Ready, Set, Locum!
Some of our ongoing Locum Doctors share their reasons for why you should give Locum work a go.
Locum Doctors play a vital role across Australia, from respite for General Practitioners in remote practices to emergency relief at all levels of the hospital system. Doing locum work appeals to thousands of Doctors each year looking to fill gaps between jobs, gain more career flexibility or practice medicine in a wider, more challenging range of medical fields.
For Paediatrician and Clinical Director Dr Andrew Gardiner, it’s the autonomy and choice of work that appeals to him most: “The variety of locum placements Wavelength has to offer never ceases to amaze me. It’s a wonderful way to see some amazing parts of Australia and to learn from the variety of clinical practice you encounter,” he says.
Are you ready for a Locum adventure? Here are the Top 5 Reasons to try Locum work.
1. Take control of your career.
Your work life really does become your own as a locum Doctor. You can schedule your own holidays, plan work around family and earn what you need, including working extra hours to pay for a one-off cost, such as a holiday or a car. When it comes to taking control of your career, there’s nothing better than a locum to experience a new location or work environment.
Melbourne Psychiatrist Dr James Whan had a successful private practice and was well respected by both his colleagues and patients. Then about a year ago, he felt like a new challenge and decided to explore his locum options with Wavelength.
“I wasn’t that serious about locum work to start with. But when job offers in tropical locations started turning up in my inbox, the Melbourne winter started to feel very long,” he says.
His first locum was in Albany WA, followed by Margaret River, then Cairns and Tasmania. Locum work has given James a great way to transition his career without having to make any permanent decisions. He has since decided to wind up his private practice and focus on Locum work for a year or two.
“I’ll take the opportunity to do locum work in a range of different locations, build my networks and then make an informed decision about where I want to settle down. Having done a few locums, I know the ropes and there is a lot of work available.”
It’s the choice and variety of locum work that also appeals to many of our Doctors, including Emergency CMO and Registrar Dr Ferdinand Kotzyba. As a seasoned locum with almost 20 Wavelength locum placements under his belt, he loves the freedom of making his own roster, seeing different places and meeting different people.
“Every time I go somewhere for locum work, it’s a new challenge and it keeps me fresh and energised. I love taking control of my own career – and it’s a lot of fun too,” he explains.
2. Practice Indigenous health in some of our most remote communities.
We send doctors all over Australia, but perhaps the most unique experience we offer is the chance to practice Indigenous health in some of our most remote communities.
Many of our doctors find the experience so rewarding they become regular Wavelength locums, such as Hobart-based Dr Amin Sadruddin.
“Outback locum work really is the antithesis of General Practice in cities. My days are always interesting, challenging and satisfying. Working in Indigenous health is a great use of my medical education and I often have to go back to first principles,” he says.
Aside from the clinical challenge, Dr Sadruddin feels privileged working in places he would not have normally visited as a tourist – and he gets paid.
“In the city, I feel surplus to requirements, but in these communities, my services are in high demand. I’m often the difference between a medical service staying open or being shut down. It’s a humbling experience.”
3. Your job satisfaction will soar.
The reason hospitals or practices hire locum Doctors is that they have a desperate need. You’re providing an invaluable service and it’s a responsibility that should not be taken lightly.
For the past 12 months, Dr Farid Razzaghi has been one of our star remote locum GPs. When he first considered locum work, he was practising part-time as a General Practitioner and part-time in a city-based Emergency Department.
“I had always wanted to work in a location where I could combine both my primary care and emergency skills. And rural Queensland does not disappoint. My recent locum work in Doomadgee, Richmond and Julia Creek also appealed to my sense of adventure,” he explains.
For Farid, working as a locum Doctor has been challenging, but ultimately rewarding.
“There’s a great feeling of satisfaction when you manage to assist a patient with limited resources and everyone is happy with the outcome. You feel like a real Doctor using basic skills to deal with some complicated cases,” he says.
4. Achieve real flexibility and work-life balance
For many Doctors, locum work is a great way to achieve real career flexibility when they need it, at different times of life. A locum work schedule offers a flexible and manageable income stream. For Wavelength locum Dr Irandi Jayatilleke, a Breast, Endocrine and General Surgeon, this was the case during her maternity leave period.
“Wavelength was an amazing help organising locum work for me throughout my maternity leave. My recruitment consultant liaised with hospitals to make sure they supported me as a breastfeeding working mother and helped coordinate family-friendly accommodation,” she says.
Similarly, semi-retired Physician, Dr David Henderson has chosen hospital-based locums for the flexibility to work when he wants, doing work that suits his experience and that he enjoys.
“I’ve done nearly 50 locums in both regional and remote locations. I've found the whole experience extremely rewarding. Most hospitals that need locum Doctors are minimally staffed and really need the help we provide,” he says.
He also enjoys the chance to have new experiences, and the opportunity to make a real difference to both communities and in sharing his skills with trainee Doctors.
“There’s almost always something interesting happening in these regional and remote locations, or an event taking place where you can make a difference. I really enjoy working with trainee doctors, who are always clever, committed and nice people.”
5. Practice a diverse range of skills
When did you last treat a patient from first presentation to discharge? Have your ER and minor op skills wasted away in your urban practice? Locum work reconnects you with the front-line medical skills you used to enjoy when you started your career.
Since her maternity leave period, Dr Irandi Jayatilleke has had the chance to practice a diverse range of skills as a rural, sometimes remote, locum General Surgeon, maintaining skills she would not have used as a subspecialist Surgeon in metropolitan private practice.
“Working in Royal Darwin Hospital covering acute General Surgery has been my most rewarding locum experience. This role kept my skills up and gave me an insight into working with Indigenous communities. I really enjoy my visits there and find the work very satisfying,” she says.
Curious about trying a locum? Talk to us. Our experienced team of Locum recruitment consultants provide personalised service to find the perfect vacancy to suit your needs.
Specialists, GPs, Registrars, CMOs and Junior Doctors can locum for a few shifts, a weekend, or even a month. We work with your schedule.
Register to download your comprehensive guide to Locum work. Then we'll be in touch to share the Locum roles we currently have on offer in your medical specialty. You’ll be surprised at the variety.