Advantages of being a locum doctor

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Sarah Peddie

Have you ever thought about working as a locum doctor? There are many benefits to working in a locum position that you may not have known. Here at Odyssey Recruitment, we have a few locum jobs on offer so we are here to take you through the advantages and also the disadvantages of being a locum doctor.

Working as a locum doctor is an alternative option to having a permanent position at a hospital or general practice. A locum doctor has a very important role in delivering health services as they can cover last-minute to support departments where there are increased demands - this can also include longer term opportunities like covering maternity leave.

Despite basically doing the same job as a doctor permanently employed there are some differences. A couple of things that are different is the flexibility over your hours and salary. 

So, what are the advantages of working as a locum doctor?

Flexibility 

The biggest advantage of being a locum doctor is that it gives you greater flexibility in both your personal and work life. You have control over the hours you work and the type of work you do - which gives you the chance to choose when you work your shifts. 

You are not tied down to a long-term contract and you can move around roles gaining different skills. Everyone will be different in how long they prefer to work in a locum position.

Experience and skills

Many medical professionals go locum to increase their experience and skills within the healthcare sector. Locum work means that doctors get to work with a new client group and gain experience in a particular area.

Locum positions give medical professionals the opportunity to try new things in a role which they perhaps would not be able to do if they were in a permanent role. 

Work and life balance

Locum doctors usually have a better work and life balance compared to those who work in permanent positions. This is due to the fact that they are contracted to do a certain amount of hours and are only paid for those hours as they are temporary staff. 

It means they can go in, do their job and go home - they don’t have to worry about the job for the rest of the day. 

If the locum position is not working out for you then you have more flexibility to look for a better suited placement as you have a shorter notice period.

Bring your experience 

As a locum doctor you will most likely gain a lot of experience in different settings and organisations. With all your experience as a locum you can bring valuable experience to the workplace.

However, despite all these advantages, there are some disadvantages to being a locum doctor which may not suit everyone.

It is unlikely that you will receive any sick pay or be entered into a pension scheme - but, after 12 weeks, Agency Worker Regulations entitle locum doctors to many benefits that a permanent worker would receive.

You will be in charge of managing your own finances which means you may need to hire an accountant to advise you with your finances and taxes.

Establishing good working relationships with the permanent staff at the hospital may be a bit more difficult but could be an opportunity to network with other locums within the establishment. 

If you think that a locum role is right for you then register with Odyssey Recruitment today and we could help you find the perfect job!