Five Questions to Ask the Locum Tenens Agency Let's say you're considering becoming a general surgery locum after working 5 to 10 years in a staff position. You obviously know there are certain things to do in terms of applying to staffing agencies, writing a good CV, and preparing for an interview. But once you're in the interview, will you be prepared to ask questions? Asking questions accomplished two things. First of all, it provides you some of the information you need to fill in the gaps. Secondly, it gives the interviewer some insight into where your head is at. That means the questions you ask are important. Below are five that every general surgery locum candidate should ask; you may find you have more. 1. Is the agency a member of any trade groups or associations? Like any industry there's a lot to be said for membership in a trade group for association. Such groups tend to set standards by which all member organizations are required to conduct business. You can find out a lot about staffing agency by the trade groups and associations they belong to. 2. Who owns the staffing agency? Though it's not always the case, a staffing agency owned by a private equity firm or other non-related entity may look at the agency strictly in a dollars-and-cents way. On the other hand, an agency owned by a company whose business is primarily healthcare is likely to have a more sympathetic attitude toward physicians and a better working environment. 3. What hospitals do you contract with? It goes without saying that some hospitals are more prestigious than others. If, as a general surgery locum, you want to work at specific types of institutions you need to search out staffing agencies that contract with such institutions. Make sure you know where you'll be working before you accept a position. 4. Who pays for malpractice insurance? In some cases a staffing agency completely covers the cost of malpractice insurance; sometimes the general surgery locum must foot the bill entirely on his own; still other cases utilize a combination of agency contributions dollar-for-dollar with physician contributions. Make sure the issue of malpractice insurance is settled in writing before you sign a deal. 5. How is travel arranged? The general surgery locum will have the same travel concerns as any locum tenens worker. You'll need to make sure you understand how travel is handled by any agency you apply with. Find out who pays for it, who makes the arrangements, and so on. Along those same lines you might also want to ask about housing. With the right questions you can leave your interview confident that you have enough information to make an informed decision. If there's anything else you need to know, don't be afraid to ask. It's the only way you will really know what's going on and be able to adequately assess a job offer. If youâ€™re searching for general surgery locum jobs check out Weatherby Locums general surgery job search - Weatherby Locums specializes in providing quality physicians to the healthcare industry on a temporary basis throughout the United States.