Healthcare staffing agencies are seeing greater numbers of new doctors entering full-time locum work immediately following residency. And why not? Full-time locum work gives them an opportunity to travel, earn more money, and get a good idea of what is out there before deciding on a permanent career path. The one thing staffing agencies would change, if they could, was being able to recruit more doctors already prepared for locum tenens.
The tendency among medical residents is to believe that the work will come running to them when their residencies are up. That is not necessarily true. Yes, the average resident receives upwards of 100 contacts during the 12 months of residency, but those contacts may not amount to anything if the resident isn’t prepared. The need to be prepared applies to both locum tenens work and permanent placement positions.
As a medical resident yourself, are you prepared for the task of looking for work once your residency is over? Here are the recruiting industry’s top three tips for making sure you are:
1. Put Together a Solid CV
Your CV is the medical equivalent of the resume used in just about every other profession. Known more formally as the curriculum vitae, your CV summarizes your education and experience. The key to being prepared is to put together a solid CV that can be easily modified based on the position you are applying for.
A CV includes education, residency, licenses and certifications, fellowships, and any experience relevant to your chosen career. No amount of experience is too irrelevant to include. Having said that, your entire CV should fit on one page to maximize its effectiveness. That’s why you should create a document you can modify. Only the most important aspects of your CV should be on the document you give to each employer. What might be relevant to one position could be completely irrelevant to another. So create a basic document that can be customized for each position.
2. Hook Up with Some Recruiters
Going it alone as a locum tenens physician is entirely possible. Doctors do it all the time. However, those who succeed without going through a recruiting agency tend to be doctors with decades of experience and lots of contacts. As a new doctor just out of residency, you will not have that same name recognition or bargaining power. Your best bet is to hook up with a couple of recruiters.
By the way, don’t limit yourself to just one recruiter at one agency. Two or three agencies will lead to more assignment choices. It also might take you a couple of months to settle on a small number of agencies you work well with. You won’t know unless you shop around, so to speak.
3. Get Your References in Order
You are going to need solid references in order to complete the credentialing process. The good news is that staffing agencies tend to handle credentialing for their doctors before assignments are offered. This guarantees there will be no issues when the locum actually shows up for work. You can make the life of your recruiters a lot easier by having your references in order before you start looking at staffing agencies.
Being prepared as a new doctor fresh out of residency is really just a matter of having all your informational ducks in a row. The more information you can provide in a timely manner, the easier it will be to get you plugged into those locum assignments that will help you launch your career. Make it as easy as possible on your recruiters.