Dr Gaurang Shah "Locuming provides opportunity to serve rural communities"
Locuming allows doctors to impact rural and remote communities, where medical resources are often scarce. This addresses critical healthcare gaps and provides a deeply rewarding experience for the doctors involved.
Working in these communities allows doctors to engage closely with patients and their families, understand their unique challenges, and provide care that resonates with the community's specific needs. Travel and accommodation are usually covered, and doctors can bring their families along for a working holiday.
Can you tell me a bit about you and why you became a doctor?
I am a general surgeon with special interest in colorectal surgery based in Melbourne Victoria. I migrated from India in 2007 to Melbourne with my family. I completed my AMC exams first and awarded FRACS in general surgeon from Alfred health. Subsequently I did one year of fellowship in Townville hospital and commenced work as a Consultant in 2019. My practice is based between regional metropolitan Melbourne.
What was your motivator for locuming?
- Break from routine and busy private practice
- Exploring new locations with family
- Providing service to rural communities
How has locuming enriched your lifestyle in any way?
- Travel opportunity in rural Victoria and QLD has been an amazing experience during different seasons.
- Locuming provides opportunity to serve rural communities close to their home and family. I could also coordinate their transfers to Metropolitan Melbourne hospitals due to personal contacts without significant delay as often lack of available beds in major hospitals delays transfers of patients from rural locations.
- Locuming is stress free job so it's very enjoyable.
- Provides platform to socialise with rural colleagues and junior medical staff.
- Financial boost during Covid when elective surgery in private practice was almost dead.
Have you had any memorable or crazy experiences when locuming?
I was in a rural Victorian hospital during Covid pandemic as a locum in 2021. At about 2am in morning, I had to operate a patient with acute gastric volvulus with BMI of 42 as she was hemodynamically unstable. I performed laparoscopic hiatus hernia repair with fundoplication successfully. Experience of working in metropolitan hospital helped to treat this patient at local hospital without transferring to Melbourne.
How does Medrecruit support you as a locum doctor?
- Very friendly staff
- Always very prompt in replying emails, texts messages, and calls
- Have been excellent with organising accommodation and travel arrangements.
- Better negotiation of rates with hospitals
Would you have any advice for other doctors who are thinking about locuming?
Locuming is great and one of the best decisions of my work as now I can balance my busy private practice with locum so well that I can spend more time with my family during school breaks with a good financial reward.