Interview by Dr. Madalyn Davidson
MD: Why did you hire a dental locum?
JK: I hired a dental locum to cover my third maternity leave.
MD: How long were you away from your practice?
JK: I had originally planned on being away for about 6 weeks. My maternity leave did not go as planned and I had to take 2 more weeks of leave.
MD: Do you wish you had taken more or less time?
JK: I wish I had been able to take another 2 weeks.
MD: Was it affordable to take time away? Do you have any advice on how to make it an affordable option?
JK: It was affordable for me; however, I had to plan ahead and save for about 6 months to make it affordable. I paid on a daily guarantee with a percentage above and beyond for production above the daily guarantee. I was able to estimate the total minimum cost for me to have my office covered.
MD: How did you find your dental locum?
JK: I explored many options. I ran online ads on several sites, called a newer temporary service, and messaged my dental school classmates and colleagues. I had to hire two dental locums to cover my leave. I brought back the recently retired previous owner of my practice to cover hygiene days. I found my other dental locum through a friend of a classmate. It was a lot of stress trying to find someone.
MD: What reservations did you have prior to deciding to hire a dental locum?
JK: I was concerned about the cost of hiring someone to cover my practice. I had reservations about the care the dental locum would provide to my patients.
MD: Did you have any issues you would like to pass on to other dentists looking to hire a locum so they are better informed and feel more comfortable taking time away from their practice?
JK: The dental locums that I brought on were great with my patients. My patients understood that I needed time away from the office and they were happy I had someone there to help in case of emergency. I was very glad I had coverage for my office as I had a stroke about 4 weeks after the birth of my son and I needed additional time for physical and occupational therapy. It was one less thing I had to worry about during that important healing time.
MD: What is the minimum time away that makes it worth hiring a locum? One week? One month? etc..
JK: I would say that if your leave is 2 weeks or longer, it would make sense to bring on a locum. I have taken 1 week vacations and not had an issue with patient care.
MD: Any other ideas, thoughts, wisdom you can pass along would be great!
JK: If we do not take care of ourselves (mentally and physically,) we will not be able to take care of our practice or our patients.
MD: Great advice Dr. Kinsella, and thank you for sharing your story!
If anyone is interested in more info about hiring a locum or if you are interested in being a dental locum please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.