Dr Gaurang Shah "Locuming provides opportunity to serve rural communities"

Locum doctor

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.

We caught up with Dr Gaurang Shah a General Surgeon and Medrecruit locum to find out more about his experience locuming and why he enjoys taking on shifts in rural communities.

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.

Australia's vast rural and remote areas face significant healthcare challenges due to their sparse populations and geographical isolation. Locum doctors play an important role in these regions by providing essential medical services that local healthcare systems often cannot sustain permanently.

Locum doctors in rural Australia ensures continuity of care, supports local healthcare facilities during staff shortages, and offers essential specialist medical services that might otherwise be inaccessible.

Locum doctors are earning up to $4000/day. How does your salary compare? Find out in our free 2024 Australian Doctor Job Market.
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Jordy Black
16 January 2024Article by Jordy BlackMedrecruit Editor