The pros and cons of short term locum placements

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When working as a locum doctor, you have many opportunities to nab yourself either ad-hoc short shifts or an extended longer term placement. If you need a scattering of days to simply slot into your schedule, then looking for short term posts would be ideal and enable you to fill the gaps in the your diary seamlessly. It also fits in well with certain specialties, for example, work in A&E tends to be more individual fast paced shifts. The same could be true for on call shifts, where you could also get the opportunity to earn more money because of the hours.

Not sure whether short term posts are for you or not? Then why not take an look at our advantages and disadvantages to help weigh up your options…


  • Widen the horizons of your experience by heading to a range of working environments – a great way to bolster your CV
  • Increased flexibility about where you decide to work
  • Different locations and hospitals means your network base is larger, so you have more people to call upon for references
  • Greater opportunities to find new work – if you have worked somewhere once before, they are more likely to book you again, so if you have more places to call upon, you can quickly fill your diary
  • Your workload is more likely to be on your terms, and minus the admin


  • You won’t have as many chances to maintain continuous care
  • Less stability with your income, and your payments won’t really arrive in a lump sum
  • Involved in less activities that are relevant for your CPD (continuing professional development), such as audits
  • Can make appraisals more tricky, as you will need to gather feedback from a variety of places which could be difficult
  • References aren’t based on long term relationships, so they may be more brief and generalised
  • Have to work in lots of unfamiliar places, although they will become more familiar to you if you work there more than once


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