The benefits of becoming a locum doctor

09 November 2021 By Michael Bowyer

​Locum doctors are in rising demand, and it is an opportunity for healthcare professionals to pursue a career that offers better quality of life via part time, unstructured or semi-structured work. It is possible to become a locum doctor at any stage in your career, for example you may decide after your studies that you need more time to consider which speciality path to take or alternatively, are towards the end of your healthcare career and are looking for more flexibility and the benefits of being self-employed.

Many professionals working in healthcare find getting their work-life balance right a challenge, which leads to feeling overworked and burnt out. Choosing to pursue a career as a locum allows you the freedom to control your own work schedule and therefore, make the time to take care of your own wellbeing and build a fruitful career that suits your individual needs!

5 benefits of temporary work as a locum doctor

Although you will still be providing the same medical care as you would in a permanent position, there are several important differences when it comes to locum employment. Locum work appeals to many healthcare professionals, despite being subject to periods of shift irregularity and income fluctuations. With the ability to take control of your career opportunities and workload, being employed as a locum doctor possesses many attractive perks, such as:

1. More independence

As a locum doctor, you have the freedom to fill your working weeks with whichever shifts you choose to complete and have the responsibility of managing your own workload. For some, this can be a daunting prospect, but for others, it’s an opportunity to thrive and be your own boss!

2. Varied experience

One of the main drivers behind healthcare professionals opting to seek locum work is for the opportunity to experience a variety of medical disciplines. From covering last-minute shifts to supporting different departments during periods of increased demands, locums play an essential role in our healthcare service.

3. Opportunity to explore career options

If you are a junior doctor who is unsure of which area of medicine you’d like to specialise in, locum work is the perfect solution. Allowing you to explore a variety of roles and responsibilities, becoming a locum doctor enables you to experience different working environments and decide what, where and who you’d like to work with more long-term.

For more senior doctors, locum work is the chance to take a step back from their speciality and explore other areas in healthcare when considering a career change. Locum work tends to be temporary by nature and on a short-term basis, which is especially useful if you’re struggling to find an assignment or need something to ensure financial stability whilst waiting to begin a new role.

4. Flexibility

If you’re looking for an unusual shift pattern, prefer to work nights, or only wish to work certain days, locum work is an excellent solution for you. Perhaps you’re wanting to save up to travel or are looking for some extra income whilst completing your studies, either way, becoming a locum doctor is a way to fill the gaps in your healthcare career.

5. Healthy work-life balance

We all know that working in healthcare can be both challenging yet rewarding, though long and unchangeable working hours can lead to you feeling burnt out or lacking a healthy work-life balance. Working as a locum doctor allows you more autonomy over your working hours, picking and choosing which shifts you’d like to fill, so that you can regain control over your lifestyle and accommodate your personal commitments.

This is particularly appealing for doctors who have children to care for, or would like to work more ad hoc shifts so they can travel the world in between!

If you are considering becoming a locum and are looking for advice on how to source assignments, our team of Medical Staffing consultants are happy to guide you in this time. They can help you get your compliance levels up to 100% and help source the best locum opportunities that suit your career goals.

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