Locum tenens practitioners are in higher demand than ever. With a nationwide physician shortage, an aging population, and increased access to healthcare through the Affordable Care Act, healthcare organizations across the country are turning to locums staffing solutions. If you find yourself working with a locum tenens recruiter, we’ve got some top tips for helping that relationship to be effective for everyone involved.

1. Be Upfront

Whether you are fresh out of your residency or a seasoned professional, you are likely to have some understanding of what you are looking for in a placement and where your strengths and weaknesses are. Being upfront with your recruiter about your ideal placement, your experiences, and your utilization will help them find the best placements to suit your needs.

2. Be Flexible

Despite that statement about being upfront, it also helps to be flexible. New cities, new systems of organization and management, new equipment and so on can take a little adjustment, but also help you stay at the top of your game. Locum tenens physicians are known for being some of the best in their specialties in part because you have worked in a variety of settings.

3. Be Reachable

Because we live in the information age, instant communication via satellite is the norm. Checking your voicemail and replying immediately, staying current with your email, and responding to your recruiter will make your placement faster and smoother.

4. Be Honest

Honesty truly is the best policy. If an assignment is not what you expected, you are asked to work additional hours or on-call time, or even if something goes unexpectedly and you have an incident you think you should report: better to err on the side of honesty. Your recruiter will be able to assist you better if you are open and honest about each assignment.

5. Be Organized

You may work in more than one city or even more than one state. You will work in more than one facility. You may have one day placements or an assignment that turns into a year. You have forms to fill out and renewals to submit. Your locum tenens recruiter is here to assist you through every step of the process; if you stay efficient and organized, it will be a smoother job for both of you. Keeping track of hours, assignments, required forms and submissions, etc., will only make your placement, tracking and taxes that much easier to complete.

6. Be Thorough

You will have forms to submit and contracts to sign: be thorough. Reading requirements, getting questions answered, and examining expectations carefully can save headaches later. If you are thorough, you will know both what you are agreeing to and what you can expect of your placement and an agency.