Whether you’re popping out of residency or looking to take on a more adventurous path in your field, Locum Tenens is a great way to go and comes with a lot of perks. You’ll generate a great income, be able to balance your work-life by creating your own schedule and be able to visit parts of the country you may have never thought to go. As a temporary position, you’ll be able to work on and continue in the place you prefer or decide to try an assignment in a different area. The possibilities and experience are far and wide, but venturing here doesn’t mean there isn’t some work that needs to be completed.

Paperwork. The dreaded word for many, but must be done when wanting to dive into the Locum Tenens world. Locum Tenens credentials are extremely important and they must be done in order to gain the assignments you dream of. Laws not only require hospitals to process all applicants by assessing their professional abilities but must be done before any facility can approve you practicing medicine. Though this may be common knowledge for many already if you have worked as a physician or doctor, the same rules apply for Locum Tenens. Once you have agreed on an assignment, your credentials will be looked over. Therefore, it’s great to have this process fairly sorted before looking for an assignment as it will help the flow into your position be much smoother.

What Documents Will I Need?

We can break this down into three sections.

High Priority:

  • Updated resume or CV
  • Current State Medical Licenses
  • Current BLS, ACLS, ATLS, PALS, APLS, and NRP certificates
  • Federal DEA Certificate (s)
  • State-controlled substance registrations
  • NPI Number confirmation letter
  • Malpractice claims history


  • Current photograph
  • Color copy of current driver’s license or passport
  • Graduate or medical school diploma
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) license
  • Case logs for the last 24 months (If applicable)
  • ECFMG certificate
  • CMEs for the past two years
  • Mammo #’s and MQSA required documentation (radiologist if applicable)

Immunization Records

  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenza
  • Measles, mumps and rubella
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria and pertussis
  • Varicella

For busy physicians and doctors, it can be time-consuming and difficult to manage all of the documents in order to obtain one assignment. However, one of the first good parts is knowing that once you have all of these documents together, each assignment you embark on will become less stressful as you have already given all of your documentation. The second good part is that here at TheraEx Locums, we guide you through the process. Ensuring we can create a smooth transition from either your permanent position to Locum Tenens or from assignment to assignment.

On top of this, you should also expect to need to give over professional references. Although this is something we need to do in most positions, it is a key component in the credentialing process of a Locum Tenens. Each new facility would like to hear about your history and work through other peers or supervisors. They will most likely like to have a couple of references who are in the same specialty as you and someone who has worked with you within the last two years. They will be asked about your skill levels, communication, professionalism, etc. So it’s imperative to not only give correct references for these questions but also make sure you are giving them up-to-date information. Your references should include:

  • Name
  • Contact Information (Even multiple ones if applicable)
  • Specialty
  • Location and time of work together
  • Job and date of when you cited them as reference.

Once you have a few years under your belt, or a few assignments, this is a great opportunity to continue to build your reference foundation. This means making sure to engage fully with fellow coworkers or supervisors and create positive relationships with them.

Red Flags In Credentialing

While your recruitment mentor will do everything they can to keep you out of the red flag zone, there are some important things you can do to make everything simpler.

  1. Taking Your time

Once your assignment has been received and accepted, it’s imperative to have all of this information ready to go or get it ready as fast as you can. Taking your time and not giving your recruiters or those examining your credentials all of your details can be a huge red flag.

  1. Correct Documentation

There is nothing worse than putting in all the time and effort, as well as those in charge of checking over your credentials time and effort, then hitting major roadblocks. Make sure you have all of your documentation completed to its full and signed.

  1. References

Providing information that is out of date can bring on some irritating problems. Nobody wants to be continuously following up on references and having outdated information. Before each assignment, double-check with your references that all of their information is correct. This is also a great time to make sure they are available to give a good, in-depth recommendation for you. If not, go with someone else.

  1. Pending investigations, liabilities or job gaps

While it is important to make sure you give all of the information needed to your recruiter, if you have any past disciplinary actions or numerous settlements, this can be a red flag. If this is something you think you will be able to hide, chances are, you won’t. This not only shines a negative light on you but also on your recruiter and the recruiting agency.

Pro Tip:

Each time you head onto a new assignment in a new state, you are required to give information from your previous location. If you can, work on having as much of the paperwork necessary filled out while you are at the end of your assignment. Getting it done in person is much easier.

The credentialing process could take anywhere from a few days to months. This really depends on the position you are in and the position that is going to be filled. Some hospitals have leniency due to the urgency of filling the position, though some government facilities go through demanding processes to background check potential employees. You can make this process easier by making sure you have all forms and certificates above completed and if there are any follow-up questions, respond to these swiftly in order to avoid delays. While a challenging process at first, it’s an inevitable part of the role and most necessary for the safety of hospitals and patients. Do your best to stay on top of the process and see it as a challenge that gets you to where you need to go.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us here.

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