It is extremely common for children to dream of being doctors. Helping people take care of their health, improving and saving lives, it does make sense. In a way, doctors are seen as real-life heroes. Those who stay on that path only later come to realize exactly how challenging the profession is. Furthermore, people should’ve understood by now that being healthy includes numerous aspects of our lives. And because of this lack of knowledge, certain professional choices are not getting enough credit for their hard and important work. Just some of those who are not treated as real doctors are dentists and psychologists, even locum physicians or caregivers. There are many misconceptions regarding these, which need to be disputed and today we will deal with locum doctors.
Consider the advantages
Life has become a lot more dynamic nowadays, and many aspects of any given profession are changing, such as working hours and opportunities for skill improvement. As people are evolving, we’ve realized being stuck in a professional rut is harming our mental health, therefore influencing our abilities and judgment. There is nothing wrong with wanting something different, enjoying flexible hours and being on the move. Physicians who are considering switching to being a locum doctor are often reluctant because they are afraid of how people will react to their decision. They imagine they would be perceived as unreliable, and their decision to be rash and ill-considered.
Try not to overthink it, as it can simply be put in the perspective of doing freelance work in the medicine area. You would be providing a range of services and probably still have regular and recurring assignments. One of the biggest fears is not having enough working hours per month, however, in reality, it just means those hours are divided in a different way. Flexible work hours allow for more freedom in organizing your personal life, and doing locum work can be extremely valuable in certain periods of life, such as starting a family. Another relevant topic is self-improvement and engaging in activities that might even be out of your comfort zone. A variety of locations, working conditions, and even patients’ mentality can be challenging even for the bravest ones. You’ll work on skills you usually wouldn’t, gain more experience and furthermore benefit from it by being more open-minded in general.
Some may commit to combining their full-time job with occasional locum assignments, and this is especially applicable to those who live near rural areas. Branching out is always a good idea, and notably, if it brings you extra income!
Some of the myths
Just because all of their work isn’t concentrated in one hospital means no one wants to hire them, right? This is the most common misconception, and what most people assume. The assumption is based on many outdated values and standpoints, connected with stability and regular income that come with one contract and one employer. There are so many aspects of it that are simply not valid in the 21st century.
First of all, the implication that a locum doctor is not good or valuable enough for someone to hire them simply does not make sense. Just because their choice is not the usual and standard one, it doesn’t mean it’s not an essential part of the healthcare system. Imagine this situation from another standpoint, e.g. the hiring managers. Some of your employees are taking personal leave, so obviously, you would need a replacement to cover their shifts. Logic says you would find someone equally qualified and capable as your permanent doctor. Everyone should be aware that even doctors can get sick, and surely everyone will at some point go on a vacation. This is where locum practitioners jump in, saving the day.
Many would say that patients will complain about not being seen by their regular doctor. The truth is people who are in real need of medical help will not question the department’s choice for a replacement. Additionally, one of the greatest sources for assignments in locum work is rural areas, that only provide this kind of medical help.
Another misconception, deriving from the aforementioned values, claims locum tenancy looks bad on a resume. If you really think about (or consult with anyone with a hiring position), you can conclude the statement could not be further from the truth. The only implications are positive, it shows you can adapt to numerous conditions, are committed and willing to show up on short notice, versatile and flexible, in search of constant improvement and so on. Rest assured locum doctors are treated with gratuity and respect, as they are stepping in when needed the most.
Diversity in experience can only result in a unique approach, which tends to be more creative and sometimes even unusual. Working in a variety of settings, regarding both people and equipment can create a certain set of skills that is clearly not possible in a steady environment. Whatever the main reason behind your consideration to do locum work is (extra money, specialization or a chance to travel the country), just don’t let the untruths influence your decision. It’s a brave choice, but it doesn’t necessarily mean resigning at your permanent job. Start with occasional fill-ins for other practices in the area, and check out the benefits a change can have.