RunSensible’s Legal Dictionary

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Locum tenens

“Locum tenens” is a Latin phrase that means “to hold a place.” In the context of healthcare, it refers to a medical professional, such as a physician, who works temporarily to take the place of another physician or healthcare provider. These temporary healthcare providers are commonly used to fill in for physicians who are on vacation, taking medical leave, or due to staffing shortages at healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, or private practices.

Locum tenens physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are typically hired through agencies or directly by healthcare facilities on a short-term contract basis. They are licensed and qualified professionals who step in to ensure that patient care is maintained during periods when the regular staff is unavailable. This practice helps healthcare organizations maintain their services and continue providing medical care even in the absence of their regular staff members.

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