Q&A with a Locum Tenens: Dr. Val Jones

Aug 16, 2017

Work as a locum tenens comes with both challenges and rewards. As with any profession, the experiences and advice of your peers can be invaluable. At NEXTLocums, our team of recruiters takes measures to truly listen to the physicians we work with, and more importantly, apply their feedback to our own processes and interactions in an effort to strengthen our relationships and benefit the physicians we serve.

Recently, one of our physicians provided some insights around her own locum tenens experience. Dr. Val Jones, founder and CEO of Better Health™, spoke about both her profession and working with NEXTLocums:

NEXTLocums: What do you enjoy about locum tenens work?

Dr. Jones: You can control your schedule. The amount of work required of a doctor these days (beyond just patient care) is immense. It’s not just a 9-5 job; we are sometimes working 60–80 hours per week to meet documentation and regulatory requirements. The only way to be sure you get enough time off is to commit to short-term assignments.

Traveling also makes you a better doctor because you’re exposed to different patient populations and different healthcare environments. I have learned to be prepared to treat everything from tropical diseases to motorcycle accidents.

The “try before you buy” approach allows doctors to consider where they actually want to live or settle down. It’s also a way for hospitals to change the minds of physicians who might not initially think they’d like living in a rural area, for example.

NEXTLocums: How did you begin working with NEXTLocums?

Dr. Jones: I was working at a hospital through a different locum tenens agency and talked with a peer about his rates. It became obvious that my agency was offering me 40% less for the same job. So I asked to switch to his agency.

He referred me to NEXTLocums.

As a locum tenens physician, it’s important to have trust in an agency that has your best interest at heart. I ask myself if they are on my side or on the hospital’s side. These are the types of things you need to investigate.

NEXTLocums: Why do you like working with your NEXTLocums recruiter?

Dr. Jones: Keith [Meddock] is approachable and available all the time. I’m on the West Coast, so even in different time zones, he was incredibly responsive. Even on a sick day, he’s still texting me details.

Special thanks to Dr. Jones from the entire NEXTLocums team for her insights into the locum tenens field. Be sure to view her work on the Better Health™ website, where you can find a network of popular health bloggers.

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a locum tenens, reach out to a recruiter at NEXTLocums today.

Contact a NEXTLocums recruiter today.