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5 Benefits of Working as a Locum Doctor

Written by: Eyvonne Barrett
The medical field provides the best job stability compared to all other industries. But that being said, healthcare is an enormous practice. The World Health Organisation estimates there are 10 to 15 million doctors around the world.

With so much competition and numerous medical designations to choose from, it’s no wonder medical professionals often feel overwhelmed. If you’re unsure about your medical career path, a locum doctor may be just what you’re looking for.

Let’s review what locum life is like and all of the benefits locum work has to offer.

What Is It Like Being a Locum Doctor?

A locum doctor fills temporary positions for other industry professionals. A locum doctor can act as a substitute for doctors and nurses across the world. Locum doctors may fill in for a few weeks, or they may remain in a position for months at a time.

To become a locum doctor, you must have a medical degree and one year of experience working in your field. In Australia, you must complete your AHPRA full general registration and have two referees on file.

There are full-time and part-time locum doctor positions. Full-time practitioners may be part-time locum doctors to supplement their existing income.

Some locum doctors may find themselves moving between different hospitals and areas. Others stay at the same hospital but switch between different wards. As a locum doctor, expect to meet new people and have a variety of opportunities to expand your field experience and skills. Locum doctors fill gaps in healthcare, so they are always appreciated and supported by their colleagues.

Locum Doctor Benefits

From travelling as a doctor to boosting career opportunities, there are numerous benefits of being a locum doctor. We’ve outlined the top five advantages locums get to enjoy.

1. Career Flexibility

A career as a locum doctor offers exceptional personal and work-life balance. Locums have more control over their working hours and the type of work they engage in. Locum doctors can mix around shifts and create a schedule that works best for them.

Many locum doctors enjoy a more defined work schedule as opposed to being on-call like other doctors. While general practitioners struggle with burnout and stress, locums experience less anxiety, fatigue, and more time spent with family.

While general practitioners have to perform administrative responsibilities, locums do not. Locums are brought in for specific responsibilities. Their time is spent on the floor, working with patients, as opposed to behind a desk. 

As a locum doctor, you can expect to have a say in where you work. You can decline or leave jobs if you feel the work isn’t for you. Not many general practitioners have such exceptional flexibility, which is why a career as a locum is so enticing.

2. Personal and Financial Fulfilment

Personally, locum doctors have the opportunity to meet many new people, grow their professional contacts, and work with a wide range of patients. The field experience builds a strong CV, but also gives locums a sense of fulfilment as they aid hospitals, patients, and communities in need.

Locum work pays well. If you’re struggling to pay off student medical debt or build up your bank account, part-time locum work can provide the extra income you’re looking for.

As a locum, your income depends on where you’re working and the type of medical services you provide. The average locum pay rates are between A$150 and A$500 per hour. Locums working in emergency medicine and general surgery have higher pay rates compared to those who work in family medicine.

3. Gain Career Experience

Locums are exposed to many different hospital environments and patients. The varying field work grows your professional experience and can help you launch your career. As a locum, you will have to learn how to adapt to new situations. While this can be challenging, each new circumstance grows your professional experience.

Newly graduated locums have the chance to test drive their new career. You may not know what type of medial work you want to do or where you want to live. A few years working as a locum allows you to find your passion. Gaining experience in different departments and hospitals helps young medical professionals make informed decisions about their careers.

If you enjoy working within a particular group or for a specific hospital, many locum careers can transition into permanent positions.

4. Travel Opportunities

If your inner travel bone has been itching, a career as a locum doctor provides the opportunity to work and travel. Locums in Australia can spend time in various states, counties, and parishes. Recent trends show more mid-career physicians turning to locum work as a way to see experience more of the world.

Locums are needed everywhere, so your travel won’t be limited to Australia. A career as a locum can give you the opportunity to live abroad and experience new cultures. You will just need the proper medical credentials to work in your designated country.

5. Plenty of Employment Opportunities

If you’re looking for a career with steady growth and career stability, we recommend becoming a locum.

The demand for locums is growing around the world. The number of locums has increased throughout Australia in the last few years. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, locums make up 38.4% of the medical workforce in Southern NSW Local Health District.

As a locum doctor, you will always be in demand. When general practitioners need to go on maternity leave, or a health crisis occurs, locum doctors are the ones who get called upon.

Explore a Career as a Locum Doctor

Becoming a locum doctor is a rewarding profession. You will get to enjoy a healthy salary, maintain exceptional work-life balance, and have the opportunity to travel. What more could you want in a career?

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a locum doctor, let us help! Our recruiting services can find your perfect match. Click here to contact us and learn more.

Chat with us about your next locum doctor job.