Picking a locums physician

It’s been nearly eleven years now that I have been physician recruiting.  All the years I have been recruiting I have always recruited locum tenens physicians.

People are always amazed in discussion of my work that physicians do temporary work (Locums Tenens).  I explain to them that some physicians want extra money, some are between jobs, some do the work as a working interview and some are semi-retired and just want to keep working.

The next question out of these people’s mouths is, “how do you know if they’re a good physician?”  Now that’s the six million dollar question.

I am certainly not qualified to be a physician, yet I evaluate them everyday and determine whether they are someone to recommend and represent.  So, what’s the secret?  Obviously there’s a process involved.  You conduct an interview most likely over the phone, conduct references on the physicians work and character and review his resume and ask difficult questions about their past work history.

However there’s one simple element that I think gets over-looked.  Use your gut and common sense.  Not everybody has intution.  Too many recruiters overlook serious personality flaws in physicians.  An example, a physician that makes excuses for his past work history and performance.  The physician blames someone else for their past work history of leaving a practice.

The fact is, I could go on and on about the number of times physicians showcase their flaws in an interview or just present them right on their CV.  Use ethical instincts instead of trying to just make a sale.  This locum tenens industry could use a good name.  It must start with recruiters making ethical choices.  Logical choices rather than just putting people to work and hoping they work out.  That’s not a long term vision.  It’s a short-sighted gain.