Dental Locuming an Emerging Career Choice for Dentists
What is a locum?
The Latin phrase locum tenens means ‘placeholding or ‘substituting’. A locum or temporary is a medical professional who uses his or her skills to help underserved communities or fill in for professionals on holiday or maternity leave. Locuming is an established practice with doctors and nurses, and is a fast-growing career choice for dentists and dental hygenists.
Explore new territory
Locuming gives a new dentist the chance to explore locations, develop a network, and get a wide range of experience before establishing his or her own practice. Stepping into multiple offices as a locum gives the new dentist a unique, hands-on look at multiple ways to run a dental business.
Semi-retired? Still want to work, but tired of owning your own practice?
Locuming gives experienced dentists the opportunity to continue practicing dentistry at a pace and schedule they choose after they have sold their practice. Consider selling your practice at its highest value, and then continue on to locum and work when you choose to throughout the year. Filling in for other dentists on vacation, maternity or paternity leave, or medical leave provides flexibility in semi-retirement and add a great benefit and time off for another owner dentist.
Find the perfect associateship or partner
Some associates do not want to own their own practice, and dental temping can help those dentists find the best match for an associateship. Many locum jobs naturally evolve into associateships.
The need for locuming dentists has never been greater
Currently dental school classes consist of nearly 50% women. Many of those women will become both practice owners and mothers. The dental industry is seeing the need for temporary dentists to help cover parental leaves for both male and female practice owners. Locuming allows owners to bond with their children without sacrificing the development of their practice.
Don’t discount the much needed vacation time or that double knee replacement you’ve been putting off
Vacations and dentist medical leaves are other common reasons to hire a locum. We work really hard as practice owners and deserve to take the time off to reset or take care of much needed medical needs.
Continuity of care for patients
Finding a locum that works well with your team and practice is very beneficial to not disrupt the continuity of care with patients. In dentistry we work in 6 month cycles. If you are gone for even one week of that and there is no patient care, you will see holes in your schedule in the next two to three 6 month cycles. Inviting a locum to cover your leave ensures that the flow of patients is not disrupted.
Benefits of being a dental locum include:
- Flexibility and freedom to work on your own terms
- No burden of management responsibilities
- No financial commitment of equipment, supplies, and real estate
- Business and clinical mentorship opportunities
- Test drive different locations within one area or between states