Locum Tenens FAQ

Posted by:
Covelo Direct
Black surgeon giving instruction to medical team
Black surgeon giving instruction to medical team

Are you new to locum tenens?  We’re glad you’re here!

Below is a list of answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who are considering working with Covelo Direct.

What does locum tenens mean?

Locum tenens is a Latin term meaning “to hold the place of.” True to its translation, locum tenens physicians fill in temporarily to hold the place of a full-time physician.

How does it work?

The staffing experts at Covelo Direct match physicians and advanced practitioners with temporary positions in various locations and clinical settings. Our locum tenens physicians are paid as 1099 contract employees of Covelo Direct, and you will receive your wages on a weekly basis via direct deposit.

How long are typical assignments?

The duration of locum tenens assignments can vary from a single shift to many months. In fact, some assignments can last up to a year or more. You’ll know the expected length of an assignment before you’re expected to commit.

Am I compensated for travel and lodging?

Yes. Covelo Direct will reimburse you for travel, lodging, and transportation to and from the workplace (e.g., rental car or rideshare).

How do I get a medical license to work in a different state?

Covelo Direct will guide you through the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) application and will pay the associated fees on your behalf. This simple application process will allow you to practice medicine in most U.S. states. We can also facilitate your licensure in the states that currently do not participate in the compact.

Who is responsible for my liability insurance?

Covelo Direct covers your liability insurance premium and contracts with A-rated insurance companies. 

Does my salary include health insurance benefits?

Covelo Direct does not provide health insurance benefits. As a 1099 independent contractor, you will be responsible for obtaining an individual health insurance plan that meets your needs.

How do I handle paying taxes?

Our physicians are 1099 independent contractors, meaning we do not withhold income taxes from paychecks. This means you’ll need to determine your own withholdings and schedule your own payments of state and federal income taxes. For some locum tenens physicians, it makes sense to set up an LLC or an S Corp. for tax purposes. We urge you to consult a tax professional to discuss your options.

Can I work locum tenens full time?

Yes. If you are flexible, responsive, and willing to travel, locum tenens can be your sole source of income. Our staffing team is expert at negotiating competitive hourly rates for our physicians.

Can I still work locums if I want to keep my full-time job?

Yes. We have many physicians who choose to work locums as a “side hustle” to supplement a full-time salary. Your recruiter will partner with you to seek out opportunities that are a fit for your unique circumstances.

What are the advantages of choosing locum tenens over a full-time position?

Entry-level physicians appreciate locum tenens for the opportunity to explore their options before settling down. Locum tenens can be an incredible means of paying down medical school loans while having your housing and travel paid for. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to experience different cities, states, and healthcare systems before you commit to a permanent position.

Locum tenens work is also attractive to experienced physicians who are easing into retirement. Locums can offer a smooth transition to a lighter schedule and fewer work commitments outside of direct patient care.

The biggest locum tenens advantage we hear from physicians again and again, no matter what stage in their career, is “work/life balance.” With locum tenens, you decide where and how often you want to work, and Covelo Direct will find the employment opportunities that fit the bill. A medical career that fits your desired lifestyle is finally within reach. If you have any questions that we didn’t answer here, we’d love to hear from you. Click here to schedule an introductory phone call.