What is Northern Specialist Locum Programs


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The Northern Specialist Locum Programs (NSLP) provides replacement and vacancy specialist locum coverage to designated Northern Ontario communities. The NSLP consists of two programs:

  • Urgent Locum Tenens Program for Specialists
  • Respite Locum Tenens Program for Specialists

The key factor differentiating between the two programs is community eligibility based on specialist complement, vacancies and active recruitment.

Since October 2008, the NSLP has been administered by the Ontario Physician Locum Programs (OPLP) through HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency (HFO MRA).


Locum Tenens in Ontario, Canada


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Many physicians choose to do locums – or temporary placements – in Ontario. Learn more about what a locum placement can offer you, how to get a placement, the requirements you need to have in place and how to make the experience a successful one.


Locum Jobs in Ontario

What is a locum?

A locum refers to a physician who assumes another physician’s clinical duties on a temporary basis.

For new physicians, these placements provide diverse clinical experiences in different locations. For established physicians, locums offer the opportunity to explore new ways of practising or to hone specific skills. Some physicians may use locums as the start of a shift towards retirement.

Placements may be as short as a few hours or as long as a year. They may occur in any geographic region in the province or in any practice specialty.

Locums are a valuable component of the physician workforce because they enable the community physician to take time off for travel, illness, maternity/paternity leave or professional development. They are also an important component of government retention programs.

The Ontario Physician Locum Programs (OPLP), part of HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency (HFO MRA), administers 3 locum programs in Ontario:

How do I get a placement?

In addition to registering for the Ontario Physician Locum Programs (OPLP) and searching for OPLP locum positions on HFOJobs, you can find other locum placements outside of OPLP. Some are arranged between physicians and others are advertised publicly. Search for locum positions that are not part of OPLP onHFOJobs, as well. Define your search by geographic region, practice type, compensation type and/or other factors.

A Regional Advisor can assist you in finding a placement in the geographic region that you’d like to work and in applying for the locum position. Contact a Regional Advisor to begin your search.

What are the requirements?

To do a locum placement in Ontario, you must have the following four requirements in order:

  • Insurance: The cost of insurance will vary depending on the nature of service/specialty being provided (e.g. obstetrics, family medicine, emergency) as well as the jurisdiction in which the service is being delivered. Visit the Canadian Medical Protective Association web site for more information.
  • Provincial Practice Licence: A locum physician must have a licence from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. The Access Centre within HFO MRA can help you with the licensing process if you’re an internationally trained physician or a physician practising in the U.S.
  • Hospital Privileges: If a locum physician plans to work in a hospital, then hospital privileges will be required. The process can take a few days to weeks. Minimum requirements typically include a current provincial licence, documentation of adequate insurance coverage and letters of reference.
  • Billing Number: Locum physicians need an active Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) billing number. Payment structures range from a flat daily rate to a percentage of fee-for-service billings.

If you would like to do a locum in any one of HFO MRA’s three Ontario Physician Locum Programs (OPLP), please review the eligibility requirements for the applicable program.

How do I ensure I have a good experience?

  • Take the time to explore the community and get to know the people. It will make your locum experience more enjoyable and help you evaluate whether you’d consider practising there on a permanent basis.
  • Discuss clinical expectations with the community physician in advance. Assess your skills and raise concerns about performing any procedures you’re uncomfortable with so backup can be arranged.
  • Ask for a written contract. It should set out the duties to be covered, overhead split, a daily minimum payment and the division of any additional remuneration (e.g. ER, hospital work, emergency shifts, on-call stipends).
  • Discuss how many patients you are expected to see an hour, particularly in a fee-for-service setting. But anticipate seeing about 1/3 fewer because patients often try to make an appointment before their regular physician leaves or wait until he/she returns.
  • Make realistic commitments. You don’t want to strand a physician or community with a last-minute cancellation.

What is Ontario Physician Locum Programs?


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Ontario Physician Locum Programs

The Ontario Physician Locum Programs (OPLP) provide centralized and coordinated locum physician assistance for hospitals, communities and physicians across the province.

OPLP also offers advisory and information services to hospitals, communities and physicians to promote local solutions for physician coverage.

Emergency Department Coverage Demonstration Project

The Emergency Department Coverage Demonstration Project (EDCDP) provides urgent emergency department locum coverage as an interim measure of last resort to designated hospitals that are facing significant challenges covering emergency department shifts.

Northern Specialist Locum Programs

The Northern Specialist Locum Programs (NSLP) provide replacement and vacancy specialist locum coverage to designated Northern Ontario communities. The NSLP consist of two programs: the Urgent Locum Tenens Program and the Respite Locum Tenens Program.

Rural Family Medicine Locum Program

The Rural Family Medicine Locum Program (RFMLP) maintains ongoing primary medical care in eligible communities in Ontario by providing temporary, short-term replacement coverage for practising rural family physicians.

Rural Family Medicine Locum Program



The Rural Family Medicine Locum Program (RFMLP) maintains ongoing primary medical care in eligible communities in Ontario by providing temporary, short-term replacement coverage for practising rural family physicians. The program serves rural physicians and locum physicians.

Since April 2008, the RFMLP has been administered by the Ontario Physician Locum Programs (OPLP) through HealthForceOntario Marketing and Recruitment Agency (HFO MRA).

Locum Physician Eligibility Requirements

You may be required to possess a valid certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and/or Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) depending on the community’s requirements. Please contact the community you are interested in for their specific requirements.

Note: Eligible locum physicians may be reimbursed for ACLS and ATLS fees by participating in at least one locum assignment in the current program year. A copy the ACLS/ATLS certificate and original receipt must be submitted to the RFMLP for payment processing.

Canada-Make it Your Next Locum Tenens Destination


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Offering a great opportunity to explore the world, locum tenens physician jobs can be a rejuvenating breath of fresh air for your medical career. You can find locum positions in exciting cities across the nation or abroad. Stateside locum assignments last from a few weeks to several years, while international ones last a minimum of nine to 12 months. Many physicians are drawn to international positions because of the unmatched opportunity to travel and discover the world while maintaining a successful career. Considering the vastness of its travel opportunities, Canada is one of the most rewarding locations for a locum tenens assignment.


As a Canadian locum tenens you are placed in a country with access to the majestic tree-lined west coast, the grand Rocky Mountains, endless golden rolling fields, and the rugged and historical shoreline of the east coast. Whether your interests lie in city life, rugged nature, or quaint, small-town farmland, you’re sure to find an environment that interests you.

During your free time as a Canadian locum be sure to take part in all of the coastal attractions. Visit the Pacific or Atlantic coasts to catch a glimpse of whales, dolphins and other marine life. A common attraction on the east coast is old-world Nova Scotia. Experience the enchantment of Nova Scotia’s fishing villages, marked by picturesque lighthouses.

While touring this beautiful country, visit Niagara Falls. This site offers more than just a view of the fascinating cascade of water. Smell the flowers at Niagara’s Botanical Gardens or play a round of golf at one of their award-winning golf courses. Spend your evening in the Fallsview Casino and then finish your night off with a view of the illuminated waterfalls from the Skylon Tower.

Using your locum vacation days you can partake of a short two-day trip on the Rocky Mountaineer. This trip is a guided train ride set at a relaxed pace-allowing passengers to see some of the world’s most charming scenery. This may be the very best way to see bears, mountain goats, wolves, elk, bighorn sheep, moose, and coyotes in their natural habitat.

Sometime during your time as a locum physician in Canada, be sure to stay up and watch the spectacular Northern Lights. The farther north you travel, the more vibrant these shimmering colors will appear.

While you’re up north, spot a polar bear in Canada’s province of Manitoba, the polar bear capital of the world. The best time to see these large mammals is September. While in Manitoba, also take time to see the beluga whales. This province has one of the world’s largest natural beluga whale populations.

Apart from the irresistible sightseeing and touring opportunities, Canadian locum tenens can benefit from working with doctors from around the world. While searching for a new assignment, be sure to connect with a helpful recruitment agency that is willing to do all they can to make your transition smooth. As you are deciding which locum assignment best fits your needs, be sure to consider Canada.

Locum Tenens: How To Get Started & What To Expect


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The post-education process of beginning to look for working positions can be a stressful challenge. After all the years of study and training, selling one’s skills and knowledge on the job market can prove to be a taxing exercise.

For medical professionals, a smoother route to finding a well-looked after position can be provided by the best locum tenens companies. These can assist qualified job seekers with finding well paid and secure temporary contract work in established medical institutions.


Choosing The Right Agency

The first step for any medical professional looking for a well looked after temporary position should be to contact one of the respected locum tenens companies. In order to this it can make sense to make use of personal friends and colleagues who have previously worked on temporary contracts. Alternatively, they can go through the top agencies’ codes of conduct and ethics to get a good idea of the working methods. A fully respected agency can quickly point job seekers in the right direction to finding an attractive position.

Searching For The Right Job

When signing up with the best locum companies, a candidate will need to provide a complete CV and full documentation of qualifications and work experience. It is always a good idea to approach colleagues and former tutors to ask if they can act as professional references. It may also be necessary to complete paperwork stating that you are a freelance agent looking for locum work. Once all that is done applicants can begin to assess the open opportunities.

Be Flexible

Every place is different and will have their own ways of doing things. When evaluating if a medical institution is the right one, it always makes sense to be flexible. Finding a position in a different area than one is used to will throw out all kinds of new things to get used to. Every workplace has its own particular outlook on the best way to get things done, and a new member of staff will have to adapt to this if they wish to be a success.

Stay Confident

Working long hours in a medical facility can be a lonely proposition. Locums can experience this more than most, with the demands that professional medical work can bring. But while the demands can be great, so can the rewards. If locums can keep their confidence and their professionalism about them there can be every reason to stay confident and determined.

Keep An Open Mind

It is always best to keep an open mind when responding to locum positions. The world of medical work can change incredibly quickly. So too can personal commitments to family and home life. The best of the locums companies will be able to offer the most practical advice in regards to sustaining the ideal work-life balance. With their help every qualified medical professional can find a new and exciting way to progress.

[Infographic] The Rising Cost of Healthcare


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We recently found an infographic entitled The Rising Cost of Healthcare. The graphic portrays how healthcare expenses for the US population have increased over the last decade.rising_cost_of_health_care

Working at Locums4you, We have the opportunity to see firsthand how hospitals and clinics fight these rising costs. When organizations use physician assistants and nurse practitioners in addition to physicians, they are able to offset some of the costs. Also, more physicians, hospitals and clinics are being educated on the concept of locum tenens physicians who cover on a temporary basis, which is an efficient way for hospitals and clinics to meet the demand in their community.

Want to learn more? Check out our locum tenens page.

Why Work Locum Tenens?


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Whether you are semi-retired, retired, phasing out of your own practice, supplementing your income, or starting your career, physicians choose to work as locums for several reasons including:

bluearrow Flexibility Locum tenens physicians have the ability to choose where they want to work, the location, length of assignment and their schedule.
bluearrow Income – Earn extra income and receive excellent pay without worrying about travel related costs.
bluearrow Experience – Improve your CV by adding to it the varied experience in a variety of practice areas and settings.
bluearrow Paperwork – Physicians doing locum tenens work are able to focus on patient care and avoid the hassle of the paperwork required with a traditional practice.
bluearrow Politics – Physicians in private practice must deal with the business side of medicine and management challenges with office politics, employee issues, liability and other overhead expenses.
bluearrow Travel opportunities – Take the opportunity to see and learn from different geographic areas of the country.
bluearrow Paid Malpractice – Eliminate medical malpractice insurance payments

If you are a facility looking for locum tenens staffing coverage click here

How Locum Doctors Are Different Than Regular Doctors


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You may not be aware of who locum doctors are, what they do and how they are different from other regular doctors. You can have the hint of locum doctors with the word locum which means place holders. Locum doctors are not same as regular permanent doctors. They are simply the place holders of those regular doctors who are either on leave or not available. Reputed hospitals need sufficient time to fill the position for an experienced permanent doctor, till the time they search for it they hire locum doctors.

Locum jobs are best for students who are looking to gain experience in the medical field or want to earn some extra money. Fresh medical job seekers who are looking to take idea of how things are done practically in the clinic generally opt for locum jobs. And those who want to analyze in which field they should specialize and they are best at should go for this.

Basic Difference between Locum Doctors and Regular Doctors

Permanent v/s Temporary: Regular doctors are hired by long cumbersome process with requirement of proper educational eligibility. They are contended with huge experience in the medical field. And after systematic and tough recruitment process they are hired on permanent basis with proper designation.

On the other hand locum doctors do not require having much experience; they just act as to cater the need of hospital or clinic of a doctor till the time they find a proper experienced doctor. The tenure of locum doctor is for short period and once the proper eligible doctor will be hired, locum doctor has to leave.

Degree of Experience: As it is understood with the nature of hiring locum doctors that very high experience is not required to be a locum doctor. They are hired on temporary basis and they just act as helpers or to fill the space till the time hospital find the better experienced doctor. On the other side, regular doctors are recruited only if they have sufficient years of experience in their own field.

Specialization: Locum doctors can be hired even if they not have specialization for the post they are applying as they for temporary basis. On the other side, regular doctors need to be highly educated and experienced in their own field with proper specialization.


How Locum Doctors Are Different Than Regular Doctors

Flexibility: The job of locum doctors is much more flexible than regular doctors. As it is observed that generally students or fresher apply as locum doctor, they can manage their studies side by side while working as a locum doctor. They do not have to bear strict regulations and terms and conditions as permanent regular doctors. However, regular doctors do not have liberty to go flexible with timings or clinic’s rules.

Difference in Pay: As locum doctors are far different from regular doctors, the payment done to locum doctors is also different to those of regular ones. It is generally much lower than permanent doctors as locum doctors are for short period and do not necessitated having much experience and they have other many liberties too.

Doctors considering locum tenen jobs


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Whether you are a Consultant, Staff Grade Level Doctor, SpR or SHO you may consider undertaking locum work in your career.


Some important questions that need to be considered before entering into a locum job are:

– How much will you get paid?
– Will you get paid weekly?
– Will your expenses be covered such as accommodation & travel?
– Will you get regular work and ongoing hours?
– Will you get holiday pay?
– What are the benefits of working as a Locum?

I’m sure you may have considerations beyond the above list but I want to focus this article on what I consider to be the main points when looking for locum jobs anywhere in the UK, Canada or the USA.

How much will you get paid?

As a rule, locum pay rates vary depending on your skills and experience. Staff Grade Level Locums will get paid more than SHOs for example. Levels of pay can also be dependent on whether you choose to work in the NHS or private sectors and whether medics in your particular discipline are in short supply. Locum Recruitment Agencies will also offer different rates of pay so it’s worth scouting around!

Will you get paid weekly?

Depending on which Locum Recruitment Agency you work with will depend on when you get paid.

Will your expenses be covered?

Reputable Locum Recruitment Agencies normally cover expenses such as accommodation & travel.

Will you get regular work & ongoing hours?

This will depend on a number of factors including the contracts that Locum Recruitment Agencies have with their clients and how flexible you are prepared to be with shift patterns.

Will you get holiday pay?

When you register with a Locum Recruitment Agency, they will advise you of your holiday entitlement

What are the benefits of working as a Locum?

Choosing to work as a Locum Doctor either temporarily or in an ongoing capacity can be a great way to see different parts of the city or country. It is also a good way to work in different healthcare environments and expand on your previous experience. Another clear benefit is that you are able to work as little or as much as you like, allowing for a work/life balance that suits your individual needs.