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Locum tenens, often shorten to locum is a person who temporarily fulfills the duties of another. The word locum is short for the Latin phrase locum tenens whose literal translation means "place holder".
A locum physician is a physician who works in the place of the regular physician when that physician is absent, or when a hospital/practice is short-staffed. These professionals are still governed by their respective regulatory bodies, despite the transient nature of their positions.