Tips for Successful Locum Tenens in a Competitive Market

As a consultant for general and trauma surgeons, I often get asked about what states are the best for locum tenens work. Most people would think that states such as California, New York, Florida and Texas are ripe with opportunity for locums coverage. Contrary to that belief, these markets can be extremely competitive due to the abundance of surgeons in these ares looking for work. These states have many metropolitan areas that do no rely on locums for supplemental coverage and have internal networks that provide help. These states still do have locums opportunities, mostly in rural locations, but how do you get a leg up on those who will be competing for opportunities in these competitive states?

I like to use California as a great example of a competitive locum tenen’s market. There are probably more surgeons with a California license than any other state, so when locums opportunities come up, they get quite a bit of attention. Licenses in this state usually take 3-6 months as well, so unless you have one in hand, looking into California locums opportunities is merely window shopping. With that said, I have several tips that help me get the surgeons I work with into locums jobs in a crowded market:

  • Be responsive. Speed is the name of the game, getting presented to a facility quickly in a crowded market is key to being seen. In California when a locums job opens up, it is not unheard of for the job to close within 1 hour due to the client getting enough presentations to work with. A great surgeon may miss out on an opportunity or not get a chance to be seen if they are late to the party. Make sure to let your rep know the best way to get a hold of you if they need to (phone, text, email). Your rep should have a stellar presentation ready to go ahead of time.
  • Being CompHealth credentialed and having worked an assignment with us will always carry weight with a client. You’ve been vetted and you’ve come through for us, and a client will trust that far more than someone who has not.
  • If you haven’t worked a CompHealth assignment, make sure you have at least completed the CompHealth application.
  • Letters of recommendation go a long way, please see my post:
  • CompHealth Bio – I build my committed surgeons a bio sheet that tells about the person behind the CV. I come from a marketing and graphic design background and love going the extra mile for those surgeons that really want to work. My client reps and clients love these, and I truly enjoy helping a potential decision maker know who they will be working with.
  • Don’t price yourself out – although I always advocate for the best rates for the people I work with, at the end of the day, locums is a market. Rates aren’t the number one thing that most facilities look at, but they do matter. Find out from your rep what other surgeons are being presented at and try to be competitive.

Thanks for reading my blog and good luck to you on your search!

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