Finding the right physician to fill in for you

November 1, 2006

When you need some time off, finding coverage for your practice typically involves two routes: You can either reach an agreement with outside physicians to step in as needed or hire locum tenens physicians.

When you need some time off, finding coverage for your practice typically involves two routes: You can either reach an agreement with outside physicians to step in as needed or hire locum tenens physicians. The former is most often used for short-term absences, while the latter is useful for longer-term absences or in areas where compatible and available physicians in your specialty are scarce.

In both cases the experts agree that planning is essential, according to American Medical News (8/28/2006). Such planning will protect you legally and financially and ensure the proper care of your patients.

Although making an arrangement with outside physicians often involves a verbal understanding with no exchange of money, you might want to consider having both parties meet with an attorney to discuss a written agreement. Also consider these tips: