eye. Still others take locum assignments in Colorado.

snowy-owl-usaThat's right, countless locum doctors are also birders (you could say they travel with binoculars and an MD), and as they take to the rivers and trails of Colorado, they also take to the "sights": falcons sharing the sky with droves of tiny white-throated swifts; owls snoozing inside hollow trees; and prairie chickens strutting across vast stretches of golden short grass.

yellow-bird-usaSlip on your environmentally friendly CrocsTM and wander Colorado's Kingbird Trail, nestled among the Black Forest of Ponderosa Pines that tower proudly over the region. This eponymous trail is home to the flying "tyrants" - their genus name and a richly deserved moniker (Kingbirds are known to guard their breeding territories aggressively, often chasing away much larger birds). They're also known to wait on an exposed perch for food or trespassers, though birders need not be concerned - unless they forget their wide-brimmed hats!

This land of birds is also home to some of the most beautiful grasslands along the fruited plain, where the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play. Spend some time in the high country above the tree line and you'll sight rosy-finches, grouse and woodpeckers. You'll also discover golden eagles, mountain plovers, belted kingfishers, jays and bluebirds.

Scenery freak? Get on over to America's Mountain, the great Pikes Peak, where the landscapes change as often as the weather. Spruce-fir forests, sagebrush hills and short grass prairies are home to green-tailed and spotted towhee, woodpeckers, hummingbirds and pygmy owls. Other notable wildlife includes bighorn sheep, pika (a small, chinchilla-like animal), mule deer and bobcats - the latter of which we advise you to avoid whenever possible.

Finally, save the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge for last. Here in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains (which means Blood of Christ), you may glimpse a bald eagle nestled in the tops of cottonwood trees or fishing in the ponds, wetlands or Rio Grande River. This emblem of a nation impresses even non-birders with their strength and majesty.

Any birder will tell you that great sightings come and go with the seasons, so if birding is in your blood, head to higher elevations this summer. After all, Colorado is for bird lovers and locum tenens alike.

 

Topics: Rocky Mountains, Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, Kingbird Trail, Pikes Peak, Colorado, Birdwatching, Locum Tenens, United States

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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