Insights From Wapiti

Advice, news and thought leadership from our experts.

Locum Providers and Rural Facilities: Finding the Right Fit

Rural hospitals understand the challenges of attracting and retaining locum providers. Although there are numerous benefits to living and working in a smaller community, the slower pace doesn’t appeal to everyone. Even though there is high demand for providers nationwide, applying for an opportunity at a rural hospital doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive an offer. Facilities want to be sure candidates are a good fit.


In our recent survey, Wapiti earned positive reviews for our ability to provide candidates who fit the culture of our client facilities. Many factors contribute to the successful placement of a locum provider, such as qualifications and experience. one that can occasionally get overlooked is the importance of matching a provider’s goals and expectations with what the facility and community have to offer. 


Here are a few tips for providers looking to make a good impression when applying to a rural facility. 


Be clear about the “why?”


What attracts you to a rural community? Is it the more affordable cost of living? The school system with lower class sizes? Less crime? Want to know who your neighbors are for a change? Let your potential employer know the “why” behind your decision to apply to a smaller facility. When they understand the draw of their area for you, it can positively impact their decision. 


Community connection


Having a connection to the area will definitely give you a leg up. Let the facility know if you are from the region or have family nearby. Strong ties mean you are more likely to be happy in a small community and less prone to the lure of a big city healthcare system. Local roots matter to a rural facility. 




One of the biggest perks of living in a rural community is the opportunities for activities such as camping, hunting, and fishing. Winter isn’t usually a selling point, but if you love skiing and snowmobiling, the heavy snowfall found in the upper Midwest can be a positive. Share your love of the outdoors with your prospective employer. If the facility knows your hobbies align with the area, they know the odds are better that you’ll be content to live in a small town. 


Even during a physician shortage, smaller hospitals are selective about which providers they bring on board. Having a provider leave after a brief stay is a setback rural facilities want to avoid. Being clear about why you want to come to their community helps employers feel more secure in making you part of their team. 


At Wapiti, we strive to find the best match-ups for providers and facilities. Whether you are searching for a provider to join your team or you are a locum looking for a new opportunity, we can help.