What is a locum doctor?

Article by Medrecruit Editorial Team13 Sep 2022
Locum doctor jobs

Medrecruit is a locum agency. This is a medical recruitment agency that finds doctors work in either short-term (locum) or permanent roles. Medrecruit is Australasia's leading locum recruitment agency, we offer our recruitment services to employers such as hospitals, private practices, and clinics when they have roles that need to be filled.

Here are the answers to all the frequently asked questions we get about what a locum doctor is, what the benefits are, and how an agency (like Medrecruit) could help you in your locum career.

What does locum mean in medicine?

Locum comes from the word "locum tenens" which means a person filling for a time or temporarily taking the place of another. It is primarily used to describe doctors. Locum doctors do exactly that, they fill roles for a time or temporarily take the place of another.

What is the job of a locum?

A locum doctor fills roles for a time or temporarily takes the place of another. They can work solely as a locum doctor or they can pick up locum shifts around their permanent role. A locum doctor works for themselves as a contractor to the hospitals/practices they are not employed by them. Doctors can start locum work after PGY 2 in Australia and PGY 3 in New Zealand.

How long can you locum for?

Locum doctors fill roles or cover shifts so it could be anywhere between a couple of days of work to six months of work. Many doctors choose longer shifts (1-4 weeks) and enjoy locuming because they can fit these shorter shifts around their lifestyle (or their full-time role!).

What are the benefits of locuming?

Doctors choose to locum for many reasons. The shorter shifts and flexibility offered allows doctors to fit the work around their lifestyle and pursue their passions.. Locum work allows doctors to travel the country and have adventures, and some doctors even make a lifestyle out of it. Locuming can be a great way to learn new skills, and work across a variety of hospitals, or get your rural hours up.. Many doctors who have experienced burnout say a shift to locum work helped them reclaim work/life balance.

How do I find locum work?

A locum recruitment agency, like Medrecruit, can help place you in locum roles that suit your career or lifestyle goals. When perusing the locum lifestyle most doctors choose to work with a medical agency because the agency takes care of all the logistics including booking travel and accommodation - which in most cases is covered. Medrecruit's service is completely free for doctors, we are paid a finders fee by the hospital or clinic for saving them time and providing the right candidate.

How are locum doctors paid?

Locum doctors are paid by the hospital or clinic. As a locum you are paid as a contractor. Your tax structure will be different. In Australia, you will need to provide an Australian Business Number. In New Zealand, you may need to register for GST.

Your recruitment specialist can let you know which method you’ll be paid by for each job you undertake.

When you register with Medrecruit you get access to over 2,000 doctor jobs all over Australasia.

Looking for a doctor job which matches your career and lifestyle aspirations? Start your journey with Medrecruit now

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Medrecruit Editorial Team
Article by Medrecruit Editorial TeamMedrecruit Editor
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