What Comes After Residency?

Locum tenens after residency.

Post Residency Career

A startling reality: many physicians leave their first position out of residency within two years.

There are many factors behind physicians leaving their “starter jobs,” but one major driver is a mismatch between the facility and a young physician eager for his or her first job.

One solution is locum tenens.

“Work locums for a few years,” Dr. Steven Youngblood told Today’s Hospitalist.  “You can try a few places out and they can try you out.”

By entering into locums straight out of residency, you’re able to see what practice environment, area of the country or schedule works best for you while you’re still evaluating your long-term goals. You’ll still have your pick of locations, too, since nearly all United States facilities use them.

It can also save you from entering into a long-term contract or investing in upfront startup costs with a practice before you know if it’s the right fit.

Getting started.

So how do you get started in locum tenens? Start with a recruiter.

Dr. Susan Wilturner, a family practice physician in California, says too often residents ignore recruiters’ free services. You owe a recruiter nothing, but he or she will get do the legwork of finding open positions that suit your unique qualifications and requirements.

Once you agree to a position, a recruitment agency will help coordinate everything from travel costs to housing coverage to your direct deposit.

Choosing a locums agency.

Here’s what you should look for when choosing a locums agency, according to the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations:

  • Ask your mentors and other physicians you know who they’d recommend.
  • Have an introductory phone call with a recruiter so you can talk about yourself and what you’re looking for. Get a feel for the recruiter and how he or she works. Go with your gut.
  • Make sure the company offers “A” rated malpractice insurance to all physicians.
  • Ask about how the agency handles travel arrangements, and ensure you’ll have a way to reach someone 24/7 should a travel problem arise.
  • Know who your CV is presented to before it’s offered to a facility.
  • Work with a recruiter you trust.
  • Consider an agency that is a NALTO member, meaning they abide by an agreed upon code of ethics.

If you do eventually decide that permanent placement is for you, your time working locums will have tremendous career value, providing you a broad spectrum of experiences and insights you can take into your new role.

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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.