Advantages of being a locum doctor

Advantages of being a locum doctor

Once you have undergone all the trials and tribulations of going through medical school, graduating, and then beginning your career as a locum doctor, you may be tempted to push all thoughts of intermittent locum work from your mind. However, don’t discount it too soon as there are actually numerous plus points to providing locum work, with many locum doctors now engaging in various locum posts year after year.

Check out why you should be jumping on the locum bandwagon:

Advantage One: You will see a greater spread of cases and more modes of management than many other fixed doctors.

Advantage Two: There is a high demand so you will always be able to find work – for example there was a 20% increase in the use of locums between 1995 and 1996. There has even been a demand for locum consultants to cover for study leave.

Advantage Three: You will be paid at a significantly higher hourly rate than the incumbent doctor.

Advantage Four: The work is as varied as you wish to make it, with many trusts engaging ‘floating’ doctors who can work across various departments and specialities. This means you can see a broad spectrum of the workload, in a short space of time.

Advantage Five: A successful long term locum appointment in a certain speciality can provide useful contacts and references for you if you decide to progress in that area.

Advantage Six: Flexible hours means you can juggle your time to fit in other commitments, such as spending time with your family.

Advantage Seven: You can get specialist training posts which count for specialist registrar training by the relevant college or faculty.

Advantage Eight: Patients may use you as a ‘second opinion’ to their usual doctor, so you may hear some more interesting and varied cases.

Advantage Nine: If you only want to work part time, locum work is ideal as the majority of positions available are part time.

Long term locums

Many medics are now considering locum work as a long term career move. Forum responses on show that being a ‘locum for life’ is becoming more and more popular.

“I’ve been working as a locum staff grade for the last 5 and a half years. During this period I’ve always been able to secure a job within commuting distance and the maximum time between jobs has been 2 weeks. The money is great and it allows one to set up a limited company to be more tax efficient. On top of this you don’t have ultimate responsibility so there’s less stress.”

“I have been working as a locum for nearly 5 and half years and with current trust for nearly 5 years. I like it and a bit regret that I could have started doing locum jobs about 3 or 4 years earlier.”