Want To Work As A Locum Doctor? What You Need To Know!

Many qualified doctors in Australia work as locum doctors. For younger doctors, life as a locum can be somewhat of an adventure. For others, it’s more of a lifestyle choice. There are a number of reasons why doctors decide to try their hand at being a locum. So what are…

Many qualified doctors in Australia work as locum doctors. For younger doctors, life as a locum can be somewhat of an adventure. For others, it’s more of a lifestyle choice. There are a number of reasons why doctors decide to try their hand at being a locum. So what are the advantages of becoming a locum? And how do you find regular work as a locum doctor?

What is a Locum Doctor in Australia?

Locum doctors are temporary doctors that fill a gap in the doctor roster, either at a hospital or a GP practice. Just as there are temps for many other positions in the workforce, such as fill-in teachers and so on, this is also necessary in the healthcare profession.

For example, a doctor at a clinic or practice might take four weeks annual leave. During the doctor’s absence, a locum will be hired to fill the void. Other times, a locum may just take up a job for a few days, or possibly even a few months, until a hospital or practice finds a suitable replacement for a full time doctor. Anytime a facility is short-staffed when it comes to doctors, this is a position for a locum.

There are numerous scenarios where locum doctors are required all around Australia, so there is always work available for doctors looking to locum.

The advantages of being a Locum Doctor

Having more time freedom can be one reason why a doctor might decide to work as a locum. If you don’t want your days filled up with work every day, then securing temporary locum placements with time out in between is ideal. You still make some good money, then can have some time off for travel or other pursuits.

Because a locum is essentially a casual worker in the medical profession, the hourly rates of pay locums receive is often higher than a doctor receives in permanent employment. Becoming a locum can be quite lucrative whilst offering a flexible lifestyle with both free time and money.

For those doctors that have a desire to travel around Australia and do some work at the same time, as a locum, you can chase temporary placements in various cities and towns around the country. You might get some work for a few weeks or months in one location, take some time off, then travel to a new location and work and explore while there. A travelling locum is a transient lifestyle, but one that can be very rewarding when you’re not tied down to one place. When locuming in a regional location your accommodation is provided as well as your travel to and from where you normally reside. In the case of specialists you will also be supplied with a car during your locum.

How to become a Locum Doctor

Before deciding to become a locum doctor, you must first hold general or specialist registration with AHPRA. You then have to think about what you want from being a locum. Is it extra income during your holidays or is this a full time lifestyle choice?

Once you’ve decided you definitely want to become a locum and for how long, your next step is to start finding work as a locum. The most convenient and effective way to land locum gigs is to team up with a recruitment firm that specialises in placements within the medical profession. They’ll be able to realistically tell you if you’ll be able to secure work at the times you want to work.

Provided your recruiter is confident they can find you work when you want it, then you need to ask where this work will be located, what the rate of pay will be and what the working environment will be like. If you’re happy with what you hear, then give your recruiter the green light to start securing locum work for you.

With a recruiter on your team, starting life as a locum becomes a reality and could be the beginning of a very exciting future. Without enlisting the help of a recruiter, you’ll never miss out on the best locum’s as your recruiter will ensure you are made aware of all locums that match your availability and location preferences.

Find work through JPS Medical Recruitment

JPS Medical Recruitment is a specialist recruiter for healthcare professionals. We help many locum doctors find placements when they need them, so give us a call, have a chat about your requirements and discover how we can help you on your locum career path.


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