How a Locum Tenens Job May Help You Combat Physician Burnout or Depression

Long hours. Lives on the line. Seemingly impossible choices. Given the immense pressures and responsibilities put on the shoulders of physicians, it’s intelligible that depression and burnout are constant threats to doctors across all specialties. Studies have estimated that more than 10% of male physicians and nearly 20% of female physicians are depressed. While a healthy amount of stress can be beneficial, chronically-high stress can lead to a host of health issues.

High levels of stress—coupled with minimal recovery time and being buried in excessive paperwork and documentation—can result in physician burnout and feelings of hopelessness. Performance-based compensation spurs physicians to work longer hours and cram more into each hour worked. Crippling student loan debt heightens the feeling of there being no end in sight. However, hope may come in the form of a less-common career choice—locum tenens jobs.

Locum Tenens Jobs Can Help You Recharge

Depending on your facility, you likely have more responsibilities than simply caring for patients. Research, committees, teaching—while important, these roles can be draining and contribute to burnout. As a locum tenens provider, your responsibilities outside of providing excellent medical care to your patients will likely be minimal. Being able to focus on medicine can recharge you and even remind you why you entered this profession: to help patients.

Locum tenens providers have more bargaining power to create a schedule that works for them. Collaborate with your NEXTLocums recruiter to create a contract that ensures you work only when you want to. You are not at the mercy of those who pay your salary—you are helping them fill critical needs, which gives you the upper hand. A more manageable and flexible workload will provide better work-life balance and allow you to focus on things other than the practice of medicine.

Changes In Scenery Often Carry Major Benefits

As a locum tenens provider, you can take assignments in exciting locales to combat burnout associated with doing the same thing day after day, year after year. Your recruiter will help you match with facilities in locations that benefit you. After a time, if the feelings of burnout creep back in, you can move onto the next destination with a new facility, new patient population, new colleagues, and new sight-seeing opportunities. Pick a hospital near the beach if you dream of spending your days off on the water. A rural clinic locum tenens position, or even an IHS job, will allow you to get back to nature with hiking and camping. If you’d like to partake in the big-city life, many urban facilities need locum tenens physicians to fill staffing needs. The opportunities for travel are nearly endless as a locum tenens physician.

Regardless of your motivations to seek a change in career path, locum tenens medicine can provide a multitude of benefits for those who are willing to leave the comfort of their current position. Gain valuable experience, build your resume, and network with providers across the country with each new locum tenens contract you sign.

If you find yourself battling depression and burnout, statistics show you are not alone. Speak with a locum tenens recruiter today to take control of your career and make the change to a more flexible and rewarding career path.

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