So after the foundation programme and core medical training, I’ve started my first stint as a locum doctor in Scotland. It’s not straightforward starting in a new hospital after finishing on nights, moving 200 miles across the country, and also missing induction.
However, this second week is already faring much better than the first so I’m optimistic!
After some contemplating, let me present 4 excellent reasons for considering work as a locum doctor.
4 Excellent Reasons For Working As A Locum Doctor
Firstly, many doctors originate from places abroad such as Africa, Australia or Malaysia and although they may have extensive medical experience in their respective countries, most have never worked in the NHS. A short period of working in the UK will prepare them very well for the future when they attain a substantive post.
Even moving from Wakefield back to Scotland has taken me a good couple of weeks to adjust so I can only imagine how difficult life must be for doctors who relocate to an entirely different country or even continent!
Another great reason for working as a locum is to gain further experience prior to embarking on a training programme, or prior to taking up a substantive consultant post.
This is especially useful if there is a specialty that you have had little experience in during your earlier years.
The third reason is the flexibility you have over your shift patterns. Whereas trainees in formal training programmes have to work a set number of nights, weekends and evening on-call shifts to successfully complete progress, locums don’t have such obligations and are free to work as much or as little as they wish.
Last but not least, being a locum doctor offers you access to higher pay rates, often 2 – 3 times as much as a trainee or substantive post of similar grade.
However, before we all give up your day jobs after reading this post, remember that locums do not get paid sick, study or annual leave and are also not entitled to employer pension contributions!
They also don’t benefit from career progression which is a major drawback. But if you have a few months or a year off, then working as a locum doctor certainly is very appealing for the above reasons!
The above is a short summarised excerpt from my locum guide. This guide contains crucial information on how to rapidly establish yourself as a top locum doctor and leads you through a step-by-step process on how to negotiate the highest possible pay rates.