Locums for a Small World Blog

The winter bucket list for locum tenens doctors who double as photographers – U.S. edition

Posted by Everett Fitch

In the thick of winter it’s easy to stay inside after a long day at work. It can get pretty darn cold outside after all. If the choice is to either stay inside with a hot cup of cocoa or layer up and head outside for a brisk winter walk, most will opt for the hot chocolate. But getting your heart pumping and a burn going on in your calves is good for you.

Try a winter hike up in the mountains. If you don’t have mountains nearby then go for a winter walk around your neighborhood, or a winter stroll through the city. To partake in such a meditative activity is to feed your mind and body with new stimuli. You’re able to see your surroundings in a new light outside the familiar routes you take. It may even change your perspective a little regarding the coldest season of the year, too.

While you’re at it bring your camera along on your trek. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or an expert, all you need is your unique, artistic eye and a touch of enthusiasm. Are you completely new to photography? Do you want something with a little more pixel power than what your smart phone can offer? Then check out our recent blog about the best digital cameras of 2016.

For those already armed and ready with your cameras we’ve compiled a winter bucket list of photography hotspots across the U.S. – from national parks to iconic cities. It’s time to trade in those awe-inducing summer photos that so often invade our social media feeds and replace them with wintry wonder.

Denali National Park, Alaska

Alaska doesn’t see much light during winter. But that doesn’t mean you can't still enjoy the landscape. Denali hosts some of the most dazzling winter scenery in the whole world. Not just on the ground, either, but up in the sky, too. The northern lights dance and dazzle miles above the Earth. Though this hypnotic phenomena can be fleeting if not periodic so be sure to have your camera handy.

To learn more about activities like dog sledding, cross-country skiing and stargazing check out the National Park Service. Oh and remember to bundle up. Temperatures can drop to -40 F. It’s always a good idea to let someone know when and where you’re going as well.

Sequoia National Park, California

Those same tall, red, towering trees you see during the summer are still there in winter – except now they’re more vivid, more commanding and proudly alive in their space. The pure whiteness of the snow gives these trees even more arresting color.

Immerse yourself in the silence of these sequoias by snowshoeing or cross-country skiing (with camera at the ready of course). Check out this handy guide to learn more about some of the activities you can partake in during winter. Depending on how much time you have – from a few hours to a week or more – you can go for a hike in Giant Forest, go sledding at Big Stump or take a long, arduous (but rewarding) journey to Pear Lake Winter Hut and camp overnight. Be sure to reserve the hut in advance.

New York City, New York

New York City is never short of inspiration. It serves as a muse for many photographers with its iconic architecture (e.g., Flatiron, Chrysler, Woolworth, Empire State, Brooklyn Bridge).

There aren’t many hiking trails in town but what it lacks in that department it more than makes up for in its stunning succession of skyscrapers on almost every street. (In fact, Kurt Vonnegut once called NYC “Skyscraper National Park” in his novel Slapstick.) You’ll have a hard time pulling your finger off the shutter no matter if you’re in Times Square or Central Park. Just remember that the winter wind can be bone chilling in NYC, so grab your warmest jacket.

What else is there to do? Take a photographer’s stroll (that means leisurely) from Manhattan to Brooklyn along the eponymous bridge’s walkway.

Salt Lake City, Utah

We couldn’t think of a more fitting city for you to visit during winter than our very own (other than NYC). We’ve got national and state parks galore that are a stone’s throw away. Plus Salt Lake City serves as the perfect basecamp for skiing and snowboarding – seeing as how Snowbird, Alta, Brighton and Solitude are about thirty minutes from downtown. Don’t forget about the abundance of hiking trails up Big Cottonwood Canyon, Little Cottonwood Canyon and Millcreek Canyon, too.

Still there’s more to this cross-section of Utah than the great outdoors: plan a night out on the town and see the Temple Square lights, go ice skating at Gallivan Center or simply stroll around downtown with your camera in hand and capture the wonderful architecture.

Don’t you think it’s about time that winter got as much photography love as the rest of the seasons? With all these bucket list winter trips don’t forget to bring your trusty camera along with you.

Throw your hot chocolate in a thermos and head outside. Capture all the idyllic snow-blanketed scenery that you can. And enjoy the cold as much as humanly possible. Get your layers on then see what locum tenens assignments are available across the U.S. right now with the click of a button below.

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Road tripping across New York State: 3 top scenic drives you must experience this fall

Posted by Everett Fitch

Ah, road trips. There’s something wonderful about loading up your car with only your most necessary belongings. You end up finding out what you love most when you’re packing your choice possessions into a limited space. Of course, saving room for your camera is a must, too; you’ve got to take pictures along the way after all.

As we lose the speed of summer in the Northern Hemisphere we tend to think vacation season is over. It’s not. In fact, even with the collective sigh of summer’s end, you must know fall is a wondrous time to take a vacation. And New York State is an ideal place to do so. If you’re on locum tenens assignment in the Empire State, or if you plan to take a medical job here then be sure to consider its stunning countryside as the backdrop for your fall vacation. It’s full of amazing sights.

Hudson Valley comes to mind. Here you’ll get leaves of gold. This scenic drive is on National Geographic Traveler’s Top 20 Must-See Places on its “Best of the World” list.

Ask a New York resident about where to road trip and they’ll mention Route 20, too. This cross-section of America is reminiscent of yesteryear. The road itself began construction in the early 20th century and was finished around the 1950s; you’ll see sights like cobblestone houses, whitewashed barns and fields of hollyhocks.

Of course, with every road trip, you’ll be held spellbound by all those endless painted white lines along the way. They tend to serve as a reminder of unabashed freedom; they’re part of the heavy memories that make up life on the open road. And each time you step foot outside the car to witness the magnificent sights we’re about to detail below, you somehow become lovesick, desiring to have your foot on the gas pedal again, pining to drift freely past countryside and take in as much scenic stimulation your senses can handle. Welcome to the striking byways and highways of New York State.

1) Hudson Valley Scenic Drive

Stretching from the Adirondacks all the way to the Statue of Liberty, the Hudson River defines Upstate New York. It’s an iconic refuge for New Yorkers. Historic towns rife with storied pasts, riverfront parks, old diners, you better believe you're in for a real treat traveling down this road.

Hit up Kingston if you’re looking for an intimate look into New York’s past. (It was the state’s first capital before Albany.) The Stockade District is where you’ll want to head first; you can witness fascinating Dutch architecture here. Or if you’re more inclined, get out on the river ASAP with Rip Van Winkle, a family-run, river-cruise company.

Some more places to check out:

Red Hook Diner (AKA Historic Village Diner) – A 1920s-built diner just north of Rhinebeck.

Walkway Over the Hudson – Stop in Poughkeepsie to walk across the world’s longest pedestrian bridge.

Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt – Yep, you can visit FDR’s riverside home. A place FDR spoke fondly about quite often, “All that is within me cries out to go back to my home on the Hudson River.”

Mohonk Mountain House – Quite expensive to stay overnight but it’s worth it. If you don’t have the time then opt for a less-expensive day pass and visit the grounds – a Victorian castle resort sits atop a brilliant mountain lake. There are plenty of hiking trails and swimming spots to explore here.

2) Central NY Scenic Drive – Route 20

As mentioned before, locals will probably tell you to drive the distance on Route 20 because you’ll be met with unparalleled scenery. Not many people outside New York State know about Route 20 as a scenic byway. Most people might think of the Finger Lakes or Hudson Valley or even the Great Lakes Seaway Trail as far as the really great New York drives. But Route 20 should be up there, too. We bet you’ll be recommending it to friends soon after you make the drive yourself.

Stop off in Skaneateles for a lakefront-rich adventure. You can see the town’s namesake lake right from Main Street. There are remarkable little boutiques and antique shops here – plus a slew of great diners. There’s no other reason to stop here other than to view the splendor of one of the prettiest towns in all of New York State.

Some more places to check out:

Chittenango Falls State Park – Just north of another quintessential New York town – Cazenovia – is Chittenango Falls. Take the roughly 0.5-mile gorge trail up to the 167-foot waterfall for spectacular views.

Fly Creek Cider Mill – In the town of Fly Creek is a cider mill that has been pressing the most delicious cider ever to grace anyone’s taste buds for the past 160 years. Don’t miss out.

3) Long Island’s Gold Coast

Notoriously known for serving as an inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, The Great Gatsby, this ocean drive is, in a word, transcendent. You drive this stretch and you feel instantly transported back 100-plus years, as if you’re in the Gilded Age looking from afar witnessing in wonder all the glory of a glistening party at Eagle’s Nest (the Vanderbilt’s Spanish Revival mansion). But that’s not the only thing that’s magnificent about this drive.

There’s a whole world going on inside Long Island’s Gold Coast. Start at Sands Point Preserve, once the mansion of Harry F. Guggenheim, for some truly great views of Long Island Sound. It now serves as a natural history museum, as well as a nature preserve and historic site.

Some more places to check out:

Nassau County Museum of Art – 25 miles east of New York City rests a 145-acre property filled with formal gardens, art exhibitions and a world-renowned sculpture garden. This is the height of Long Island’s famed Gold Coast.

Vanderbilt Museum – Gone are the days of raucous parties. Now the Vanderbilt Museum hosts a 3,000-year-old mummy along with clear views of Northport Harbor and Long Island Sound. It’s also a marine and natural history museum. And a planetarium, too.

Take a cruise aboard the Discovery – You probably didn’t think you could take a wetlands cruise in New York, did you? Well you can. And this hour-and-a-half-long tour runs right along Long Island’s North Shore, aboard a pontoon boat.

Now that we’ve detailed some of the best scenic drives and top sights in all of New York State, what’s next? First things first, find more can't-miss drives and tours here. Second, are you looking for a locum tenens assignment in New York State? Look no further. We have opportunities for physicians all across this great state, just click the orange button below to search for a medical job that suits you. You’re also welcome to give us a call; our physician placement specialists are here to help.

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

Posted by Everett Fitch

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.

#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.

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.

#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.

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.

#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).

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.

#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.

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.

#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).

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"

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