Complete Guide to Becoming a Traveling Physician

Maybe it’s the pay that caught your attention. Or, maybe it was a chance to travel – or set your own schedule. No matter what the reason, if you’re thinking of becoming a traveling physician by dipping your toes into the world of locum tenens, there are a few things you should know. 

Education and Certification

First, you’ll need to make sure you have the education you need and get licensed in your field. The process varies depending on your specialty, but physicians who are board certified are attractive to many locum tenens recruiters and employers! Also, make sure you research what type of licensure you’ll need if you want to practice in multiple states and not just one! 

Plus, as with any professional licensure, you’ll want to make sure you keep up with your continuing education credits and keep your licensure up to date at regular intervals.  

Experience Required

While there are physicians who begin locum tenens work directly out of medical school, your search for the perfect locum tenens job will be easier with a little real-world experience. That experience will give you the confidence you need to handle difficult situations while on assignment and allows you to provide quality care to your patients. 

Find an Expert

You have the education, the license, the experience and now, you need an expert! Reach out to SUMO Medical Staffing for help identifying the job opportunities that are right for you. As a member of The National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO), you can be sure our medical staffing representatives can assist with contracts, credentialing, licensing, payment and even housing/transportation!  

Interview Time

Once you and your SUMO staffing representative have found a few promising job options, it’s time for the phone interview. Remember. This interview isn’t just to make sure you’re a good fit for the facility. It’s also a chance for you to make sure the facility is a good match for you!  

Be prepared to answer questions related to your work experience, education, skill set, and what you’re hoping to bring to the assignment. There should also be some time allotted for your questions. 


If the job is a match, look for a contract to be sent to your SUMO representative. It’s their job to go over the contract with you and make sure it includes everything you’re looking for. If not, they can also help negotiate the contract, or help you move on to the next one.  

(Oh! And don’t forget the insurance. Your SUMO representative can help you navigate the ins and out of medical malpractice insurance, health insurance, etc.) 

Hit the Road

Once it’s time to hit the road, you’ll do a lot of the same things you do when you’re planning for a personal trip. Pack your bags. Set up housing. And do some research about the area you’ll be visiting. But you’ll also want to double-check your paperwork, licensing, and any other job-related details necessary for the assignment. 

If job flexibility, an increase in pay, rewarding outcomes, a little bit of adventure and the knowledge that you’re improving local communities is something you’re searching for, locum tenens may be for you – and we can help

SUMO Medical Staffing has a proven track record in helping healthcare professionals find locum jobs that best fit their specific needs. Our staffing representatives are ready to discuss your career goals and future. Request a consultation with a locum tenens staffing specialist today.