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Global Medics Survey – Insight 4

Pursuing Locum Opportunities

Over the past 13 years, we have worked with thousands of doctors from around the world to find suitable locum opportunities in their destinations of choice. In our recently completed survey, almost two thirds of respondents indicated they would be interested to do more locum work. At first glance this seems to be quite high, as many doctors also value job security – not something you would attach to locum stints.

It is only when we look at the responses more carefully, that we begin to understand the underlying reasons for these seemingly conflicting data. As I mentioned in a previous blog, work-life balance is now the single most important factor when thinking about the career environment. We know from previous research, that locum work often allows for greater take-home remuneration and significantly more flexibility in how time is apportioned to professional activities. In an environment where locum opportunities for high quality clinicians abound, it is then not surprising that job security is less of an issue for those who have traditionally held to permanent, single employer employment.

Having said that, the locum market is also changing as smart employers seek to capitalize on the availability of suitable candidates to fill vacancies. Although employer preference remains to have permanent employees fill all vacancies, their appreciation for the fact that factors such as annual leave, illness or resignations will always be part of running health services, has prompted more tailored approaches to attracting the best locums for these periods. These include more flexible working conditions, higher rates of pay, greater personal and professional support and consideration of personal and / or family commitments as part of the “locum package”.

To such extent have these models developed, that we now see an ever-increasing number of career locums entering the medical workplace. Although our most recent survey did not specifically seek to explore the rate at which permanent employees are pursuing career locum employment, it is our impression that this trend is rapidly gaining momentum.

Global Medics continues to work closely with leading employers and the locum community to share knowledge, practices and experience, and our team will be more than happy to discuss how we may be of service to you.