Meet Bob T.
Location of Locum Assignment(s)
Briefly describe your pre-medical and/or pre-locum work experience.
I did all the things a young guy might do when first moving to Alaska and finding his way. I worked as a timber faller, truck driver, longshoreman, sawmill worker, and commercial fisherman, then got into EMS and joined the Alaska Air Nat’l Guard as a med tech. I ended up in a PA program in Seattle, then went back to Alaska to begin practice. Have worked mostly in tribal health for nearly 30 years in remote locations around the state.
What drew you to locum tenens work?
When I no longer needed employee benefits and could work 1099 jobs, it opened up a wonderful opportunity to really pick out where I wanted to work to experience even more sites and revisit sites I’ve worked at before.
Why did you choose to work with Wilderness Medical Staffing?
I had heard good things about this company. They are the experts on everything medical in remote Alaska. I had met Mary Ellen Doty some years back while in Klawock and so knew she had worked the trenches. This company has firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to work in remote Alaska from the top down.
What have you enjoyed most about your locum tenens experiences?
The freedom to pick and choose the communities I would like to go to. Making new friends in these communities and being able to share in the uniqueness each community offers.
How has your experience been with WMS?
Great. Since they really understand the sites, you feel pretty prepared before going out on assignment.
What stands out to you about the communities and cultures you have interacted with as a locum tenens provider?
Each one is so different. Be friendly, outgoing, and enthusiastic; you may get invited to experience some things that you will never experience anywhere else.
What advice do you have for prospective locum tenens providers?
Be respectful. We are there to provide a service. Generally, people are very thankful for your care.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Alaska has been my home for nearly 50 years, but I have done some locums work down south. Fast-paced medicine, it’s not for me. I love working in small, village clinics where you actually have time to give an elder a chance to speak without hurrying the conversation. You may also have an opportunity to do home visits which can be really rewarding. You may get offered some fresh eider or seal soup. It’s all an adventure, even after 50 years.