Locum secrets revealed, what you really think

6 min | Medical Careers

A deeper look into our research over locum employment attitudes

Following on from our previous blog post looking into the initial Wavelength Medical Recruitment and Locum Attitudes Survey 2018 research report, we take a deeper look into our findings around locum employment attitudes. At a high level, 83 percent of the doctors surveyed for our research believe having a good recruitment agency is critical, especially as competition for locums increases in the current market.

survey results

The research revealed sourcing roles tailored to needs is the top reason why doctors prefer partnering with medical recruitment agencies, followed by being able to handle the paperwork and negotiating effectively on your behalf. Good communication, responding quickly to queries and being able to organise all travel and accommodation are also key factors.

Other general feedback on the benefit of medical recruitment agencies for doctors included our ability to take care of registration requirements and source exclusive roles or roles not yet advertised.

“Some of the highlights regarding Wavelength’s level of service, in particular, included our commitment to go out of our way to be as helpful and proactive as possible, take care of all the details and make our Doctors feel valued,” says Chris Riley, CEO Wavelength.

So what makes a great locum role?

Setting aside pay and availability, our research found location is the top drawcard for doctors considering a locum role. In fact, 72 percent of doctors say the best part of locum work is being able to see different parts of the country. At Wavelength, we find many doctors select locums specifically so they can visit places in Australia they have never been, especially around school holidays where the whole family can enjoy a change of scenery.

According to our research, having good levels of staffing support is the second most important reason why doctors accept a locum role, with many doctors stating they often don’t get enough junior support to carry the workload. And being expected to work reasonable working hours is also a key consideration.

So what does the ideal locum role look like?

Our research showed an ideal locum consists of regular 8-hour days with realistic expectations on the hours required, interesting work with less administration and a positive team environment.

“My ideal locum would see me work a couple of days in the ED from 8am to 5pm and then have a couple of days looking after juniors because I really enjoy mentoring young doctors,” one Emergency Doctor responded.

And what do doctors enjoy most about locum roles?

Our research also revealed some interesting insights into why doctors enjoy locum work including the freedom it offers, the challenges and learning experiences. 65 percent of those surveyed find locum roles are a great way to break up the routine of everyday life and 64 percent love the challenge of locum work and the way it improves skillsets. 

The majority of doctors surveyed also find locum work to be extremely rewarding, with 68 percent noting that patients and medical staff are appreciative of their locum efforts.

As one Paediatrician says: “I like locum work because it’s challenging, you’re called on to do the full spectrum of work and often the remote locations offer a better quality of life away from it all.”

“Locum work offers good money and there’s a fair amount of flexibility and support for the work,” says another Psychiatrist. “I also enjoy making friends with the local staff and the diversity of grateful patients I get to see.”

Wavelength partners with healthcare providers and doctors across Australia to deliver the very best locum experiences. We offer a variety of locum assignments ranging from one shift to six months, as well as ongoing positions that will tick all your boxes, giving you greater flexibility and career options.

We handle all the paperwork, employer negotiations and in some cases even travel and accommodation arrangements.


If you’re looking for your next locum role register with us today for a confidential discussion, or search our lastest rewarding locum jobs.

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