Locums for a Small World Blog

Just the two of us: Finding a recruiter that has your back

Posted by Kari Redfield

Aristotle once said, “Friendship is essentially a partnership.” That can be said of Dr. Ronald Stiller and his physician reps at Global Medical Staffing.

Kipp Robinson, domestic recruiter at Global Medical Staffing, recruited Dr. Stiller by pointing out that Global could pay a lot more than Dr. Stiller’s permanent position, allowing less work and more travel.

“I have two passions in life: medicine and travel,” says Dr. Stiller. “If you put me on a plane and send me somewhere, I’m a pretty happy guy. My ex-wife and I took our kids to China, Australia, Europe, and Cambodia when they were growing up.”

The opportunity came just at the right time in Dr. Stiller’s professional and personal life. He was recently divorced and wanted to travel as much as possible, and Robinson was just the right personality. During that first call, they went on to have a 45-minute conversation. Since then, Robinson and Dr. Stiller have become friends.

“It was purely fortuitous that my call was with Kipp,” Dr. Stiller says. “We hit it off immediately. He’s more than my handler. He became a friend, despite the age and geographical differences.”

Robinson echoes the sentiment: “He’s my 72-year-old friend. I’ve come to him about my professional growth. He’s a father figure because he knows both medicine and hospital administration. He calls things like they are, bringing such honesty to our relationship.”

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Choosing the right assignment
Dr. Stiller mostly works a regular shift in Walla Walla, Washington, with some shifts in Spokane, Washington, and occasional shifts elsewhere to help us — and our hospital clients — out.

Dr. Stiller explains why he chose Washington state: “I was born and bred in Boston as an East Coast liberal democrat. I wanted to see something different. I wanted to travel and practice medicine.”

Locums allows exactly that — and more.

The hospitalist shift in Walla Walla, as well as some work in Spokane, felt like a great fit. It was quite different from Dr. Stiller’s East Coast life and his daughter is a medical resident in Seattle, which has allowed him to see her more often.

In addition, Dr. Stiller has always been dedicated to medical missions with Surgical Core International. He’s been all over the world, including Burma, Ethiopia, Bhutan, and Kazakhstan. With his extremely flexible locums schedule, he can continue to go on these trips, where he provides care for those who have received plastic surgery procedures after being born with deformities or having been in accidents.

“Bhutan is in the middle of the Himalayas. It’s exquisite, and a country with limited healthcare resources,” Dr. Stiller explains. “You get even deeper into the culture when do healthcare in a country, and really get to see people dealing with their struggles. For instance, some patients in Bhutan had been mauled by bears, which really put a burden on the family, village, and the person. To be able to be involved in the restoration of that, or a cleft palette, for instance, is rewarding. We get a lot back from the experience.”

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Benefits of locums
Dr. Stiller retired from his full-time position the summer after he started with us.

“He’s the poster boy for locums: highly qualified, extremely skilled, and genuine — with excessive training beyond the scope of what he’s doing for us,” Robinson says. “He was the academic attending that taught everyone how to be a doctor, and has been an influential leader for many years at his full-time position, but he’s still humble.”

Dr. Stiller, like most of our domestic physicians, gets paid well, better than a long-term position. For this reason, and because of where he is in his career, Dr. Stiller usually works one seven-days-in-a-row hospitalist shift a month with the rest of the time to travel and pursue other passions.

“He gets to practice medicine where they love him and where they make him feel wanted,” Robinson says. “He’s overqualified as a hospitalist, and there are a couple people living who would not be alive in Walla Walla if Dr. Stiller hadn’t been working. He’s an invaluable member to the team there.”

Dr. Stiller adds, “I have a new family away from home at Walla Walla. I have been able to expand my horizons and meet other people. The locums universe pays well, so lots of doctors do it for the money, but for me, I find that it’s a joyous thing to do.”

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How to choose a locum tenens agency
Having a physician recruiter that you genuinely like and connect with plays an important role in ensuring you have successful locums assignments and experiences. We at Global Medical Staffing go out of our way to develop caring relationships with our physicians — and to ensure a good personality fit between reps and doctors. This is one thing that sets us apart from other locums agencies, and something we hear often from many of our physicians.

Dr. Stiller, like many of our physicians, has met all of his Global Medical team in person. At one point during a layover in Salt Lake City (where we’re headquartered), Dr. Stiller and Robinson hiked a local mountain peak and had meals together. Dr. Stiller also got to meet the rest of his team, which include reps who handle credentialing, the travel logistics, the assignments, and the scheduling.

“I’m sure that people from other agencies have personal connections with their doctors, but I can say that my experience with Global has been enormously satisfying, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” says Dr. Stiller.

If a problem does come up, Dr. Stiller, like all of our doctors, can text the team personally to get any issue resolved. Additionally, we take time to put the extra effort into all of the little details, to prevent problems and keep our physicians satisfied.

“I value my relationships with Global,” Dr. Stiller says. “‘Warm personalities’ doesn’t even begin to touch what I feel about them. These are wonderful people that I can call friends. We care about each other.”

Interested in learning about how locum tenens can help you soar? Click the button below to browse our current openings, or give us a call at 866.858.6269.

Search our current physician opportunities

Topics: Locum Tenens, work life balance, Washington, travel, Family

How this hospitalist used locum tenens to experience an adventure of a lifetime

Posted by Kari Redfield

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Dr. Raymattie Singh says that when her hospitalist contract was ending in Denver, Colorado, she really began thinking about her life. She was in something of an existential crisis. “I had gotten more and more depressed, and then, incidentally got an email from Global Medical Staffing about practicing medicine in the Pacific Islands. I started reading about GMS and called them.”

Since then, she has taken two locum tenens assignments and plans to keep doing locums instead of signing a long-term contract.

“I worked hard most of my life to attain the dream I was told I had to have, and I did,” she explains. “The five-bedroom house, fancy cars, diamond jewelry... I had it all. But the more things I procured, the more I felt I was missing. I was tired of the agonizing repetition of every day.”

Locums has allowed her to soar. “When I started traveling to strange places while working as a physician, I was unbelievably happy. Creating bonds of lifelong friendships with people from all walks of life rejuvenated my soul.”

A new way of living

Dr. Singh’s first assignment was in Guam. She loved the way it challenged her.

“It was my first time alone. I have tons of friends, and in Guam, I had to start from nothing and build friendships from scratch. I met really amazing people, including other doctors who travel all over the world.”

Now, she’s on assignment in Bermuda. Among her favorite things about the island are the weather and the beaches. “It’s subtropical, not humid and not cold.”

Of the beaches, she says, “I’ve never seen such pretty beaches with pink sand and turquoise water.”

 
 
 
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INSTAGRAM TAKEOVER DAY 4: The sand in Bermuda is actually pink! The south shore of Bermuda is lined with coral reefs, which are home to red foraminifera: the miniscule marine organisms behind the stunningly blush beaches. The foraminifera are neither plants nor animals. Instead, these little creatures are classified as protists, single-celled organisms that basically don't fit into any other category. The single-celled foraminifera live in shells made of calcium carbonate with a red color. When the foraminifera die, their shells collect on the ocean floor and get washed to shore by the continuous tide. The red hue gets exposed to the sun and mixes with the sand, thus Bermuda's beaches take on their famous pink shade. #bermuda #pinksandbeach #locums #locumslife #locumtenens #physician #doctor #travel #traveldoc #globalmedicalstaffing

A post shared by Global Medical Staffing (@globalmedstaffing) on

She also loves Bermuda’s people, who, she says, are laid back, calm, and appreciative. “This is lost in the U.S. where people feel entitled. I feel like I’m a doctor here, with people looking up to me for advice. In the U.S., I feel like I’m just another person.”

Traveling and meeting people
While in Guam, she visited Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Australia. While in Bermuda, she has been to China so far, and has also explored all around the island.

She says that it has been easy to meet locals, and people remember who she is.

“The locals are so friendly. Even the taxi drivers will show you around. There are 60,000 people, and I guess they all know each other,” she says with a laugh. “Then, there are two to three cruise ships that come in every week, and the people want to chat about how you got to Bermuda and what your life in Bermuda is like.”

To develop friendships, she says, “I go to restaurants, bars, farmers markets, festivals, gumbo feasts, and then I start making friends quickly on the job because I’m very chatty. I go out with the nurses and other doctors. I ask what they do for fun and what’s going on in town that day. I find out where I can get fresh food, fresh chicken, fresh eggs. The union secretary at the hospital, the porters, and other locals will all tell you where to go to get the local food right from the farm.”

For making friends, it does help, she adds, that she’s a chatty extrovert. “My personality makes it easier to ease into locums and new jobs.”

Differences in medicine
While Guam’s healthcare system is pretty similar to the mainland U.S., she says that Bermuda has been a somewhat-challenging assignment work-wise, as the healthcare system is a bit different from the U.S.

Right now, Bermuda doesn’t use electronic medical records; although, the goal is to change to EMR. Another difference is that doctors themselves do much of the hands-on work, such as starting IVs.

She does appreciate how much caring there is in the Bermuda healthcare system. “I feel like people think that medicine is about tests and medicine, but patients are more concerned about my empathy and me taking the time to talk to them and listen to them.”

In Bermuda, she has time to provide that kind of care.

Advice for other locum tenens doctors
“I think it takes a special doctor to do locums,” she says. “You have to have different dreams than typical U.S. expectations.”

She says that locums has allowed her to explore, to taste new foods, check out new places, meet many people, help people, and get out a rut of doing the same things over and over.

Her advice to doctors coming to Bermuda is to have an open mind.

“Go with the flow. You’ll learn the system soon enough. By the end of the first or second week, you’ll know whom you need to talk with to get things done. Then you’ll start enjoying yourself.”

She adds, “Be humble and be wiling to learn. There are different ways of practicing medicine.”

Check out Dr. Singh’s Instagram takeover for more great photos of her Bermuda adventures.

Interested in learning about how locum tenens can help you soar? Click the button below to browse our current openings, or give us a call at 1.800.760.3174.

Search our current physician opportunities

Topics: Locum Tenens, work life balance, Bermuda

6 ways physicians can reduce burnout

Posted by Kari Redfield

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Knowing that physician burnout has increased significantly, locumstory.com recently conducted a survey of more than 3,700 physicians across specialties, work settings, and U.S. regions to better understand physicians’ perspectives about their professions.

Among the findings: 52% of surveyed physicians reported feeling burned out. 74% of physicians reported frequently seeing symptoms of burnout in other physicians.

As compared to the same study conducted in 2016, physicians in 2018 feel less overworked than two years ago. Yet, burnout, depression, and other issues still cause significant issues for more than half of physicians.

From the report:

  • 55% of physicians have less free time outside of work than when they first started their career.
  • 56% of physicians feel overworked.
  • More than half of physicians have considered leaving the profession early due to workload.
  • 46% of physicians said they were spending less time with patients than they used to.
  • 53% of physicians considered leaving their profession within the past few years.
  • 52% of physicians say that burnout has affected their job performance.

Some of the biggest pain points for physicians considering quitting medicine early are:

  • 69% said they spend too much time dealing with bureaucracy and administrative paperwork.
  • 69% said they feel overworked and stressed.
  • 64% said they spend too much time entering data into electronic health records (EHRs).
  • 55% said they are unable to spend enough time with family.

 Signs of burnout
Common burnout symptoms include irritability, apathy, anxiety, anger, insomnia, increased illness, and loss of appetite. Another sign, which 54% of physicians who self-report burnout also experience, is chronic fatigue. Nearly half of physicians who report burnout also complain of impaired memory and attention.

37% of those who felt burnout also reported depression, and suicidal ideation (according to the survey, 6% have contemplated suicide because of their profession).

If you feel depressed, seek treatment. If you feel suicidal, call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 — and seek treatment immediately.

If you have symptoms of burnout, recognize what is going on, and begin looking into possible long-term solutions, as discussed below.

Effects on career, job, and life

In addition to the direct personal costs of burnout on health, burnout affects almost all aspects of a physician’s life. Some areas include job satisfaction, relationships with coworkers, personal time, and patient care.

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Solutions
Physicians are using the following methods to reduce burnout:

  1. Regular exercise.
  2. Taking a vacation and/or spending more time with family.
  3. Turning off their phone when not at work or on call.
  4. Bringing in locum tenens physicians to help cover staff shortages and prevent burnout. We’re seeing this trend more and more among physicians who own their own practices; they’re planning for this from the get-go.
  5. Turning to locum tenens, either by taking an international assignment between jobs to refresh, or as a permanent way to take charge of their career, reduce how much time is spent on paperwork and increase time spent with patients, and to take control of their schedule, health, and career.
  6. Using locum tenens for a service mission to refocus on providing outstanding medical care where it’s most needed.

“We’re seeing an uptick in numbers of doctors wanting to go on a medical mission for six months or even longer in order to give back to underserved communities, and they’re using locum tenens to do so and to reset after feeling burned out,” explains Matt Richards, Global Medical Staffing’s National Accounts Executive. Read one physician’s story.

How physicians are using locums to combat burnout
Many physicians have chosen to work locum tenens assignments between jobs or have even chosen full-time locum tenens in order to reduce burnout and spend more time with family. Here are just a few of their stories:

Even though physician burnout has gone down as compared to the 2016 survey, it’s alarming that more than half of physicians report feeling burned out, and that nearly three-quarters see burnout among their colleagues. Be honest with yourself if you are burned out, then put these six steps to work to help alleviate the feeling.

Interested in learning more about how locum tenens can help you take charge of your career and alleviate burnout? Click the button below to browse our current openings, or give us a call at 1.800.760.3174.
Search our current physician opportunities

Topics: Locum Tenens, physician burnout, burnout, work life balance

4 fall medical conventions you don't want to miss

Posted by Kari Redfield

 

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Ready to take charge of your destiny, work less, give back to the community, go on an adventure, and regain work/life balance? We would love to chat with you about how locum tenens helps our doctors do all of that and more. This fall, visit us at a medical conference. Stop by our booth to meet some of our team — and for a chance to win a pair of Bose studio headphones.

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ACEP Scientific Assembly 2018
Thousands of emergency medicine professionals gather annually to attend ACEP's flagship event. ACEP calls the conference an “immersive experience that goes beyond what typical medical conferences offer, providing the single most comprehensive consortium that brings together education, networking, policy development, and new technology.” Network with others, improve your medical skills, fulfill your CME credits, and get inspired by the keynote from Roy Spence, founder of GSD&M Advertising, who will talk about how to live a purpose-filled life.

Oct. 1-3
San Diego, California
Our Booth: #1328
San Diego Convention Center

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American Osteopathic Association OMED 2018
This premier conference for osteopaths features keynote speakers Nicholas J. Webb, health care innovator and futurist, and Peter B. Bach, MD, MAPP, healthcare policy expert, who has been awarded more than 45 patents for breakthrough technologies. They’ll discuss disruptive innovators changing healthcare. You’ll also get to attend hands-on CME sessions, get to sit in on Public Health Track and Research Focus Track sessions, network with others, and much more. Watch the video to learn more.

Oct. 6-8
San Diego, California
Our Booth: #302
San Diego Convention Center

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The AAFP Family Medicine Experience (FMX)
This is the AAFP’s largest annual event and inspires, educates, and helps to motivate family physicians to continue providing the best patient and community care. Connect with other practitioners and get up to a year’s worth of CME credits dedicated completely to helping you do your job better for your patients. You’ll also have the opportunity to take in keynote speakers:

  • Zubin Damania, MD (aka ZDoggMD) — internist, rapper, and comedian — onHealthcare, Remixed”
  • Frank J. Domino, MD, discussing Top Ten Updates in Evidence-Based Medicine”
  • “Responding to the Opioid Crisis: Perspectives from Family Physicians” featuring several notable physicians

Oct. 10-12
New Orleans, Louisiana
Our Booth: #1318
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

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Los Angeles CareerMD Expo
Feeling burned out? Want to take control of your own destiny? Come talk to use at the Los Angeles CareerMD Expo and learn about part-time travel opportunities, full-time options, and overseas adventures.

Nov. 17, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Los Angeles, California
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We hope to see you soon!
For more info about upcoming conferences, click here.

Topics: Locum Tenens, Conferences, Conventions, San Diego, Los Angeles, New Orleans

Psychiatrist uses locum tenens to help fulfill his mission of serving others

Posted by Kari Redfield

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Not all locum tenens physicians work locums full time; some work occasional locums shifts in order to earn extra money, to travel, or, like Dr. Chad Koyanagi, as a way to give back to the community. For psychiatrist Dr. Koyanagi, helping people is his mission, and he uses his expertise, compassion, and valuable skills and training to treat people in Hawaii with severe mental illnesses, including people living on the street.

Dr. Koyanagi works three part-time jobs, plus a locum tenens shift once a month at a hospital in Kona on the island of Hawaii. His locum tenens role fits into his mission of serving others, as he takes on a difficult-to-fill shift, helping people get the right treatment so they’re able to live productive lives.

His main job is for the State of Hawaii Medicaid office. He also works at a private hospital in the psychiatric unit, helping people in all types of severe mental health crises. “Given the right effectiveness of the hospitalization, they would never need to come back to the hospital,” he explains.

He also works with the Institute for Human Services (IHS) to do street medicine outreach to help people with mental illness living on the streets. “There are so many homeless people in paradise,” says Dr. Koyanagi. “Honolulu has the worst homeless problem in the entire nation.”

He says that all his roles work together. “By doing administrative and clinical and advocacy work for this population, I feel like all of the jobs are related and complement each other,” he says. “I have a pretty broad scope of how the system works for some people — and how it doesn’t work for others.”

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Inspired to help others

After growing up in the Salt Lake area on the island of Oahu, Dr. Koyanagi went to Harvard University for his undergraduate degree, and that’s when he decided to become a physician. He moved back to Hawaii to complete his medical degree from the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii. He chose psychiatry in order to treat the entire person.

“My interest was in doing something related to serving the whole individual and not just a body part. I felt the need to help someone in a larger way, including their social circumstances, upbringing, and economic condition,” he explains.

After residency, he took a job at Safe Haven, a residential home for the homeless mentally ill. That’s when he made the decision to focus on a career path that enabled him to help those most in need.

“The providers were such amazing people. They spent all of their energy and compassion helping the most marginalized people in our community — and that was so inspiring to me.”

He also found the work rewarding, to see someone mentally ill and chronically homeless get treatment, housing, and get better. “It’s what drives me.”

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How locum tenens allows him to fill a need

Before learning about Global Medical Staffing, Dr. Koyanagi had never considered doing any locum tenens work. But then in August 2017 he heard about a hard-to-fill shift on the psychiatric unit in a hospital in Kona. He has worked there one weekend a month ever since. By taking the shift, he is helping fill a need and providing treatment to people who really need it.

“One of the things that was appealing about this opportunity is that I’ve always felt the need to serve my community and help address some of the rural shortage areas,” he explains.

His work in Kona, like at the other psychiatric hospital, makes a difference. “I try very hard to make sure that a person’s first encounter with the system is productive. I try to go the extra mile — I make sure to engage the family as much as possible and make the clinical care as effective as it can be, and most importantly, make sure the person has referrals to all the possible resources in the community that could be helpful to them and their families. The consequence of a person not getting what they need is that often, five to 10 years down the road, the person unfortunately becomes homeless,” says Dr. Koyanagi.

Lindsay Lyons, Global Medical Staffing physician representative, adds: “We’re so lucky to work with Dr. Koyanagi. He’s great, and such a mentor for other physicians. People know who he is, and he’s highly regarded on the island.”

Making a difference

According to a newspaper article about the IHS street medicine program, last year, Dr. Koyanagi and his team succeeded in treating 20 homeless people who agreed to accept care on an outpatient basis. The treatment uses monthly injections of Invega Sustenna, meant to stabilize people suffering from schizophrenia.

“A good example is Donna in ‘Prescribing Hope’ [IHS documentary],” says Dr. Koyanagi. “She had been gravely disabled in our community for a couple of decades. She was able to get the help she needed and was able to be successfully placed in independent housing.”

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Just getting started

Dr. Koyanagi says, “Seeing people suffer so badly and not have housing, not have their sanity, not have healthcare and seeing them deteriorate year after year drives me to want to be useful in this field. And the amazing people I work with inspire me to be a better person and better psychiatrist.”

Another motivator: The right mental health treatment saves lives.

“Seeing people get better is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever been part of,” he shares. “There’s so much work to do. I’m just getting started.”

Learn more about Dr. Koyanagi’s work with the homeless:

Interested in putting your skills to work in underserved areas? Check out our open positions using the button below.
Search our current physician opportunities

Topics: Locum Tenens, benefits of locum tenens, Hawaii, Why I locum

Celebrate National Locum Tenens Week Aug. 13 – 17

Posted by Kari Redfield

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It’s National Locum Tenens Week! And we couldn’t be more excited to have this opportunity to thank our physicians for all they do to provide quality medical care to patients throughout the world.

Although locum tenens plays a vital role in our healthcare system, many still don’t know what it is. In Latin, locum tenens means “to take the place of someone temporarily.” In healthcare, the term refers to medical providers who work temporary assignments.

The concept of locums was started in the mid-1970s by two physicians from the University of Utah as a way to provide replacements for primary care physicians who were vacationing or doing CME. It turned into something much bigger and has become a crucial provider of much-needed medical care to rural areas across the country. Today, 94 percent of healthcare facilities use locum tenens to supplement their staffing, and more than 40,000 physicians work locum tenens assignments annually, impacting more than 20 million patients across the country.

Just last year, our Global Medical Staffing providers impacted more than 655,000 patients worldwide. With the physician shortage, these physicians are critical in ensuring patients continue to get the care they need now and in the future.

So, thank you to all our providers for making a difference to the patients you serve every day.

Topics: National Locum Tenens Week, Locum Tenens, benefits of locum tenens

Physician chooses Australian locum tenens assignment for the medical experience and the adventure

Posted by Kari Redfield

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After Dr. Mike Spertus finished his post-residency fellowship, he applied for an international locum tenens position and is now about halfway through that assignment in Perth, Australia. He’s thrilled to be there, he says, and loves many things about the job, including: the flexibility, the clinical experiences, the travel opportunities, and the work/life balance.

“You don’t have call-time or overtime,” he explains about his full-time role as a general practitioner. “You're not staying late to catch up on billing or case notes. And you get four weeks vacation right off the bat.” All of that makes it kind of feel a bit like a working vacation, he adds.

Valuable medical experience
One thing that drew Dr. Spertus to this assignment was the clinic’s openness to him doing some integrative medicine — the focus of his fellowship — such as acupuncture. “It took a little bit to get the acupuncture going, but I was able to. And I am really happy that my practice was open to this,” he says.

At the clinic, he has seen newborns, pregnant women, adolescents, adults, and geriatric patients too — all with a wide variety of ailments.

“It’s a big mix,” he says. “The clinical experience has been quite valuable. I see mental health cases and also do pain management too.”

Another thing that drew him to Australia is the high incidence of skin cancer, as skin cancer is one of his medical interests. “Probably 20 percent of my cases are skin cancer,” he explains. “It's a fairly large portion of my practice, which is what I wanted.”

While on assignment, Dr. Spertus has received additional training in skin cancer protocols and mental health treatment. He appreciates how supportive the clinic has been of these educational seminars, as well as the opportunities to visit Melbourne and Sydney.

Practicing medicine in Australia
Australia provides healthcare to all citizens, resulting in some differences from the U.S. system, particularly in billing management. “Healthcare is basically guaranteed, and the system is so much more streamlined because of that,” he explains.

That’s one of the things that Dr. Spertus loves about his assignment in Australia — the streamlined healthcare system.

“Everything at our clinic is pretty much a bulk-billing practice to the government. It makes billing super simple,” he explains.

There is a bit of a hybrid system in Australia, points out Dr. Spertus, with some people getting private insurance on top of the government healthcare. When that happens, practitioners in Australia still don’t have to worry about billing insurance companies, as the patient is responsible for that part, making it easy for them to concentrate on providing quality healthcare instead of doing admin work.

Exploring Australia and Bali
One of Dr. Spertus’ favorite sightseeing experiences in Australia is the beach. “It’s readily accessible with some of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen!” he says with a smile. “The scenery, the beautiful turquoise water, the soft sand, the beautiful topography in Western Australia with the cliffs and everyone surfing, are stunning. And I love seeing and hearing all of the animals that are so different from the ones in the U.S.”

He adds, “Kangaroos are everywhere, even close to the city and on the beach.”

He also likes seeing Australia’s bird species and other wildlife, like quokkas, a marsupial animal that's native to Rottnest Island off of Perth.

Dr. Spertus routinely visits the local vineyards and has adventured into the outback for camping and exploration too. He went to Bali twice already, for a yoga retreat and for exploration.

“Bali is closer from Perth than most Australian cities — and cheaper to get to,” he points out.

Working locum tenens after residency or post-fellowship
Dr. Spertus recommends that other physicians sign up for an international locum tenens assignment, especially right out of residency or post-fellowship before getting tied down.

“Definitely give it a go,” he encourages. “International locum tenens is oftentimes a once in a lifetime chance. Try to make it work for you, because it's a really great experience. And you get help from your agency for it too.” 

Read more:

Interested in starting your own international locum tenens adventure? Browse our current opportunities by clicking the button below. Or give us a call at 1.800.760.3174. We're always here to answer any questions you might have.

Search our current physician opportunities

Topics: benefits of locum tenens, locum tenens lifestyle, travel, Locum Tenens, work life balance, Australian healthcare, Australia, Western Australia, Perth, Instragram, residents, residency

Top 5 U.S. states to work locum tenens jobs

Posted by Kari Redfield

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Explore the country, contributing your valuable medical skills where they’re most needed — while earning good money. That’s all possible with locum tenens. Right now, we have openings all across the U.S.

Some physicians choose to do locum tenens full-time, in order to gain work/life balance, spend time with family, and choose their own hours. Other physicians take on occasional locums work in order to travel to their bucket list destinations. Isn’t it time that you did something for yourself? Went someplace new? Tried something different?

Why not line up an assignment — and explore while you’re there? Oh, and did we mention the perks? In most cases, we pay for your airline flights, housing, and malpractice insurance. We’ll help you through the licensing and credentialing processes. Plus, wherever you go, you’ll be adding to your CV while helping people where you’re needed and appreciated.

Not sure where to go? Here are the five top states to explore:

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  1. California: Sea to mountains, city to country, and everything in between!

One of our regular locums physicians likes to visit Santa Barbara in order to take on some locum tenens shifts, to see friends, and to enjoy the sights and food. Many other locum tenens doctors choose to take assignments in iconic California, too. And why not? In California, you can explore wine country; walk through Hollywood; and visit Yosemite, the Redwoods, Joshua Tree, Lake Tahoe, and all of the other wild wonders. From city life to remote mountains to beautiful beachside sunsets to all kinds of entertainment, California has variety and splendor for everyone.

Ready to go on your own Californian adventure and get paid for it? Contact us today, as a permanent California license takes about 16 weeks to secure. We’ll help you through it, and typically cover the cost.

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  1. Massachusetts: History, beer, sports, water — and more!

There’s so much to do in Massachusetts, from the famous Massachusetts Whale Trail — which links nearly 40 museums, attractions, whale watching excursions, historic sites, and tours — to the legendary sites in Boston, to a replica of the original Mayflower boat, to the wonders of Cape Cod and Nantucket. And there’s crabbing, clamming, fishing — and so much more! Food, brew pubs, arts, theater, sports, and many activities captivate tourists and locals alike.

Western Massachusetts is beautiful, full of lush green hills in the Berkshires, to the dazzling foliage along the Mohawk Trail, America’s first scenic road drive (and yes, you can hike through the forest there, too). Hike and bike this side of the state — or go on a local food tour via the quant bed-and-breakfasts and spas.

Oh, and who wouldn’t want to enjoy New England’s dazzling colors in fall? And don’t forget the 14,000 acres of active cranberry bogs. 

Sound fun? Get started, as generally, licensing takes 16 weeks, so contact us today if you’re interested, and we’ll help you through the process.

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  1. North Carolina: Mountains, valleys, and sea

North Carolina has mountains, valleys, and miles of seashore. Whether you’re looking for an urban retreat, or something off the beaten path for all kinds of recreational adventure (from fishing, hot air ballooning, sky diving, hiking, biking, skiing, golf, rock climbing, and more), you can find it in North Carolina. Visit eclectic cafes and breweries, moonshine distilleries, vineyards, historic landmarks, museums about the Wright brothers and their famous Kitty Hawk and so many other historical eras — and lots more.

As the locals say, “North Carolina has long been associated with sweet tea, NASCAR and the Duke-Chapel Hill basketball rivalry.” All true, but there’s much more too.

Licensing takes about six weeks, so get started with us today.

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  1. Minnesota: They call it ‘Minnesota nice’ for a reason

Minnesota boasts more than 10,000 natural glacial lakes and is perhaps the origins of politeness, with down-to-Earth people who know how to work hard and express their gratitude. If you like nature, water, and water sports (from top-notch fishing lakes to water skiing), then be sure to visit. With so many lakes and rivers, Minnesota has more miles of shoreline than California, Florida, and Hawaii combined.

The Twin Cities (the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area) features culture galore, including numerous museums, more than 120 theater companies, tons of local music, and good food. With so many parks and green space, you can bike from one side of Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area to the other on bike paths with nary leaving greenspace.

Southwestern Minnesota features prairie land, quiet spaces, and simple, uber affordable living. Northern Minnesota, is the land of lakes and forests, with Duluth acting as the gateway to Lake Superior, which is so big that all the other Great Lakes combined could fit into it, with waves sometimes as tall as 40 feet.

Licensing in Minnesota can take about six weeks, so reach out to us today!

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  1. Michigan: The Great Lake State, industry central, and Motown

From Mackinac Island, where no cars are allowed, to the origins of American industry, to jumping off into adventure on any of the four Great Lakes, Michigan has a lot to offer. Uniquely, no matter where you are in Michigan, you’re always within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes’ shorelines. The Upper Peninsula is known for rugged living, splendid wildlife, numerous lakes, and nature. It’s a must-see at least once in a lifetime and the perfect spot for any type of outdoor adventure. In the Lower Peninsula, visit museums to see the birthplace of modern industry, explore the roots of Motown, dine on fine or fun food, see live music, and go to festivals, farmers markets, and more.

As the locals say it, “Whether you are an urban adventurer or an outdoor enthusiast, a foodie or a thrill-seeker, traveling with your family or making memories with friends — you are on the brink of planning a vacation so unique, it can only be classified as Pure Michigan.”

Plan around six weeks to get your license. Contact us today!

Get started on your adventure

Ready to explore your own locum tenens adventure? Ready to treat yourself to some travel? Click the button below to browse our current openings, or give us a call at 1.800.760.3174.

Search our current physician opportunities

Topics: benefits of locum tenens, locum tenens lifestyle, travel, Locum Tenens, work life balance, United States, michigan, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Minnesota

Check out these inspiring photos of recent locum tenens assignments — and go on an adventure to Guam, Northern California, and New Zealand

Posted by Kari Redfield

Check out these inspiring photos of recent locum tenens assignments — and go on an adventure to Guam, Northern California, and New Zealand

Our locum tenens physicians take assignments in gorgeous parts of the world, in both the U.S. and abroad. Take a break and send your dreams soaring with these recent photos from three physicians. They’re sure to inspire your own locums adventure.

Meet Dr. Anita Haugabrook

Doc Nita recently moved from a full-time long-term position to locum tenens in order to passionately practice medicine, regain work/life balance, set her own schedule, and travel to new places. Here’s a look at some photos from her Northern California adventure:

Here I am flying out to Northern Cali. What beautiful views. When my recruiter asked me the primary location that I wanted to experience, I told her California! And she made it happen!

The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas — the largest Buddhist monastery in western society! 

Every Saturday in Ukiah, they block off one of the streets downtown for the farmers market! The vegetables were so fresh and colorful.

Amazing views... I love Ukiah!

Meet Dr. Anu Taylor

Many physicians choose an assignment in Guam because they can take an assignment as short as three months — and use the adventure as a jumping off point to explore all of Asia. Here are some of Dr. Taylor’s favorite sites:

Chamorro fire dance on the beach in front of Jimmy Dee's.

My favorite — Tom yum gai soup! 

Hey everyone! I’m at work today. Guam memorial hospital is a government hospital. We make a difference here to the locals, and they appreciate us. Patients are very sweet, nurses are very self-sufficient and fun. Schedule is optimal for a real work-life balance, and with two weeks off, we docs travel often — Japan, Bali, Ho Chi Minh City, Siem Reap, to name a few.

Sunset over Citi Point, Guam. You can hike down to the beach and back and it will only take you six hours — definitely a difficult terrain but what fun!

Meet Dr. Sara Jalali

Dr. Jalali recently took a six-month international locum tenens assignment in Whanganui, New Zealand, bringing along her husband. She says it has reinvigorated her passion for medicine. “It feels like a working holiday. I just love seeing the country!” Here are a few of her photos:

Yes, that's a baby alpaca! Not only did I get to take one for a walk, but I got to feed the mamas by hand and cuddle with handfuls of new babies. The farm I visited was only a short drive away and there are more farms and cute animals everywhere you look!

Before I got here, I had this idea in my head that small town government funded hospital meant old, outdated equipment. I couldn't have been more wrong! From the moment I stepped inside the ED I was pleasantly surprised at the state of the art technology.

My hubby and I had big plans to cook tonight, but 5 minutes later we were headed down the road toward Castlecliff Beach to visit our favorite burger spot in town. Aside from the killer food, one of my favorite things about this street is the unique landscape. Our famous celebrity ceramic artist, Ivan Vostinar, was the sole potter for the Hobbit movies. He is now a Whanganui local! His studio is across the street from the restaurant.

Check out this sunset view from our home. We feel so lucky to look out the window and see the famous Whanganui River snaking around the city to our left, and lush green hills with sheep, donkeys, chickens, and horses to our right! This town has a perfect blend of rural and urban vibes.

Subscribe for more photos

All three of these physicians recently took over our Instagram account. Head over to our page to check out many more photos right here.

Want to start your own locum tenens adventure? Browse our current opportunities by clicking the button below. Or give us a call at 1.800.760.3174. We're always here to answer any questions you might have.

Search our current physician opportunities

Topics: benefits of locum tenens, locum tenens lifestyle, travel, Locum Tenens, work life balance, United States, Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Instragram

Domestic vs. international: Which locum tenens assignment is right for you?

Posted by Kari Redfield

Domestic_v_international_Which_locum_tenens_assignment_is_right_for_you

Ready to escape the demanding hours of your long-term physician position and instead gain work/life balance, while earning a good living? Want to travel near or far, while getting paid? Then, chances are, locum tenens can benefit you.

An important consideration is whether to take a domestic assignment or an international one. This doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition, as many physicians work both kinds during their career, points out Global Medical Staffing's Dena Sween, especially as they transition out of or back into the U.S.

Still, to help you get started on your first locum tenens assignment, we’ve broken down the pros and cons of both types.

Dr. Anu Taylor GUAM
Dr. Anu Taylor on assignment in the U.S. territory of Guam

International assignments
Our international assignments deliver a memorable experience living like a local in another culture, while practicing first-world medicine in a safe environment, in locations such as Guam, Canada, the Caribbean, the U.K., China, or the “down under” countries of Australia and New Zealand. These positions usually involve set hours without on-call time, along with generous vacation time, allowing for extensive travel time while you are there. That’s one of the biggest reasons physicians choose international locums.

International assignments provide adventure and exposure to different health systems, which builds your CV and helps you to increase your skill level. Additionally, many physicians, like Dr. Sara Jalali, report that these assignments reinvigorate their passion for medicine, helping relieve burn out.

Another perk is that we’re placing in more areas of the world than ever before. “There are all of these fantastic options just starting to pop up, so basically what we tell people is to get on our list so that when that really cool new thing comes through, you hear about it first,” Sween says.

Challenges of international assignments can include collecting the necessary paperwork and the requirement to take on longer commitments, often one year. Although there are some three month assignments available in Guam and the Caribbean. Going to Guam and other U.S. territories requires that U.S. physicians possess a U.S. passport but no visa. Plus, as with all positions, it requires credentialing and privileging, often taking three months from the time you accept the assignment.

Paperwork for other international placements takes a little longer; the typical minimum assignment length is longer too. For instance, it usually takes three months to complete the medical registration and visa process for New Zealand, and requires a six-month minimum assignment. The paperwork for credentialing, privileging, licensing, and visa processes in Australia and Canada take six to eight months, and typically require longer assignments, usually one-year minimum.

“There’s going to be paperwork anywhere you go, domestic or international,” Sween points out. “They [the hospital administrators] need to know who’s coming in and working in their healthcare system. The fantastic thing is that we have an amazing team who walks you through all of that and holds your hand throughout the process.”

Another possible challenge of international locums might be an expectations mismatch. For instance, housing may be different from the typical U.S. set up.

“We look at what the local doctors live in, and that’s kind of the level we put doctors into,” Sween explains. “For example in New Zealand, you may not have air-conditioning; that’s standard in the area. Having that flexibility in your expectations and listening when our recruiters are setting those expectations is really important.”

She adds that part of the reason many physicians choose an international assignment is to live like a local. “It’s part of the adventure.”

Other possible challenges: Practicing medicine in another country might involve differences. Also, many people feel both excited and nervous about the assignment.

These are valid concerns, Sween points out, but it’s rare that a physician takes an international assignment and feels like it wasn’t worth their time or that their family didn’t bond because of it. The keys are to communicate your expectations with your recruiter, and then go with an open mind.

Dr. Anita HaugabrookDr. Anita Haugabrook takes a selfie with colleagues while on assignment in the U.S.

Domestic assignments
If you want less adventure or can’t leave the U.S. for several months, choose a domestic assignment instead of an international one, Sween says. Domestic assignments allow you to take on very short assignments. They provide more flexibility, more choice, and more options. You choose your pay, your schedule, and your working conditions.

“You can do weekend work. You can commit to five shifts a month,” Sween explains. “That’s the beauty of domestic work, the flexibility.”

Another benefit is that domestic assignments pay more than international assignments, and often more than a long-term position, especially for hard-to-fill shifts or specialties, like psychiatry.

Some physicians choose domestic assignments in order to spend time near their family/college kid, to tackle their travel bucket lists, or to use their skills to help a vulnerable population. Other motivations include spending more time with family, combating physician burn out, avoiding extensive admin and billing paperwork, and taking charge of their destiny.

Possible challenges can include the paperwork involved in getting licensing in other states, or for some positions, requirements can be very specific (i.e. certain certifications, experience, or training). However, don’t let those possible challenges hold you back. We have all kinds of assignments across specialties all over the U.S. and are committed to helping physicians find what they’re looking for.

Reach out to us today
If you’re interested in learning more about locum tenens, contact us. “Let us know what your expectations are, so we can find you a great fit,” Sween encourages. “And feel free to call us ahead of time, even years before you can go international. We can answer questions along the way, or place you in domestic assignments, or help you start planning in a certain direction to turn those dreams into reality.”

Ready to launch your own locum tenens adventure? Click the button below to browse our current opportunities or give us a call at 1.800.760.3174.

Search our current physician opportunities

Topics: benefits of locum tenens, locum tenens lifestyle, travel, Locum Tenens, work life balance, United States, Pacific Islands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia

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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