Tips For GPs Considering Locum Work

Published on 06/04/2022 locum, General Practice, Rural Generalism, Locum work,

If you're a General Practitioner considering the move to locum work, we have some essential tips to make the experience more rewarding and less stressful.

Plan ahead

Plan ahead. We suggest you look a month or two ahead so you do get your first preference in your desired location. There’s a difference between locations where doctors are in high demand, and locations that are in high demand by doctors. Book in advance!

… But be flexible

List a number of locations you’d like to work in. Don’t limit yourself to one state or region, otherwise you’ll not get to experience the full gamut of destinations and experiences. Your second or third picks will still present you with valuable experiences to last a lifetime.

Familiarise yourself with the system

Computer and admin systems may vary from clinic to clinic. (Definitely the case if you’re moving from Australia to New Zealand and vice-versa). When you’re commencing locum work at a new clinic, it’s important to familiarise yourself with how things are run. Familiarise yourself with any procedural manuals provided by the clinic, and put together a cheat sheet of passwords and logins where possible; it’ll make your caseload in the first two days a bit easier.

Be prepared for any situation

If you’re jonesing for the locum life, then be prepared to think instinctively; you’ll be thinking on your feet. Remember, anything that can happen usually does. This will be doubly the case if you’re working as a rural locum.

Be a good listener

As a locum doctor, you’ll obviously be taking on patients from other doctors. Some patients may be used to the rapport that they’ve already built up with the previous doctor, and they’ll want to get a sense that you know where they’re coming from.

Work smart

It may be tempting—financially or otherwise—to cram as many shifts as possible. Don’t burn yourself out. Try to soak up your environment and shoot for a healthy work-life balance.

Use a single agency

Choose an agency that specialises in General Practice. A GP-centric recruitment agency, like Ochre, will offer you work in your sub-specialty areas: GP ED, GP obstetrics, GP anaesthesia, procedural work, skin, sexual health, Indigenous health, family medicine, and of course the rapidly growing rural generalist specialism. Work exclusively with one consultant who understands your professional goals and where you want to go.

Look past the city

The most valuable and professionally enriching experiences you can have as a locum GP will come from rural medicine. You’ll earn higher rates, too.

Dr John Hall, GP Obstetrician believes there’s a certain mindset that comes with being a Rural GP locum: “If you're going around the hospital doing different terms like obstetrics, emergency, anaesthetics, surgery, internal medicine, any of the subspecialties, and you keep saying to yourself, "I love everything about medicine. I like all the different disciplines"... It means that you've got a generalist mindset. My first foray into proper rural medicine did not disappoint. I had a busy job working as a hospital doctor in a medium-size rural hospital. Working across the gamut of emergency care, surgery, internal medicine, outpatient work—one of the most rewarding workplaces and jobs that I've ever done.”

Take a look at some of our current locum jobs:

Norfolk Island

Multiple GP / VMO + ED locum blocks. Work in the GP Clinic 8:30am until 5pm Monday to Friday with on-call at the Emergency Department on a shared roster 1:3. Dates available immediately until the end of January 2023. Three-week minimum commitment required - 4 weeks preferred. $1,500 per day plus flights, accommodation, and car provided. Click here for more details

Sunshine Coast

A popular mixed billings clinic is looking for additional GP support to work alongside a part-time GP, full-time nurse, and admin staff. Working from 8am – 4pm daily with a half-hour lunch break, you'll earn $1200 per day or 70% of billings (whichever is greater) Flights, car and accommodation provided. Click here for more details


Are you heeding the call for locum work? Are you an intuitive General Practitioner ready for professionally enriching experiences off the beaten path? Ochre Recruitment can offer you locum placements throughout Australia and New Zealand. Contact Us today, or:

Browse our range of GP Locum Jobs.

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