I am occasionally contacted by agencies looking for Locum Tenens plastic surgery coverage. As I am selective, I have not to date taken such an assignment, but want to stay in the loop vis a vis opportunities. If one looked good enough, I might try it.
Locum tenens jobs have traditionally been part time assignments in a particular specialty. Frequently they amount to a doctor on vacation looking to cover the care of his or her patients while he or she is absent. They are relatively rare in plastic surgery and are usually for non-cosmetic business for a hospital. They very rarely encompass cosmetic surgery. Patients do not usually want an alternate surgeon performing their cosmetic surgery. They are paying for the experience of the doctor with his or her name on the door.
Recently I received an email from such an agency looking for Locum Tenens plastic surgery specifically for cosmetic surgery in San Diego. Seeing as it was so unusual I inquired as to what they were paying. It was $1200 for a day of surgery. In a plastic surgery practice, they will get no one of any reasonable skill for that. It is below what it costs a quality doctor to operate. They apparently want a few days a month.
This is potentially scary. It might represent a chop shop in cosmetic work trying to get started in San Diego. They were specific about wanting a surgeon who could do breast implants, liposuction and facelift surgery so it is not just for small stuff like fillers and botulinum toxin.
From what the service would tell me, this is a group of surgeons looking to pay cheap rates for an operating cosmetic surgeon. It is probably a business enterprise by a group on non-plastic surgeons looking to make money on cosmetic work via another doctor.
John Di Saia MD