Cross Country is kicking off our celebration of National Locum Tenens Week with the unveiling of a new visual identity and enhanced website for Cross Country Locums. Formerly Medical Doctor Associates, the name change accurately depicts an enduring healthcare staffing service: Locum Tenens. We begin our celebration by sharing the locum story of professional service, commitment and dedication of Dr. Charles Silas.
Dr. Silas, an emergency medicine physician and has worked with Cross Country Locums (formerly Medical Doctor Associates) for over 10 years, completing over 200 locum assignments for government medical facilities across the United States. This notable achievement is amplified by his constant commitment to taking assignments in underserved communities during his tenure with the organization. Marcy Hart, the Cross Country recruiter responsible for recruiting Dr. Silas over a decade ago, attributes his dedication to his humble and selfless nature. Often taking on last minute assignments, many of them with overnight shifts, he works regularly at Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities with tribal communities, including the Navajo Nation in Shiprock, New Mexico.
Service is a familiar theme in the life of Dr. Silas. Growing up in a military family that traveled across the country while his father served in the Air Force, the desire to be a doctor hit him early. After graduating from medical school in 1987 and completing his residency, Dr. Silas entered the military, serving in the first Gulf War as a Flight Surgeon. After three years in southern California, Dr. Silas began his search for another way to practice medicine in a deeply fulfilling way.
After a conversation with Marcy, Dr. Silas was presented an opportunity to work locum assignments. When an IHS assignment became available, he felt called to serve a community with a rich history and a personal connection to his own familial roots. With great-grandparents from Seminole and Cherokee tribes in Texas, Dr. Silas felt he could be of service to the community and familiarize himself with life on reservations. During his years working these assignments, Dr. Silas has learned key phrases in Navajo and gained invaluable insight while addressing the unique cultural, medical and geographical challenges that arise while serving the indigenous community.
Prior to taking on his first assignment with Cross Country, Dr. Silas felt he was “going to be a California doctor all his life.” Working as a locum physician was never something he had considered. He immediately found a niche though, enjoying the opportunity to visit beautiful places, expand his cultural knowledge and build on his professional experiences. He credits his Cross Country team with exposing him to great new assignments and helping him feel at home while he is on the road. "I love Cross Country. If someone called me up and asked me about taking on assignments with Cross Country, I would tell them, don’t wait. You can always work with other companies, but there are few companies that offer the opportunities and the services that Cross Country provides."
Dr. Silas encourages physicians unfamiliar with “locums living” to consider the adventure and the enrichment that comes with traveling to new locations and being of service in unique environments. We thank Dr. Silas for his continued service and we look forward to ten more years of helping him feel right at home.