Becoming a Medical Missionary Through Locum Tenens Work

How to save children by day and be a sci-fi author at night.

What does writing sci-fi books have in common with serving as a medical missionary? If you’re Dr. Walter Boutwell, a Neonatologist from Montgomery, Alabama, locum tenens is the secret behind his ability to do both.

Inspired by his grandparents who were medical missionaries in China before the first World War, Boutwell knew he wanted to be a missionary one day, but wasn’t sure how it would work with his career and lifestyle.

Now, he has been a locum tenens physician for 17 years, which has given him the freedom to pursue medical missions across the globe, treating malnutrition, malaria and other diseases in children from India to Zambia.

It’s challenging work, but Boutwell learns from locals wherever he goes.

“I got through medical school without ever seeing a case of typhoid, now I can see 10 in a day,” Boutwell said in an appearance on ReachMD Radio.

After 40+ years in medicine and raising children, he deserves some off-time, too. He and his wife, who is also a physician, have dedicated time to traveling the world thanks to his ability to work when he wants.

Something Boutwell didn’t expect – his missions led to him become a published novelist. Inspired by a conversation he had with a boy he was treating in Ghana, he has released the first book in a three-part sci-fi series called Outland Exile.

He calls it a “portable hobby” (he wrote part of it on a boat during a trip to Hungary), one made possible by his locum tenens lifestyle.

To hear the full interview with Dr. Boutwell, in which he delves into specifics on his travels and advice for other medical professionals who want to get started in mission work, click here.

Connect With Us

Federal facts for you.

We are a Federal Supply Schedule Contract holder. 

Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Contract: 36F79723D0086, Professional and Allied Healthcare Staffing, effective March 15, 2023, through March 14, 2028.

NAICS Codes:
  • 561320: Temporary help services. 
  • 621111: Offices of physicians. 
  • 621112: Offices of physicians, mental health specialists. 
  • 621399: Offices of all other miscellaneous health practitioners. 
  • 621330: Offices of mental health practitioners.


Once you and our client agree to move forward with your assignment, our privileging team will assist you and the client in gathering information required by the healthcare facility to grant clinical privileges.


We contact the facility’s Medical Service Office (MSO) for their application and requirements.


We will assist you by pre-populating the facility’s application and sending to the MSO.


We will assist the MSO by following up on requested items.


MSO will grant privileges based on your training and experience, and you will be able to start your assignment.

Headshot of Maggie Youmans

Maggie Youmans

Senior Vice President, Sales

As Senior Vice President, Maggie oversees several key specialty divisions and adjacent teams. With a demonstrated history of leading teams and developing individuals across the organization, she is dedicated to inspiring, challenging and empowering associates to achieve their personal and professional goals. 

Maggie earned degrees in marketing and management focused on consumer economics from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business. She enjoys traveling with her husband to visit different bed and breakfasts. Together, they have been able to see the beauty within their own backyard and across the country.

Connect with Maggie on LinkedIn.

Headshot of Anne Anderson

Anne Anderson

Executive Vice President

"I'm passionate about the locum tenens industry - we make a real difference in the lives of both our heroic healthcare providers and the patients they treat."

Anne has been at the forefront of the evolution of locum tenens for more than 35 years. She’s a respected leader with expertise in corporate operations, risk management, credentialing, and travel services. Before joining Jackson + Coker, she served as Executive Vice President at Medical Doctor Associates, part of Cross Country Healthcare. 

An ardent industry advocate, Anne served several years on the Board of the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO), including two years as president. 

Anne received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Spring Hill College. She is also a PADI open water diver and enjoys scuba diving. 

Connect with Anne on LinkedIn.