Embracing locum life: A medical journey across Australia
Dr Georgia's narrative isn’t just another ordinary account of a medical professional. She’s not just a resident medical officer (RMO) living and working in Canberra. Her journey has taken her from the lush landscapes of New Zealand to the bustling metropolis of Australia’s capital, and beyond. We caught up with her to discuss her locum journey and get advice for other doctors.
"I have recently started fitting some locum RMO work into my full time job in Canberra, working in Emergency and medical wards. Working as a locum provides flexibility, a different experience, and a great way to boost the bank account with the rising costs of living!" Georgia explained.
Having completed her medical training in the pictursque backdrop of New Zealand, Georgia decided to step out of her comfort zone, taking up locum work in addition to her full-time position in Canberra.
"Locuming has allowed me the opportunity to visit towns and cities in Australia I would never have otherwise been to. Through this I have also met some fantastic doctors and medical staff, and made great friends."
Despite the hectic routine, she found herself enjoying the amalgamation of flexibility, experiential learning, and financial security.
Depsite many doctors suggesting that locuming has revolutionised the way they live and work, Georgia admits she still felt nervous starting out.
"Prior to my first locum shift I was very nervous about how it would go. However I quickly found that rural Australian communities are supportive, kind, and the patients are just so happy to have you visit."
Locuming opened a window into the unexplored territories of Australia. Each assignment turned into an opportunity to delve into the vast expanse of the country, but more importantly, to form a connection with the communities she tended to.
"The supervising doctors were great teachers and I managed to up-skill even during a short placement."
At every new location, Georgia was embraced by a wealth of camaraderie and collaboration. At the hospitals where she worked she met many talented doctors and medical staff who offered up the ability to build a wider professional network in medicine.
Christmas shifts, often dreaded by those who recieve them, became a festive occasion for Georgia.
"Even working over Christmas became a memorable experience as I was invited into the hospital activities with Christmas stockings and Christmas day feasting."
For those contemplating a career as a locum, Georgia couldn't recommend it highly enough.
"If anyone out there is thinking of locuming, I couldn’t recommend it higher. It’s difficult to take that first step and there’s always a lot of nerves starting out at a new hospital, but in my experience everyone is kind and happy to have you. It is the perfect way to build work life balance and afford some epic travelling too."
The essence of locuming, according to Georgia, lies in the amalgamation of work, travel, and a chance to serve diverse communities - a combination that makes the journey uniquely rewarding.