Locum work is a great way to combine your medical skills with a flexible working pattern that helps you pursue your career as a doctor in a way that suits you. Whilst developing your experience as a doctor around your life schedule can be an ideal opportunity for many, there are a number of persistent myths about locum work that may put people off. Here, we debunk some common locum work myths.
"I won’t be able to find the right roles"
Working on a locum basis, there will be a range of different roles open to you, many of which will have flexible working patterns too. Whether you’d prefer to work in a hospital, a community trust or a GP surgery, you’ll be able to find opportunities to match your skills and experience.
If you take up locum work with an agency like Medacs, you’ll be supported by a dedicated placement officer who will always keep you informed about the different opportunities open to you. They will notify you of new placements that arise, meaning you’ll be able to apply early, and they’ll help place you into roles that suit your requirements.
Working locum in different roles and locations can also be extremely useful for doctors looking to develop their skills in other areas. This additional experience can support doctors to realise their future career ambitions.
"Locum work requires too much paperwork"
It’s always important for doctors to have the right qualifications and skills before they start working in certain environments. Some agencies and employers will often look to verify this by having new starters fill in lots of paperwork. But by working with the right agency, you can minimise much of this.
With Medacs, you’ll only need to fill in one round of paperwork that will enable you to work between different environments. This makes it much easier for you to rotate between trusts without having to go through multiple pre-registration rounds.
"I will constantly need to negotiate the right payment conditions"
Another common myth is that you’ll need to renegotiate your pay package every time you start a new locum placement, leaving you at risk of not getting paid what you expect. Whilst it is true that some environments will have different pay scales, working with the right agency, such as Medacs, can make pay negotiations easier and help you get the right pay deal.
Once you’re registered with Medacs, you can ask your placement officer to negotiate on your behalf, meaning that you no longer have to manage these conversations or worry about being short changed.
"Locum work is normally low-quality work"
Hundreds of desirable locum jobs are received by Medacs every day as there are lots of reasons why employers might be looking for locum doctors. A permanent doctor could be ill or on parental leave, for example. Or, a practice could be experiencing a seasonal surge in demand, meaning they quickly need more staff.
And, as a preferred supplier of staff to the NHS, Medacs offers locum doctors the chance to work in world-class medical standards and modern facilities of NHS hospitals. Once you’re registered with Medacs, you’ll be able to apply to extremely high-quality medical roles before other applicants.
However, if you do experience issues with any locum job you’ve been placed in, any feedback you can give will be appreciated, and your placement officer will provide you with advice and support.
"Career progression is harder for locum doctors"
Many doctors worry that locum work makes career progression harder, as it may mean that they’ll be less established at a single institution. However, the reality is that locum work can actually be very beneficial for your career development.
After qualifying, many junior doctors take on different roles in a range of environments to broaden their experience. Spending some time developing skills in different areas will always be advantageous and can often help you stand out from other doctors when it comes to securing competitive roles.
As locum contracts can be more flexible than other permanent contracts, you may also be able to use your flexible working to pursue other professional development opportunities, such as writing up case reports or carrying out research projects.
Apply for a locum doctor role with Medacs
As a locum doctor, you have the freedom to work in different environments, gain new skills and prioritise your career development. You’ll also be able to work flexibly, choosing the shifts that suit your requirements. For more information about becoming a locum doctor, view our doctor FAQs guide, or browse our latest locum doctor roles.