Becoming a locum is an attractive career pathway for many doctors, from the newly-qualified who are seeking to widen their medical experience, to established GPs, previously partners in a practice, who wish to gain increased flexibility and independence by choosing to do locum work. As a locum, you will be able to widen your medical knowledge and enhance your skill sets while being well-rewarded financially. However, in the past it has sometimes been a tricky process to find the right locum work: BeeFound is the new way of getting locum work that will help to smooth your path. We match up GP locums availability to GP practices requirements in real time, and we help locums manage their time and work/life balance more effectively.
To smooth the way into your new career here are some of our top tips to make yourself more marketable.
1. Your CV
Upload your CV to your BeeFound profile. Keep it up-to-date, and list all your past and current medical experience, your first and post-graduate qualifications and any awards you may have achieved. Proof-read it for spelling and grammar, and make sure that it gives a clear, concise and professional impression.
2. Your Biography
Write a concise, interesting but accurate biography that will catch the eye of practice managers. Include a personal profile on the first page that outlines your career to date, the reasons why you would be right for the job, and your long-term goals. Mention research experience and your participation in clinical audit and your managerial experience. outline your IT skills, any teaching experience, and give the full details of two or three referees from your current and previous posts and your GP trainer.
3. Additional Qualifications
Upload proof of any additional qualifications you may have, for example, a qualification in diabetes or sexual health will be appealing to practices without any expertise in these areas.
You should be prepared to travel to your locum assignments. The further you are prepared to travel, the more opportunities will be open to you. However, if you accept work in a different region, it is important to check that you are registered on their performers list. If unsure, check with practitioner services or the primary care trust for the region.
5. Emergency and Short Notice Locum Cover
Opt in for emergency and short notice cover. When a doctor falls ill, rather than cancelling a surgery, practice managers try to find emergency cover, sometimes at very short notice. If you are prepared to set your minimum notice period to just two hours, you will be available for providing emergency cover and have the opportunity of more locum work, perhaps at higher rates of pay.
6. Other Opportunities
Consider long-term, short-term and 24-hour cover opportunities and be open to working in different environments, for example prisons, that will increase your medical experience.
7. Keep Your Skills Updated
Keep your skill set strong and up-to-date. Skills development can include learning to perform various procedures and improving your skills in sub specialities. Upload your achievements and make yourself appealing to recruiters. Keeping your IT skills current is also crucial. Scottish GP practices tend to use one of two computer systems, EMIS PCS or INPS Vision.
Online training courses are available for both these systems: go to www.emis-online.com andwww.inps.co.uk/my-vision/training. Learn to use both systems and you will potentially be employable at any practice in the country.
Increasing your marketability by presenting yourself as well as possible will improve your opportunities of getting locum work, and open the door to an exciting, new career pathway.