The Gig is Up: Rise of the Locum Life in Medicine
Today on Locumunity’s blog, we are featuring Dr. Andrew Wilner, a neurologist with a medical career spanning nearly 40 years, including 10 years of locum tenens experience.
He is also author of the ultimate locum tenens guide, “The Locum Life: A Physician’s Guide to Locum Tenens.”
Being a physician-led initiative, Locumunity is honored to add Dr. Wilner as an official member of our advisory board as we work towards a shared vision to empower physicians to reclaim ownership over their job search and add transparency.
- Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey as a physician:
- I’m board-certified in both internal medicine and neurology and a practicing neurologist. I also did an epilepsy fellowship at the Montreal Neurologic Institute.
- During a ten-year period, I worked locums and established a second career as a medical journalist. In my free time, I frequently traveled to the Philippines, where I became a PADI divemaster and accomplished underwater videographer.
- While working locums at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN, and later at the Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, AZ, I realized that the combination of clinical work and medical student and resident teaching suited me as the ideal practice style.
- When I got married, I searched for a permanent position. The security of locums allowed a leisurely job search. After two years, I found the perfect position as Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN. It’s my dream job.
- For those who may not be familiar with the term “locum tenens” can you explain what it means?
The term applies to physicians who work temporary assignments as independent contractors.
- In the over 30 years that you’ve been practicing what have been the major changes in medicine that you’ve noted?
When I graduated from Brown Medical School in Providence, RI, in 1981, the ideal medical career meant owning one’s own practice. Unfortunately, the business of medicine has changed since then. In 2016, for the first time, more than 50% of physicians worked as employees. The number of practice owners continues to shrink. Also, many physicians are “burnt out,” struggling desperately to find work/life balance. Some have left clinical medicine to pursue nonclinical careers. Others have succumbed to suicide.
- What inspired you to write a guidebook relating to Locum Tenens work?
Locum tenens helped me achieve professional satisfaction and work/life balance.
I wanted to share this option with other physicians looking for an alternative path to success, which is why I authored The Locum Life: A Physician’s Guide to Locum Tenens.
- Anything else to add to our interview today?
Locum tenens isn’t for everyone. It requires personal and professional flexibility and an entrepreneurial spirit.
Locumunity is a data and community driven tech startup aiming to create a direct connection between the locum physicians and medical facilities.