Locuming: A gateway to security and freedom

Happy locum doctor

Locuming offers seasoned and early-career doctors a unique blend of professional freedom and financial security. The term 'locum tenens,' Latin for 'to hold the place,' has become synonymous with flexibility, autonomy, and the pursuit of a balanced life—elements that are increasingly sought after in today's fast-paced medical field.

We decided to explore some of these drivers with some doctors to discover why they incorporated locuming into their medical careers.

Freedom to explore

One of the most enticing aspects of locuming is the freedom it offers. You can choose where you work, for how long, and in what capacity. This flexibility allows for the exploration of different healthcare settings, from bustling urban hospitals to remote rural clinics, each offering unique learning opportunities and experiences. For those bitten by the wanderlust bug or seeking a taste of adventure, locuming can serve as a gateway to discovering new places and cultures, all while practising medicine.

"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." Dr Gaurang Shah

A path to professional growth

Locuming is a pathway to significant professional development. Working in various settings exposes you to diverse patient populations, healthcare systems, and medical practices. This exposure can broaden skill sets, enhance adaptability, and deepen medical knowledge.

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"It’s a great opportunity - careers are long, and diverse experiences (both professional and personal) are always rewarding!" Dr Tim Tran

"It enriches my lifestyle because I enjoy travelling and seeing new places, and I also think it is good for my work as a doctor to be able to work in different environments and new hospitals as it improves my medical abilities." Dr Huw John

Financial security and stability

Beyond the personal and professional growth opportunities, locuming offers compelling financial benefits. Typically, locum doctors command higher hourly rates than their permanently employed counterparts. This premium reflects their flexibility, the demand for their services, and the temporary nature of their roles. Locum positions often come with additional perks such as accommodation, travel expenses, and insurance, further enhancing the financial allure of these roles.

"The finances, obviously, help a lot. Coming out of med school, I fell into the trap of having overdrafts and student loans." Dr Lachlan Thompson

"Medrecruit has allowed me to come to Uganda and continue living my "why" by finding me regular work in Melbourne close to my house. This allowed me to save money and finance my trip." Dr Andrew Jeklin

locuming has been instrumental in achieving my financial goals. The flexibility to take on placements in high-demand areas during the days/weekends that I am only available in was crucial, so I was able to maximise every opportunity that was provided to me, whilst having a healthy balance! Dr Adarsh Das

Autonomy over work-life balance

Perhaps the most significant advantage of locuming is the autonomy it grants doctors over their work-life balance. The ability to select shifts and assignments that align with personal commitments means you can prioritise family, leisure, or continuing education without sacrificing your career. This autonomy is a welcome contrast to the rigid schedules and demands typically associated with permanent positions, offering fresh air for those feeling the strain of burnout.

"Being a locum allows lots of flexibility in lifestyle to go and do the things you want to do. For me, it’s mountains but other people have other amazing hobbies as well." Dr Penzy Dinsdale

"I believe that being a good doctor starts with taking good care of myself and ensuring I’m the best version of myself. When I’m healthy, fulfilled, and happy, I’m a better human and can contribute to the world."Dr Sina Karimian

"I have been able to surf as little or as much as I want, driving around in a van, I’ve spent heaps of time with my mates, I've had time to go out for nice dinners, surf, rock climb, go to Europe! I’ve had an awesome year. It's been really nice to have good earning potential but also autonomy." Dr Dave Homewood

Locuming offers not just the freedom to explore and grow but also the security and flexibility that are increasingly prized in today's healthcare landscape. As more doctors embrace locum roles, the pathway to a more satisfied, balanced, and enriched professional life becomes more apparent.

Medrecruit Editorial Team
26 March 2024Article by Medrecruit Editorial TeamMedrecruit Editor