A big thank you to locumstory.com for sponsoring this post! Locumstory.com is an educational online resource about all things locum tenens. Their website has tons of information about the ins and outs of locum tenens and first-hand perspectives from locum physicians to help you determine if locum tenens is right for you.
International locum tenens can help you explore the world, “live like a local” in another country, and enjoy a slower pace of living. In the prior post, we discussed how to start an international locums adventure.
Now, we’ll help you find an international locum tenens assignment and outline 5 steps to help you thrive!
How do I find an international locum tenens assignment?
There is more than one way to find an international locum tenens assignment. Using an agency is probably the easiest for a newcomer. Global Medical Staffing, for example, has long-standing partnerships with health systems and individual facilities worldwide and has staffed physicians in some countries for more than 25 years.
You can also search for them on your own. However, if you choose to look at job advertisements yourself, keep these factors in mind:
- When facilities advertise locally, they are typically looking for physicians already licensed and registered in their country.
- If they are willing to consider a foreign physician, they are only sometimes willing to help with the licensing and visa processes or cover travel, housing, and transportation.
The advantage of going with an international locums agency like Global Medical is that they specialize in international locums and will walk you through the entire process. They know international facilities well and can help ensure a great fit. They have deep experience and can walk you through the complex visa, credentialing, and licensing processes.
Additionally, an agency will typically take care of the travel, transportation, and housing or provide a non-taxable stipend. Global Medical will even help you with setting up bank accounts.
Plus, having a safety net to help with anything that comes up while you’re on assignment is nice.
Global Medical takes care of all the tedious details so you can focus on patient care and adapting to your new environment.
Starting an Assignment?
Here are 5 steps to help you thrive!
1. Be respectful and adapt to your new environment
All healthcare facilities that bring in locums are extremely grateful for the help, but they’re not looking for foreign physicians to come in and make changes. They have a system already. Although many things are similar, be prepared to be open-minded and collaborative.
💡LEARN MORE: What to know about locums in the Caribbean
2. Recognize that it’s different out there
Understand that housing and transportation — and sometimes medical facilities — will be less sophisticated than you may be used to. For example, the housing in New Zealand may not have air conditioning or central heating, for instance. Everything will be nice, clean, and comfortable but may be more modest. Be open to the adventure and willing to go with the flow.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
There are many resources for new international locum tenens physicians. Global Medical’s recruiters have a deep knowledge of these locations and can help you know what to expect. You can also read what physicians who have already worked there have to say. Global Medical can even connect you with physicians willing to share their experiences in the same place you plan to go.
4. Do your research
Try to learn as much as you can about where you’re going. Find out the international cost of living, what types of goods you can and can’t buy, and what the exchange rate will be if you send money back to the U.S. or digitally pay U.S. bills.
5. Plan for your absence
What are you going to do about what you’re leaving behind? Make a plan for your home while you’re gone. Are you going to rent it out, winterize it, or hire a house sitter?
Bottom Line, Live the Adventure
No matter where you decide to go, an international locum tenens assignment can revitalize your practice of medicine, offer new experiences, and lead to an entirely new life and lifestyle.
Now, I’d love to hear from you!
What would be your most important consideration when deciding whether or not to do international locums?
Let me know in the comments below!
Kari Redfield is a professional content marketing writer. She also is a novelist and writes for newsstand magazines. She’s been known to spend weeks in the U.S. West in her Aliner, checking out classic trad rock climbs, epic mountain bike rides, and other adventures.