Doctors with overseas experience are some of the industry’s best doctors, and they can benefit your healthcare facility in many ways. These globe-trotting physicians are flexible and quick-thinking, culturally sensitive, and good problem-solvers. When they’re on the job, they’re all in and perform exceptionally well. Here are eight ways these physicians with overseas experience can benefit your healthcare organization.
1. They’re culturally sensitive
Having worked with underserved populations such as the Maori in New Zealand, the Aborigines in Australia, and the Chamorro people of Guam, physicians with international locum tenens experience are culturally sensitive and knowledgeable about working with different types of cultures and people. Whether your facility is hiring a locums to help treat seasonal tourists, Native Americans, rural farmers, or inner-city youth, they know how to approach patients on their own terms.
Ryan Pope, a senior global medical recruiter, asserts that this experience makes it easier for a locums to integrate into a community. “One of our locums physicians worked in a big city in Texas, and then went to Auckland, New Zealand,” Pope shares. “When she took on a locums position at a rural hospital, her cultural sensitivity helped her immediately win over people in the rural community.”
2. They know how to prioritize care
Physicians with international experience have learned how to prioritize patient care and triage when necessary. They have learned how to prioritize in a variety of situations — whether it’s assessing who to see first among tourists visiting Guam or learning how to navigate a universal healthcare system like in Australia, Canada, or New Zealand.
“In these universal healthcare systems, it’s not like the U.S. where patients can call and make an appointment with a specialist,” says Pope. “The general practitioners like our locums doctors must make that call.”
This skill translates well to U.S. healthcare. “For instance, in psychiatry, these physicians look at the bigger picture and can use that to prioritize their days — deciding who to see first on rounds, seeing who needs different medications, and understanding who they need to spend more time with,” Pope says.
3. They’re ready for a new challenge
Doctors with international experience are open to trying something new, even if it’s a challenge. Most are interested in taking a broad range of assignments, including rural assignments and the most challenging-to-fill shifts.
“Our physicians are willing to go to a rural setting — or work on a holiday — and make really good money, because they can have a few months off as a break,” Pope says. “They happily take those challenging shifts, because that’s where the need is. Being able to take time off between assignments is a driving factor for them.”
4. They’re energized
Many physicians work international locums to recharge. Physicians recently returned from a “working sabbatical” are less likely to be suffering from burnout — instead, they’re refreshed, focused, and grateful to be working at your facility.
5. They’re neutral
Physicians who work locums are good at keeping internal politics out of the job. It generally takes about six to 12 months for people to get into the politics of a position or healthcare organization.
“These doctors come in and do their job efficiently, graciously, and without drama. Hiring a locums minimizes office politics. They are there to work. You know how it is when you start a job, you are there to work and prove yourself,” Pope explains.
6. They’re problem solvers
Having faced and learned from the unique challenges found in their international assignments, these physicians are exceptional problem solvers. Additionally, “they bring outside ideas — fresh ideas — that few physicians have been exposed to here in the U.S. You can get a lot of wisdom from different cultures and healthcare systems when you hire these locums,” Pope says.
7. They’re adaptable and doers
Doctors who have worked locums internationally are highly adaptable. As locums, they learn to quickly adapt to the way a new facility works, and they’ve done this over and over again. This is even more pronounced for locums who have worked in another country, because the differences are often far more dramatic than they are between facilities here in the U.S.
They’ve had to quickly figure out how to get the job done in other settings — whether it’s learning entire new processes or who to talk to — and they can move mountains to get the work done.
8. They’re highly qualified
In order to work internationally, these physicians have gone through rigorous credentialing and privileging and licensing processes — usually more intensive than for most U.S. jobs.
“Honestly, any facility would be fortunate to bring in doctors of this caliber,” Pope says. “They are truly the cream of the crop.”
The bottom line: Physicians with international experience are attractive candidates for an open position at any facility because of their unique skills and knowledge.
Kari Redfield is a professional content marketing writer. She also is a novelist and writes for newsstand magazines and has had work appear in publications such as Arizona Highways, Sedona Magazine, and American Fitness. And like the locums physicians profiled in these stories, she loves the flexibility and new experiences that her unique job provides, and loves to travel. She has been known to spend weeks in the U.S. West in her Aliner, checking out classic trad rock climbs, epic mountain bike rides, and other adventures while writing from the road.