How does it compare with permanent medical positions?

There are many factors to consider before settling on a permanent position or seeking locum (temporary) work in the medical industry. Each are rewarding in their own way, but both types of work will affect your lifestyle, the nature of your work and schedule differently.

Here are some the pros and cons for each when considering your decision:

Permanent Positions

  • Stability and Job Security: Permanent physician jobs offer the ability to stay in the same medical practice. With a permanent position, you will have better job security and stability.

  • Building Relationships: You will be able to work with the same team of nurses and doctors and to build long-lasting relationships with your patients.

  • Consistency: Permanent positions are ideal for people who prefer to remain in the same community and who thrive on consistency.  

  • Admin and Paperwork: A major drawback of working in a permanent position is the substantial amount of administrative duties that will come with it. If you work in a permanent physician's job, you will have much greater expectations for documentation, paperwork and other administrative tasks.

  • Burnout: The amount of paperwork that is involved with a permanent position means that you might be likelier to suffer from burnout. Within the health care field, people who work in long-term positions suffer burnout at much higher rates. 

Locum Positions

  • Opportunities to Travel: Working as a locum physician is appealing to people who enjoy travelling. When you work as a locum doctor, you will be able to experience the different cultures and communities across the country. It can also be very rewarding to serve patients in rural areas and other places that are underserved. You will be able to see the beautiful coastlines or explore the more rural parts of Australia's interior. Locum doctors also commonly command higher rates of pay because of their willingness to travel and to work on a temporary basis.

  • Greater Flexibility: By its nature, locum work affords you much greater flexibility. You can select the shifts that you want, allowing you to spend more time with your family or on your other pursuits. You can also choose from a number of different specialties so that you can gain broader experience. Some locum doctors are offered permanent positions after they have performed work at different medical organisations.

  • Unpredictability: Some doctors think that locum work is unstable and unpredictable. Others prefer to stay in the same community and to build long-term relationships with their patients and other medical professionals. Your schedule is likely to be difficult to predict, and you may sometimes struggle to land shifts that you want. You will also not receive the perks and benefits that are offered with permanent positions. However, the varied experience that you can gain may help to build your resume so that you are more attractive to potential employers in the future.

  • Fatigue: Over time, constantly traveling can cause strain on both you and your family relationships. Locum work can require overtime and double shifts which can cause mental and physical fatigue, trying to maintain work and life balance.

Both locum work and permanent positions offer their own benefits to physicians.

Permanent positions lend themselves well to people who enjoy routine and working in the same work environment. If you enjoy traveling and flexibility, locum work may be a good choice for you instead. Locum work may offer you an excellent opportunity to enjoy new experiences and to see the country while helping those who need it the most.

If you had any questions about permanent or locum work, get in touch with Charterhouse.