Doctors: Hire a Locum and Take a Vacation

You are a private practice owner living the life you dreamed of back in medical school. Yet sometimes you feel as though you made a mistake. You are tired, you need a break, and you just cannot seem to get away from a heavy patient load that only grows with each passing quarter. Guess what? You need a vacation. Hiring a locum to fill in can make that possible.

Project Time Off, an organization that bills itself as a “national movement to transform American attitudes”, conducts an annual survey to gauge how workers are taking advantage of their vacation time. This year’s study showed that some 54% of American workers did not use all their vacation time for 2016. They estimated a combined 662 million vacation days left unused.

The interesting thing is that the survey did not detail specific professions. But you can rest assured that doctors are included in the 54% number. Doctors, particularly private practice owners, seem to have trouble taking vacation because they just do not think they can afford to. It is not a money thing; it is a fear that they will either return to a workload they cannot handle or their patients will suffer because they can’t be seen for a couple of weeks. Once again, a locum tenens physician is the answer.

You Need a Vacation

How many times have you suggested that a patient take some time off for health reasons? Probably many more times than you can remember. The truth is, we all need to take time away from the hassle and stress of daily life to relax and unwind. It is simply unhealthy to not do so. Doctors are not an exception to this rule.

You need a vacation. Furthermore, hiring a locum physician to come in and take your place erases any and all excuses you have for not using your vacation time. Read what Tiva Healthcare has to say about bringing in a locum to tend to your practice:

  • A locum allows your practice to keep up with current patient loads.
  • Your office will continue billing because patients are still being seen.
  • Patients will appreciate not having to wait two or three weeks for an appointment.
  • You can use a locum to get caught up in the weeks before your vacation.
  • You can keep the locum on for a few weeks after to make sure you do not fall behind on your return.

Competent, Trustworthy Professionals

If you are among those private practice owners who still believe the myth that locums are second-tier doctors who cannot make it as private practice physicians, it’s time for you to set that notion inside. It is simply not true. Staffing agencies like Tiva Healthcare are putting their own businesses and reputations on the line when they recruit physicians, so you can bet the doctors they bring on are competent, trustworthy professionals more than capable of filling in while you’re away.

Believe it or not, the average locum doctor goes through a recruitment and hiring process that is often more stringent than the hospitalist or employed group physician. Staffing agencies make sure of that, given that they are providing malpractice insurance. They cannot afford to put unqualified professionals on the job.

Are you among the 54% of Americans who left vacation time on the table in 2016? If so, make a commitment to your own health and peace of mind that you are not going to make the same mistake in 2017. Hire a locum physician and take a vacation. You need it.