Even though the literal meaning of locum tenens is a substitute, working in a locum position does not necessary mean to have a standard temporary position. In fact, the term is generally used for professional jobs, and it is mostly applied for professionals working in the health care industry.
With the need and demand for qualified doctors and other medical professionals in the world today, working as a locum tenens has many advantages for health care professionals, especially if they enjoy new challenges, a flexible work schedule and traveling frequently.
Even though the term locum tenens originated in Medieval Latin, it began to be widely used in the health care industry only in the 1970s, when the University of Utah started receiving grants for healthcare professionals associated with it, in order to encourage them to work in the rural areas.
Although today, the term is used to describe professionals working on a temporary basis in various fields, it was basically coined for use in the medical profession only. In fact, the term was originally used for doctors who agreed to work in rural areas and even poor urban locations, where the availability of proper healthcare facilities was limited.
Today the term locum tenens is used by medical professionals who want to experiment with different positions and practice in diverse localities in order to find the most suitable place to do their practice. In addition, doctors might choose this line of career in order to be able to take up new challenging assignments, get familiar with the local lifestyle of a particular region or even enjoy traveling to new locations and getting paid for it.
Such positions are also preferred by medical professionals who after having completed their studies want to gain experience by working with different kinds of patients. Semi-retired health care professionals or doctors seeking a break from their routine jobs also choose to work locum positions occasionally.
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