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Locum tenens in pathology

Discussion in 'Pathology' started by Nilf, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. Nilf

    Nilf 10+ Year Member

    I've heard there are companies that hire pathologists to do it. Does anyone know what the job is like?
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  3. yaah

    yaah Boring Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member


    Do you mean what does a locum tenens pathologist do? Usually you fill in and do service work at a place that needs a pathologist. Covering frozens, reading out biopsies, handling lab issues, etc, everything a practicing pathologist does. Different situations will have different responsibilities. Usually it is coverage when a small group (or solo practice) has someone go on vacation and they need coverage.
  4. Nilf

    Nilf 10+ Year Member

    What is it like in real world? How long are the jigs and how much you get pay for them? What kind of contracts do you sign with the locum tenens company? What skills are sought after? Is the travel/lodging cost covered? Do you know of anyone who made a career out of that?

  5. triguy

    triguy Use the Force 2+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2006
    locums for pathology is a little different than locums for medicine. the actual process is the same, but the level of skill required to do it is different. let me explain...

    as a medicine resident, you would get graded responsibility to the point where you are actually making treatment decisions on your patients, and would be reasonably trained to head out of residency and staff small town ERs and other such "fill-in" locums work. once you finish a pathology residency, i would say it takes about ten years of experience before you are comfortable practicing on your own.

    now i understand that all doctors, regardless of their specialty, are learning throughout their lifetime. however, the method of pathology training along with the breadth and depth of field, make this a particularly difficult field to practice "right out of the gates." most trainees struggle and get considerable help from their partners early on, in contrast to clinicians who can function more independently. i know young clinicians will learn from their more senior collegues, but i guarantee that a consensus opinion in pathology is sought after to a much greater degree than in medicine.

    so if you are thinking about doing locums for the adventure, or checking out different areas of the country before you settle down, you might want to understand how difficult locums would be for a newbie. the only reason i am going on about this is that i thought about it. but the more i got into pathology, the more i realized how little i knew, and how impossible locums would be. maybe in 30 years when i retire.
  6. djmd

    djmd an Antediluvian 7+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2001
    How long does the jig last? Until the Surgeon's stop shooting at your feet. (jig=dancing, gig=job).

    What triguy said is correct. Pay is not bad, and most costs would be covered, but you limit your ability to get permanent placement. I don't know the contracts, some places might put language in to try keep you from becoming a permanent hire at one of your tenens sites (or at least without them getting some sort of placement kind of payout...) But that is just speculating.

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