Creating a Portfolio Career with Locum Tenens at the Center

A lot is changing in the world of medicine. Between electronic health records, the new push for outcome-based medicine, and the ongoing shortages of doctors in nearly every specialty, the way healthcare is delivered in 2018 is vastly different from what patients were accustomed to just two decades ago. Even doctors are changing the way they are pursuing their careers.

There is a new wave among doctors of all ages to shift away from traditional career model’s in order to build portfolio careers instead. What is a portfolio career? The best way to look at it is along the same lines as a good investment portfolio.

Any financial adviser worth his/her salt will tell you not to put all your investment funds in one place. Diversification is key to both profitability and stemming losses. So you put some money in stocks, some in bonds, and still more in commodities, real estate, etc.

A portfolio career is based on the same principle. Rather than spending 20 to 30 years working for a single facility or owning a practice, the doctor works multiple jobs in a variety of settings. Many of them work multiple opportunities simultaneously, just like you might own several different stocks and commodities all the same time.

A Locum Tenens Core

There are as many ways to create a portfolio career as there are doctors doing it. One of the most straightforward ways to do it is to use locum tenens as the core and then build out from there. Like an investor who starts with a couple of mutual funds for stability, the doctor starts with locum tenens to ensure a reliable revenue stream.

The locum tenens work itself offers an opportunity for variety. Doctors can choose the facilities they want to work at and the kind of work they want to do. And of course, changing locations every 3 to 6 months certainly breaks things up.

Beyond straight locum work, a doctor can reduce his or her clinical schedule in order to take some non-clinical opportunities as well. Said opportunities can be as diverse as a doctor’s interests, passions, and skills.

Adding Other Opportunities

So what are some of the other kinds of opportunities a doctor can add to his or her portfolio? Educational opportunities immediately come to mind. A doctor could work three days a week as a locum physician filling in at a couple of local hospitals. The other two days he/she could teach a course at the university.

Educational opportunities are a terrific way to change things up and impart some of that knowledge you have gained over the years to the next generation. If education is not your thing, another possibility is medical journalism.

There are quite a few medical journalists who combine their passion for journalism with regular locum work. Journalism time is spent writing blog posts, doing radio and television interviews, developing a social media following, creating YouTube videos, and so forth.

Build Your Own Portfolio

Building a portfolio career is especially enjoyable when you realize that you have complete control over your portfolio. By not being locked into a single employer for decades on end, you have greater control over how you want your career to progress.

Building a portfolio career is the latest career trend among America’s doctors. For many of them, it is made possible by starting with locum tenens work. If nothing else, a portfolio career is anything but mundane or routine. Every new opportunity added to the portfolio makes a doctor’s career that much more fulfilling and exciting.

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