At Global Medical, we appreciate our locums doctors for many reasons, but most of all because they are truly amazing people who also happen to be excellent physicians. Our physicians continue to wow us!Read More
At Global Medical, we appreciate our locums doctors for many reasons, but most of all because they are truly amazing people who also happen to be excellent physicians. Our physicians continue to wow us!Read More
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.
We’re spotlighting one of our international locum tenens physicians: Dr. Sean Ryan. He chose locum tenens because he loves experiencing other cultures like a local. This prompted him to take an assignment to New Zealand when his daughter was a toddler.
“I was there for six months and received the same vacation as a regular, full-time employee, which was three weeks off. In addition to all kinds of weekend explorations, we [my wife, daughter and myself] took two big trips, one through the North Island, where we went blackwater rafting on innertubes through glowworm caves. The other was to the South Island, where we were able to take a boat trip to Milford Sound, hike on a glacier, and go wine tasting and whale watching."
While on his New Zealand assignment through Global Medical Staffing Dr. Ryan, a psychiatrist, worked with the Māori Mental Health Team that served New Zealand’s native Polynesian people. The team greets all new providers with a traditional welcoming ceremony.
“It was such a welcome beyond anything I would have expected,” says Dr. Ryan. “Additionally, my colleagues were so inviting. I couldn’t have felt more part of that team while I was there.”
The natural splendor of the remote tropics often left him awestruck. “It was so beautiful. Parua Bay was just outside our house, and we could see wildlife and go on hikes deep into the forest right out the front door.”
After that six-month locum tenens assignment, Dr. Ryan took a second assignment in Tasmania, Australia.
"We loved living in Tasmania. Hobart is a fun, walkable city that's surrounded by beautiful nature. We were close to waterfalls and giant tree fern forests, and we loved seeing wild animals like wallabies and echidnas on our hikes."
In between the two assignments, he and his family spent time exploring the Cook Islands, Fiji and Bali. While in Australia, they visited Sydney, Melbourne, and went scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef.
New Zealand: A Slower Pace of Life
In the northern, more tropical part of New Zealand, the facilities were small and simple, reminding Dr. Ryan of his past experience in the Eastern Caribbean’s Saint Lucia. Sometimes lab work and radiological exams took longer than in the U.S., but Dr. Ryan quickly adjusted to the differences. In fact, for psychiatry in particular, the slower pace perhaps was more beneficial for patients in order to get more time with physicians and longer in-hospital stays when necessary, he says.
“I reminded myself that it doesn’t matter what country you’re in, the goal is the same: to take care of patients. My advice to other international locum tenens doctors is to settle into that idea, and you’ll have a much easier time adjusting.”
City Life in Australia
His Tasmanian experience was in a modern hospital, similar to the U.S. teaching hospital where he did his residency. There, he made a point of introducing himself to people and setting up social outings in order to get to know his colleagues well, which created lifelong friendships.
That’s the second piece of advice he offers doctors who take an international locum tenens assignment: Get out and meet people.
How Locum Tenens Works
Global Medical Staffing took care of all the logistics for Dr. Ryan, from helping secure Dr. Ryan’s medical licensure for working internationally, to arranging the family’s housing, to booking the flights.
“They even helped with a poorly working vacuum when the landlord was giving us the runaround and just let us purchase one and get reimbursed,” Dr. Ryan points out, a big deal to a family with a toddler. His Global Medical Staffing recruiter also helped the family look into licensing requirements for his wife, a speech pathologist, to see if it was feasible for her to work in Australia as well. “Global Medical Staffing made everything so much easier,” he explains. She opted instead to volunteer at a local vocational college, helping refugees and immigrants learn English, and had an incredible experience.
Although in the U.S. locum tenens assignments pay really well, international locums rates are typically lower. But with the hospitals providing their housing and transportation, Dr. Ryan’s family was actually able to save money, even while traveling extensively. “We thought we would need extra money to do this, and it turned out we put money into savings instead, which was a nice surprise,” says Dr. Ryan.
Ready for More Overseas Adventure
Dr. Ryan is already excited to take on another international assignment when his daughter graduates from high school. In the meantime, in addition to his full-time practice he occasionally takes on a weekend locum tenens assignment in places like Santa Cruz, California, a city he loves visiting.
He says to other healthcare professionals: “Don’t hesitate to look into international locum tenens. It's easier than it seems, especially with a locum tenens company like Global Medical Staffing that assists throughout the whole thing. I can’t wait to go do it again.”
Ready for your own international locum tenens adventure? You can view our current opportunities here. Or just pick up the phone and give us a call at 1.800.760.3174. We're always here to discuss your options and answer any questions you might have.
It’s been a long, successful journey for Global Medical Staffing, since getting its start in 1994 providing physicians to rural facilities in Australia, to its acquisition by CHG Healthcare in 2016.
It’s been an equally successful journey – though not quite as long – for Tyler Black, GMS’ president since January 2017, and a 10-plus year veteran of CHG before taking on the new role.
Tyler recently talked about his background, why GMS is a good partner for CHG, why GMS is part of the National Association of Locum Tenens Associations, or NALTO, and what the future holds for the trail-blazing firm.
Before moving to GMS, Tyler was vice president of CompHealth’s Allied Healthcare Division, which he helped become one of the fastest growing divisions within CHG during his time there. Tyler’s responsibilities included leading sales and support operations for the division of the Salt Lake City-based healthcare staffing firm. He was responsible for the direction and results of sales and support employees as well as for the development of all compensation plans, business intelligence reporting, and divisional marketing strategy.
But, he adds, moving to a newly acquired company within the CHG family was also attractive: “Global was a very exciting opportunity from every angle. Being a growing domestic locums division, along with a unique international team, made GMS extremely attractive. Also, I thought it would be a great learning experience to be part of integrating a newly acquired company to the CHG family.”
Often in business, there are challenges in integrating an acquired company, but Tyler told us “the GMS team was very similar to other teams within CHG. I found some great people who were committed to doing great work, and a culture of taking care of each other. I knew immediately CHG and GMS would be a great fit.”
And, Tyler added, it “made a lot of sense” for CHG to acquire GMS.
“We are the best in the business when it comes to locums and the locums market continues to grow,” he explained. “That and the unique aspect of the international business made GMS not only complimentary to our other business line, but added a new offering CHG didn’t have.”
In addition, the acquisition of Global Medial Staffing increases CHG’s presence among locums providers, he said. “Global’s international placement expertise is also attractive to both physicians and healthcare systems, allowing CHG to expand its leadership position by offering more staffing solutions to clients,” Tyler added.
What are the benefits for physicians? Several, according to Tyler.
“Adding another domestic brand now offers physicians another trusted company where they can have a great experience,” he said. “It offers additional locations, additional clients and options in the domestic space, as well as amazing experiences working abroad with our international clients. Previous to the GMS acquisition, CHG did not have the international aspect. Now, there’s even more access to licensing, credentialing, and travel resources and support.”
GMS clients, Tyler said, “benefit from getting the opportunity to work with another company that is extremely committed to quality, professionalism, integrity, ethics, and ‘Putting People First.’ And, they gain access to even more CHG resources, such as our world-class credentialing department.”
Indeed, he said, it’s “attention to the little details” that separates GMS from others in the field.
“I believe our international experience provides a good sense of how important the small details are in locums,” Tyler explained. “Doctors who are doing assignments for six months or a year often want more details than if an assignment was just a few weeks or a month,” and GMS knows how to provide the needed information and support through its dedicated team of placement specialists.
Tyler added that GMS’ membership in NALTO “sends a message to clients and providers that we are committed to doing things the right way and that we hold ourselves accountable to a certain standard.” NALTO, he points out, has both a code of ethics and standards of practice by which member firms must abide, and serves as a clearinghouse when complaints arise.
And why should a physician choose GMS? That’s an easy question to answer, Tyler said: “It’s our people! We have great people that are committed to making a difference…highly engaged and happy people make GMS a better choice for locum tenens physicians.”
As to GMS’ business outlook, Tyler said it’s certainly a bright one: “I believe the sky really is the limit,” he said. “I see GMS aggressively growing the number of specialties we focus on in both the domestic and international business. Within the next four to five years, I believe GMS can grow its revenue by three or four hundred percent and more than double in size of employees dedicated to making the locums experience a great one for all sides.”
Curious about locum tenens opportunities in the U.S. and throughout the world? You can click here to see what opportunities are currently available.
Short staffed at your facility? Click here to learn about how Global Medical can help with your staffing needs, domestically or abroad.
It’s a tempting idea: Ditch the rat-race for six months (or longer), practice overseas where you can work in the morning and surf or hike in the afternoon—or perhaps the other way around.
It’s also quite possible: Thousands of your colleagues are doing it right now.
The plusses of such work extend beyond catching the perfect wave or “throwing another shrimp on the barbie,” as our Australian friends might say. There’s the chance to engage a different culture, work in a new environment, and enjoy a “working sabbatical” from which you can jump off to explore another part of the world.
For those interested in volunteer and humanitarian work, a short-term overseas assignment can provide proximity to service areas and the extra financial resources to make it happen.
But what do you really know about international locum tenens, and how to get in on the action?
Here are some basic details to help you get started:
THE FEW, THE QUALIFIED, THE LOCUMS PHYSICIANS.
We know practice standards differ from country to country, so it’s important to note that, although there are sometimes exceptions, an international locum tenens practitioner generally must be board certified or board eligible to practice in Australia or New Zealand. In those countries, they also want you to have recent, extensive, postgraduate training or experience–three or more years in a comparable health system. Requirements will always vary from position to positon depending on a number of factors including specialty and training.
Our friends Down Under also want to make sure your medical school is listed in either the WHO Directory of Medical Schools or the ECFMG/FAIMER Directory.
To work in Canada or Singapore, you’ll need to be board certified or a fellow of the various specialty colleges, though this doesn’t apply to Family Medicine or Emergency Medicine physicians.
So, clearly, an international locum tenens assignment may not be possible for everyone—some practitioners may not have all the needed qualifications yet. If your background meets the requirements, you might be able to quickly embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Unsure of whether you meet the qualifications? Give one of our international experts a call and they’ll let you know how your training measures up to what our clients are looking for.
THEY NEED YOU, THEY REALLY, REALLY NEED YOU!
If you’re qualified, here’s some good news: You’re probably needed. Just as there’s a growing need for healthcare in the U.S., the world’s needs are growing, too. In rural and underserved areas of Australia and New Zealand, for example, the need for physicians is strong, because there may well not be enough doctors—or those in your specialty—to go around. Some community hospitals struggle to provide basic services due to a variety of factors: new graduates choosing specialization, expanding local populations, and fill-ins for doctors on maternity leave or who have accrued long-term sabbaticals.
According to Global Medical Staffing international placement specialist Sara Cosmano, “Many of our openings are in attractive communities that have simply grown and require additional medical assistance. Many of the communities are coastal cities with populations ranging from twenty thousand to a million people.”
Translation: You won’t be stuck in the middle of nowhere! (Unless you want to be, that is.)
The compensation is nothing to sneeze at. Your airfare, housing, transportation, and malpractice coverage are typically paid for. Pay will vary from country to country but it’s important to understand that overseas locum tenens assignments generally don’t pay as much as positions in the United States. However, international positions offer additional benefits such as the opportunity to see the world, unique cultural experiences, the chance to help in areas of need, and better work/life balance. Wherever you practice, you’ll earn a competitive wage that will allow you to live comfortably and travel.
If you're not a native English speaker, you may be required to take and pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam which measures language proficiency. The test, which has been designed to avoid cultural bias, places users in bands from "1" (non-user) to "9" for an expert speaker.
If it’s nice to be somewhere that you’re wanted, an international locum tenens assignment could provide that — and more.
YOU CAN PUT PATIENTS FIRST. TRULY.
Thanks to the healthcare systems in place in many countries such as Australia and New Zealand, it’s possible for a physician to concentrate on patient care. Yes, there are systems and recordkeeping (paper-based or digital) to be involved with, but the emphasis is on providing optimal care.
Here’s what Sara Cosmano has to say: “Doctors are respected members of the community and patients are genuinely thankful for medical care. Both countries still focus heavily on quality patient care over the business and financial aspects of medicine—one of the top reasons many of our physicians choose to extend or repeat their locum experience.”
That can be a refreshing change from the competing demands a physician faces in the U.S.
IT CAN LEAD TO A WHOLE NEW LIFE — OR A NEW LEASE ON YOUR CURRENT ONE!
The writer David Foster Wallace was right when he said, "Routine, repetition, tedium, monotony…these are the true hero's enemies." It’s not difficult to fall into a rut with the practice of medicine in one place and under one system over time.
Many of those who take international locum tenens assignments say the experience sparked new enthusiasm for doing the work they do. After a few months or a year overseas, they return to the U.S. with a renewed vigor, new experiences under their belt, and perhaps new ways of viewing things. They and their families enjoy the experience of living in a different culture, as well as the travel opportunities this affords.
You could call it a “refresh” or a “reboot” when things have perhaps gone a bit stale—and you get paid for it! Best of all? Working overseas assignments gives many physicians the freedom and work/life balance they so badly want, but can’t get, here in the U.S. Generally speaking, you’ll get to spend more time seeing fewer patients, you’ll work less hours and even get have more time off to travel and explore.
But for some, the adventure goes even further. We’ve seen many practitioners take to living and working overseas and want to extend their assignments indefinitely. Our assistance in placing them on an international locum tenens can be a vital first step towards an overseas relocation, and our staff is here to guide job-seekers through every aspect of the process.
Think about it: your skills, training and experience are in demand in right now in some of the most beautiful locations in the world. You can be well compensated for those skills and expertise, and show your family things they’d possibly never see otherwise, certainly not as part of a new and exciting culture.
An international locum tenens assignment can revitalize your practice of medicine, offer new experiences and perhaps lead to an entirely new life and lifestyle.
Global Medical has placed thousands of top-caliber doctors in facilities throughout Australia and New Zealand, the U.S. and its territories, Southeast Asia, the South Pacific, the Caribbean and Canada. We actively recruit doctors from the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe; though we also have recruited doctors from such far-flung areas as Iceland.
To get the process started you can click here to request more information or click below to see what’s currently available.
Getting a state license can be quite the process. It’s not only a lot of stress. It’s a lot of time, too. Depending on the state, you’re looking at anywhere from a few weeks to a few months until you’ve got your hands on one. You’re also looking at a few weeks or a few months until you can practice medicine where you want. Locum tenens doctors face this concern quite a bit.
Obtaining a brand-new license and memorization of each respective state’s guidelines takes a lot of effort. With all the hurdles and hard-fought processes that come along with securing a state license you might be stuck with no license or even a lapsed license. What’s the fallout? You’re missing out on awesome locum tenens opportunities left and right.
The bottom line, time is precious—especially in a doctor’s world. In the grand scope, patient care should be paramount instead of processes. Sometimes the latter gets in the way of performing the former. If you spent less time securing and/or renewing licenses (and all the rigmarole that goes along with it) then a lot more of your time could be spent enjoying the practice of medicine.
Let’s say there’s an opportunity in California you really want three or four months from now. You might think that license will take a minimum of six months. All sorts of i’s need to be dotted and t’s crossed. Sounds nearly impossible, right? Wrong. We've helped motivated physicians license in California in as little as three or four months and take the opportunity they wanted, when they wanted.
Other states like Oregon and Texas require even more in-depth information. If you have a diverse practice history then requesting and obtaining those verifications can be very time consuming. Still, we're known to cut time and costs so you can focus on what's really important. In other words, keep working your current position while we help you obtain a license for your next position—and your next and your next and your next.
You’ve probably heard us mention over the years that, “For a short commitment, we’ll walk you through the licensing process and even pay the costs.” That’s the truth. We handle it all so you can enjoy practicing in the present; so you don’t have to be burdened by the worry of state licensure.
Are you currently working on the West Coast and want to obtain a license on the East? We can make that happen. Again, for a short commitment, we’ll license you anywhere.
Let us help you practice not only when you want but where you want, too. Don’t limit yourself. Take that opportunity in Alaska or Hawaii you were really excited for. We’re experts in state licensing. In fact, we have a resident expert on hand any time you’re in need. Have state-by-state questions? Click here to meet Andrea. Then ask her a question by phone, email or the click of a button (right next to her bio). She knows everything there is to know about what it takes to get a license—in all 50 states. She'll check to see that you meet the minimum requirements for licensure upfront, pre-populate your paperwork, send out all verifications and follow up with the board and verifying entities to ensure your license is secured as quickly as possible.
Want more information on what it takes to locum stateside? Visit our Ask an Expert page, too.