Locums for a Small World Blog

Guam can launch a new phase of your medical career

Posted by Mark A. Kellner


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Picture yourself in paradise: warm ocean waters, 
dozens of sparkling beaches, exotic food and culture, oh, and year-round temperatures between the low 70s and mid-80s Fahrenheit.

Imagine that this locale needs the exact medical skills you have honed over the years, and is willing to reward you with an enviable lifestyle and environment.

Now imagine, that this place — the Micronesian island of Guam, to be precise — is part of the United States, which means they use U.S. currency and already recognize U.S.-trained physicians (among other familiar elements of life in the U.S.). Contrary to recent news reports, Guam is actually a very safe and tranquil country and traveling there is as simple as traveling to another state—no passport or visa required.

You don’t have to imagine, though, really. Everything said about Guam here is 100-percent true. It’s a paradise, it’s a U.S. territory, and it has a continuing need for physicians who are willing to relocate to this unique, beautiful and exciting part of the world for as little as six months.

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A Living Travel Brochure

Guam is a living travel brochure. There are great hiking trails, spectacular sunsets, endless beaches and enough history to keep you well occupied.

The local culture has influences from Spain, Japan, the Philippines and the U.S.; the food is varied (and delicious) and culture abounds. Guam is also the place where the United States greets the day  some 14 or 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (with daylight savings time making the difference). It’s also the place where America first welcomes each new year.

The island’s population hovers around the 160,000 mark, and the majority of residents are of Chamorro descent. The presence of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps is another feature of the island, which is also a popular tourism destination for visitors from Japan and the rest of Asia.

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Medical Opportunities Abound

For a variety of reasons, including a growing population, there are constant opportunities for locum tenens assignments in Guam: physicians are needed who can provide general and specialized care. Global Medical Staffing regularly sees temporary opportunities that range from 6-12 months (or longer) both on Guam and occasionally surrounding islands as well. In most cases, perks such as airfare, housing, travel and malpractice coverage are included. Schedules, shifts, call coverage and patient loads will vary with each opportunity.

In 2014, Guam Business Magazine noted recent improvements in medical care on the island, as well as the high standards required for incoming physicians to be licensed there: “New physicians coming to Guam must have U.S. residency training beyond the first year after medical school, and new physicians must be board-eligible or board-certified before they can be licensed on Guam.”

While the number of physicians on the island has increased in recent years, there remains a demand for general and specialty care. If you are U.S.-residency trained and are board-eligible or board-certified, there’s likely a place on Guam for you.

We see reoccurring needs for emergency medicine physicians, internal medicine physicians and pediatricians, but we regularly place other specialties as well. Click below to learn more about current locum tenens opportunities, or pick up the phone and call your GMS international placement specialist to discuss current or future assignments. We’re always here to answer any questions you might have.
Opportunities in the Pacific Islands

Topics: Locum 101, Locum Tenens, physician, doctor, benefits of locum tenens, locum tenens lifestyle, Global Medical Staffing, CHG Healthcare, Pacific Islands, Pacific Island, Guam

Don't know where your next locum tenens assignment will be? Try the Gateway to Asia.

Posted by Everett Fitch

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It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere. That means it’s winter in the Southern. Both seasons tend to bring about a thirst for travel in all of us. Maybe it’s the electricity of summer. Or maybe it’s the somewhat cooped up feeling some of us get in the middle of winter. Either way, a tropical island sounds simply pleasant, doesn’t it? Pleasant because of the solitude. Pleasant because of the weather. Pleasant because of the unerring freedom of steady blue skies and cyclical coastline.

The Caribbean, of course, has this appeal. So do the islands that make up Hawaii. Another Pacific island, though, has driven us to write with such fervor. An island that’s filled with massive coast, seaside cliffs, and endless exploits packed inside a beautiful melting pot of a culture. You should most certainly take time to enjoy every last portion of this lush landscape. From the limestone plateaus in the north to the volcanic hills in the south, the island of Guam has a unique character and energy everywhere you turn.

But believe it or not, Guam offers much more than what’s housed within its boundaries. How? It serves as a phenomenal jumping-off point to experience all-things Asia. In fact, it's known as the Gateway to Asia. Guam is only three to four hours flying time away from lively cities such as Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

So, in light of this, instead of writing unabashedly about all the magnificent aspects of Guam, we thought we’d take time to share a bit about the best things to do in the above-mentioned Asian cities. After all, if you do decide to take a locum tenens assignment in this paradise, you’re a short flight away from these metropolises that once seemed like strange and distant places.

Seoul, South Korea

From the dissipating flames of the Korean War came a roaring, lion-hearted city bent on rebirth. Welcome to Seoul—a 24-hour, brighter-than-bright city you’ll definitely be surprised by. It still retains its seismic past: If you’d like you can take a day-trip to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that splits South Korea from North (this is actually quite the popular tourist spot).

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Spend as much time in Seoul as you can though because there’s plenty to see and do in the city itself. And its flashing lights shine the way. It’s perfectly reasonable to take a tour of a centuries-old palace (Changdeokgung) follow it up with a visit to a teahouse in a 1930s hanok (Suyeon Sanbang) and end with city-top views in N Seoul Tower (hint: be sure to visit at sunset) all in one day.

Tokyo, Japan



We think Tokyo and visions of neon immediately dance in our heads. A lot of the city looks like a sci-fi film. Take Tokyo Sky Tree for example. Opening barely in 2012, this silvery broadcasting, restaurant and observation spire stands at 634 meters (2,080 feet) above the cityscape. There’s a glass elevator and even glass floors throughout so you can admire the dizzying magnificence of the megalopolis below. And on the clearest of days you can see all the way to Mt. Fuji.

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Still, Tokyo gives a respectful nod to its past while looking ever-forward to the future. Head to the Kokugikan (sumo amphitheater) to witness a sumo wrestling match. If you want to learn more about this 1,500-year-old tradition, stop by the Sumo Museum first. Tokyo’s gems don’t ever end. There are ancient Buddhist temples (Zōjō-ji) to admire. There are riverboat cruises along the Sumida-gawa (the city’s central waterway) to enjoy. There are street-packed festivals (Sanja Matsuri) complete with portable shrines. We can’t forget the famous Roppongi Hills, either. It’s full of shopping malls, museums and breathtaking gardens.

Hong Kong



Hong Kong is quite the interesting place and like Seoul and Tokyo, it has a storied past. As much as you’ll see an endless horizon of modern buildings scraping the misty sky, you’ll see just as much ancient and colonial tradition winding its way through flashy night clubs, idyllic beaches, green mountains, lively markets (Temple Street Night Market) and even atmospheric temples (Man Mo Temple). This fusion of old and new is everywhere.

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A mix of chaos and harmony also exists. Within hours you can jump on a double-decker tramcar and explore behind the scenes, wander around in a Song-dynasty village, catch views from Victoria Peak (the highest point on Hong Kong island), be hypnotized by a Cantonese opera, and engorge yourself with sweet and sour prawn in a high-class restaurant or right in a dai pai dong (open-air food stall). Satiate your hunger for adventure and great food virtually anywhere in this vibrant city.

Keep in mind, we do not currently place in any of the above-mentioned Asian cities.

These are simply fantastic regions to explore while you’re on your locum tenens assignment in Guam. If you’re interested in learning more about where we place, go ahead and view our current physician opportunities. Then feel free to request information, or contact us.

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Topics: Gateway to Asia, Pacific Islands, Hong Kong, Seoul, Pacific Island, Tokyo, Asia

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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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