Before your first locums placement..

For many of you who have just joined the locums world, your first opportunity to do locums is one that you may meet with a mix of trepidation and excitement.   The unknowns are.. unknown.   Perhaps locating the bathroom and figuring out how well you might adapt to whatever EHR is in place is near top of the list, right after finding a temporary residence.

But hold on a second.  Before you get that far, you really really need to consider carefully the contract you are about to sign, and the price you’re willing to work for.

In my specialty, radiation oncology, typical pay offered ranges from as low as 1200 to more than 2300 per day, when placed by an agency.   You get what you negotiate.  Its no different than walking into a car lot and purchasing a car.   Supply, demand and your skill and flexibility (or lack thereof) will determine your rate.

But beyond rate, there is also the matter of your locums contract with your agency.   Often it is sent via locked pdf for you to e sign.   I recommend you familiarize yourself with the basic components of a legal contract.  We’ll talk about that in another post.   For now, lets focus on mechanics.

Its highly recommended that you locate, and download the pdf being offered as your contract.  If it is unable to be edited (locked), you can try to unlock it via upload to  – a site I have no affiliation with but find useful, use at your own risk.

Once unlocked, you can export to word, and use ‘TRACK changes ON’ feature within Word to begin editing your contract.   Ask that your counterparty do the same so all edits are easily noted.  My experience has been that most locums agency’s are flexible.

In summary, as my uncle would say.. “You don’t ask, you don’t get.”