Some patients dislike seeing locum doctors even though many locums are as qualified as regular GPs. Many negative things are heard about locum GPs even though many are able to save lives. There are many benefits to locum practice, but how can you handle the negatives that come with it? You need to have the qualities that can tell you’re ready to become a locum doctor in Singapore.
1. You Adapt Well to Different Working Environments
One of the advantages of locum practice is the opportunity to work in various medical disciplines. You can, for example, choose to work in a local general practice today and then in the military sector the next. This broadens your horizon and boosts your resume, but it also comes with a cost.
Because you jump from one work environment to another, you need the ability to adapt quickly to different manners of working. Each hospital has its own way of handling things, use different clinical software, and follows different referral processes. As a locum doctor, you must learn these things rapidly so you can fit into the routines of each workplace.
2. You Have Excellent Communication Skills
Clear communication is important in every profession but is especially crucial in healthcare. Around 22% of written complaints against family health services in the NHS concerns communication problems.
In general practice, communication is done between several individuals including primary care, secondary care, voluntary care, and social care. But what’s more important is good communication during consulting and prescribing.
Good communication during consultations prevents patient complaints. As a locum GP, you only have one chance to listen to your patients and suggest treatments. Effective communication skill will keep patients from feeling frustrated and alienated. And during prescription, patients need to fully understand their condition, how they should take their medications and the possible side effects.
Wondered about becoming a locum doctor? Continuing your career as a locum offers flexibility, freedom, and control over your work-life balance. Click below to register as a locum GP or call us at 6258 6683 for any enquiries.
3. You Are Self-Confident
A locum GP always deals with risks. If you can’t handle the possibility of periods of unemployment or you worry about making mistakes during consultations, you might not want to locum. Successful locums are not only able to face these challenges, they enjoy them. It gives them the chance to control their careers, do the job they’re passionate about and the interests that keep them inspired. They enjoy working in challenging environments and providing help to patients they have only met that day.
To thrive in locum practice, you need the confidence to refuse to do work that will put your credibility at risk. You need to believe in your ability enough to assess patients despite the inadequate information provided.
4. You Have Strategic Planning Skills
The many challenges that you will face as a locum GP can be avoided through strategic planning. For example, as a locum GP, you oversee all your finances and taxes, you are solely responsible for finding and acquiring employment, and for updating your skill set. Without strategic planning skills, you can't do all those things on your own and still enjoy the benefits of flexible working hours.
5. You Can Develop and Uphold Your Own Personal Brand
Being aware of your own qualities and capabilities is necessary if you want to work as a locum GP. You need to have a unique selling point so that employers will pick you over other locums applying for the job. If there is a clinical area you are good at or are interested in and there’s an opportunity for sessional work in your locality, develop your career brand accordingly. If you can work on weekends or perform evening surgeries, you can create your unique selling point around that.
Having marketing and branding skills is a sign that you can succeed as a locum GP. Being able to sell your skills to employers is necessary for you to snag the contracts that you want.
6. You Are a Self-Motivated Learner
Locum GPs are neglected in terms of access to information and continuing education. While there are hospitals and clinics who care enough to include their locums in their professional development initiatives, some are lacking in this area.
Instead of dwelling on this disappointing issue, you need to have the motivation to learn on your own if you want to be a locum GP. All doctors are required to go through a recertification process. Apart from the description of your work as a locum doctor, the appraisal also looks at your quality improvement and continuing professional development activities. To succeed in locum practice, include various learning activities in your schedule. It could be through locum group learning, formal courses or personal study. We will cover the top recommended online courses for GPs in an article to come.
More and more general practitioner trainees are deciding to be a locum GP after completing their training, according to a survey from the Warwick Medical School. This is understandable given the numerous benefits locum practice offers. The problem is that this career choice is not without drawbacks. Only those with the right skills and mindset can thrive in this rewarding but challenging profession.
Related articles that might interest you:
Did you enjoy this article? There's more where that came from. So, come subscribe to our blog to make sure you do not miss the interesting, informative, and some fun articles and videos we share!