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|Five Things to Ask Your Locum Tenens Agency Health Articles | September 18 , 2011
With more and more medical staffing agencies offering assignments for locum tenens physicians, the market is becoming a bit muddled for individual doctors looking to sign on for work. Differen...
With more and more medical staffing agencies offering assignments for locum tenens physicians, the market is becoming a bit muddled for individual doctors looking to sign on for work. Different agencies offer different types of compensation , benefits, assignment varieties, and so on. Making sure you find an agency that's a good fit for you will go a long way in ensuring a positive work experience. The following five questions are things you should ask any agency you're considering signing on with.
1. How do your pay scale and benefits compare to what permanent positions in the same field make?
It's unrealistic to think that as a substitute doctor working for an agency , you will earn as much as a full-time, permanent physician. If you could, there would be no such thing as full-time , permanent physicians because they would all jump on the locum tenens bandwagon. That said your pay and benefits should be comparable. Most agencies are not going to try the low-ball you, due to the extreme shortage of doctors, but you may run into one that does now and again.
2. Does your contract include travel and housing expenses?
Almost all locum tenens contracts include allowance for travel; housing may be another matter. You need to know not only whether or not these things are provided , but also whether the agency pays them directly or reimburses you afterward. Also keep in mind that agency travel and housing policies have tax implications that you'll need to take into consideration when you file your returns.
3. Who is responsible for paying my malpractice insurance?
This is a big one which could be a deal breaker for either party. As a general rule of thumb you should always plan on paying at least a portion of your malpractice insurance on your own. Most doctors will end up paying the full bill themselves anyway. If your staffing agency offers to pay all or part of your malpractice policy, be sure to ask the size of the policy. If it is the bare minimum you might want to carry your own supplemental policy.
4. Can you provide a cross-section of the types of physicians you currently have under contract?
The shortage of doctors around the country means that you shouldn't have trouble finding work regardless of which staffing agency you work with. But if you're specific about the geographic location you want to work in, and you also have a low-demand specialty , this question is an important one. You don't want to be stuck in a situation where there is too much competition among doctors for the same assignments. Make sure you sign on where there's an environment with enough work readily available.
5. Can you provide me a list of the institutions you supply physicians to?
You can tell a lot about a staffing agency by the institutions they contract with. The best staffing agencies will have the best names attached to them both at the institutional level and the private practice level. The more reputable the agency is, the more likely it is that you will be retreated well.
Article Tags: Locum Tenens, Staffing Agency
Being consistent when children are less than perfect can make you feel dreadful. However consistency is one of the most important elements in the relationship with your children , but it is the one most frequently overlooked.
Consistency means dealing with the little misbehaviours and not letting them grow into bigger behaviours. It means saying no to children's constant requests for five more minutes of television at night or a third serve of ice cream. It means following through and allowing children to experience a consequence when they misbehave every time. It doesn't mean if children arrive home after dark from a friend's place you ground them sometimes but at other times you just voice your disapproval. That type of inconsistency makes you responsible for children's misbehaviour and teaches children nothing about accountability.
Consistency also means that both parents have a similar approach to behaviours. If mum is too strict and dad is too lenient children will know who to go to if they wish to take advantage. They will soon play one parent off against each other. If a child wants to get away without doing a job or stay an extra hour at a friend's place just ask dad because he is easy-going. Even if you are separated, talk about your approaches to discipline and find some common ground. Agree on such issues as family rules, pocket money , and guidelines for going out and suitable consequences for misbehaviour.
If you disagree with a partner's approach do so behind closed doors. When unplanned situations occur don't be afraid to tell your children that you need to consult with your partner before making a decision. Children will realise that you are working as a team and that you are making a considered approach to their behaviour or request.
Consistency, like routines, are often sacrificed by busy working parents and put in the 'too hard basket?. When we are tired , stretched and overworked the last thing we want to do is engage in a battle with children over what are sometimes petty issues. You may have spent the whole day dealing with difficult customers or colleagues only to come home and find that you have another battle on your hands with equally belligerent children. So to avoid an argument, a tantrum or tears you give in to your chil.