Should you do locum work in the city or countryside?

Is city living your scene?

Is city living your scene?

One of the benefits of working as a locum doctor is that you will get the opportunity to experience a huge array of hospitals and locations – whether you fancy working in a small community hospital, a modern skyscraper style medical centre, a scenic rural countryside spot, or a bustling city. Whatever you decide, the choice is yours. Total Assist Group work with NHS trusts up and down the country so my fellow recruitment consultants and I can offer you a placement no matter where you want to work.

Naturally there are advantages to the different kinds of placements you pick, so here are some pointers from me to help you decide whereabouts in the country you want to work and whether rural or city work would suit you best.

Rural locum placements:

  • Rural hospitals tend to be on a smaller scale, so one of the factors of this is that there won’t be as many patients to cram in. This means that as doctors, you aren’t spread so thinly across the wards, and you can spend extra time getting to know and interacting with your patients, giving you more time to spend with each one.
  • Another plus side of being generally smaller is that there are less doctors based there. This means it is easier for you to stand out and make a good impression as a locum worker – this will increase your chances of getting booked again there or having your placement extended.
  • Rural placements tend to have a smaller, tight knit community team and this can be really great to be a part of. Some locum doctors fear being isolated as a temporary worker, but this is not the case at all. Being part of such an inclusive team also provides better learning opportunities and as you can receive one to one mentoring if you are a more junior doctor.
  • Rural hospitals can occasionally struggle to fill spots on their rota due to their location, so this can mean you can earn slightly more, as they are more willing to pay for a qualified specialist. This can vary though.

City locum placements:

  • A huge plus point of city locum work is that you will encounter a massive variety of patients. Due to the sheer numbers of people living in a city compared to rural areas, you will come across a wider breadth of cases, conditions, diseases and illnesses for you to tackle – especially in A&E. This kind of experience is a fantastic learning curve for lower grade doctors.
  • City hospitals have a lot of patients to get through, so you will be kept on your toes and have more patients on your roster. This looks brilliant on your CV as it demonstrates that you can handle the intensity and pressure of a thriving hospital environment, and that no task is too great for you to tackle.
  • Being in the city also has some more fun advantages, especially if you travel to do your locum work, as you then have the chance to explore a new city and soak up the sights. Generally there is more to do and see in a city than in a quieter rural area so your work placement can almost double as a city break if you plan it right.
  • You are also more likely to come across specialty focused cases, again due to the increased number of patients, so you may be lucky enough to be involved with some unique and specific situations that you can learn from. City hospitals are also more known for allowing clinical attachment, which is an observation role, so you may also be able to get involved with some teaching for these unpaid work experience style workers.

[testimonial name=”By Bechir Khadraoui” who=”Senior Recruitment Consultant” imagelinks=”” vertical=”no”]”I predominately deal with SHO’s in Medicine and Surgery. I have over 10 years of experience in locum recruitment and I have built strong relationships nationwide. Please contact me if you’re looking for your next locum work.”[/testimonial]


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