One of the options that doctors may not be aware of is the opportunity to be a travelling doctor. This is typically a form of medicine that is reserved for nurses but is slowly gaining popularity among doctors as well. This is because it affords an interesting and unusual alternative to the regular way of practicing medicine.

The technical term for a doctor who moves from one hospital to another is known as locum tenens. There are employment agencies that specially cater to finding general medicine locum jobs Queensland and other areas. Like with every career, there are advantages and disadvantages to this occupation. Here is what you need to know about being a travelling doctor:

Who Is It For?

This type of work is suited to only certain type of doctors. This is because it involves very specific conditions. For instance, it can be quite difficult to do this job if you have obligations such as a family or children. Being a travelling doctor will require you to move around a great deal. It is difficult to know the duration of each of your terms at a hospital. If you need stability or cannot move from one place to another with relative ease, this opportunity is probably not for you. If you have no such attachments, however, you will do well.

Due to the different schedule that you will keep, travelling doctors will often be paid more. This affords you a good chance to make some extra money. It also offers you the prospect of working more than one occupation. If you would like to pursue other endeavours including medicine, this is certainly an option for you.

Short Term vs. Long Term

You have the choice between two types of shifts. Short term (ad hoc locum) or long term shifts. With the short term shifts, you allow yourself a great deal of flexibility as you do not have too much of a regular schedule. Long term shifts result in the loss of most of this flexibility. It, however, may help you to make more money than the former choice. Long term also has the benefit of allowing greater ease in the workplace. For instance, you will have more time to learn the procedures of the hospital as well as get to know the staff. You should decide how much stability you want in your life and how much money you would like to make from this endeavour.

Getting Work

The most common ways to get such work is either through a hospital bank or via a recruitment agency. With the hospital bank, you will be placed on a list of doctors to contact if any additional help is required. Recruitment agencies each have their own schedule for assigning jobs to specific doctors.

Hospital banks usually offer lower rates than recruitment agencies. This may not be the choice for you if your goal is to accumulate savings. Working with a hospital, however, may afford you such perks as getting first entitlement on the shifts that are made available.


When it comes to the process of revalidation, the same rules apply to travelling doctors as everyone else. Who is in charge of revalidation depends on whether you are an ad hoc locum or a long term one. For long term shifts, you may have to undergo revalidation with the hospital that you spend the greatest amount of time. If it is short term, an officer from the recruitment agency will be overseeing it.

There is a great deal to think about when choosing whether or not to become a travelling doctor. It is certainly an interesting option to those who do not mind a little disruption and adventure jobs.