In healthcare, locums are physicians and healthcare professionals who take up temporary contracts and assignments in hospitals and medical practices. The term ‘locum’ comes from the Latin phrase locum tenens which means “placeholder.” Locum positions are created to cover permanent staff on leave, or to to alleviate staff shortages in hospitals and clinics. In Australia, locum work is particularly important in rural and remote areas. In the past, Senior Doctors would often choose locum employment as a way of ‘easing into retirement.’ However, nowadays, doctors of all ages and stages of their career are choosing to work in locum employment and find it provides many benefits including:
- flexibility and work-life balance.
- financial incentives.
- variety and travel.
- access to skill development and specialisation.
- exposure to different clinical and healthcare settings and situations.