Locum Doctor Hub
👋 Welcome to Messly's Locum Doctor Hub.
Here you'll find a comprehensive collection of resources and articles covering all things related to being a locum doctor, including pay, finding work, working with locum agencies, CVs, medical appraisals, and more.
Whether you're just starting out as a locum doctor, or have been doing it for a number of years, there's an extensive selection of guidance and information here which should prove helpful.
And if you're currently an F2 or have recently started an F3 year, check out our F3 Resource Hub to explore all the different options available for your F3 year, understand the key dates for your diary, plan and manage your finances, and much more.
We have a several information hubs for you to enjoy and learn from, exploring topics like locuming, working in Australia, and even portfolio and appraisal. You can find the full list of our hubs at the end of this article. We update and add to our hubs often, so be sure to bookmark this page and check in regularly. Happy browsing!
👉 Our Most Popular Articles
👉 New to Locuming?
🩺 What is a Locum Doctor?: A detailed guide to working as a locum doctor, including how you can become one and how much money you could earn, as well as the pros and cons of locuming compared to more traditional career paths.
✨ Your Locum FAQs Answered: We've collated and answered the most common questions which crop up for doctors looking into locuming, and current locums who are looking for support, with additional advice about where to find more information.
❌ The 23 Biggest Myths For New Locum Doctors: There's a lot of false information about locuming out there. In this article we list the most common misconceptions that we hear, along with their corrections for you read in your own time.
⚖️ The Pros and Cons of Locuming: In this article, we have listed some of the main pros and cons of working as a locum doctor to help you decide whether the locum life is right for you.
💭 Is Locuming Right For You?: Not sure whether you want to work as a locum doctor? No problem. This article will take you through some of the key thoughts you'll need to consider when deciding if it's right for you.
📅 Locum Doctors Timeline: If you're not quite sure what you'll need to do, or when it needs to be done, by to get started as a locum doctor, don't worry. We've outlined all of this, along with what documents you'll need to collect, to get started.
🛠 The Locum Toolkit: This is your free one-stop shop for all the apps, services, and resources to help make your life as a locum doctor a lot easier.
🌎 How to Find Locum Work Without NHS Experience: We've provided some useful tips and recommendations to help international medical graduates (IMG) who have moved to the UK find locum work here without any prior NHS experience.
🚶 Getting Started as a Locum Doctor: We understand that getting started as a locum doctor can feel daunting. That's why we wrote this guide to give you a summary on the key points to help get you started.
❓ Clinical Fellow vs Locum: Which Should I Choose?: A comparison of the various pros and cons of clinical fellow and locum roles for doctors taking an F3 year, and the main considerations you’ll need to make before choosing which path to take for yourself.
⭐️ Finding Work as a Locum Doctor: Bank and Agency: A breakdown of how each works, and their pros and cons, covering registration, pay, and access to shifts.
❓ Questions to Ask a Potential Locum Agency Before Signing Up: The right locum agency can make the transition to your F3 Year seamless. But how do you know which agency is the right one? In this article we'll you go through some key questions to find out whether an agency will work for you.
🔎 Understanding Your Rights as a Locum Doctor: Here we explain what you’re entitled to and help you understand your employee rights as a locum doctor, with regards to things like annual leave entitlement and other employment issues.
❓ Long Term vs Ad Hoc Locuming: Locum work is one of the most popular choices for F3 doctors, it's flexible and offers significantly higher pay rates for junior doctors. But deciding how long you want to locum for can be difficult. We've got the answers to all of the key questions to help you decide.
1️⃣ Tips for Your First Day as a Locum Doctor in a New Hospital: Tips to help you prepare for, and successfully navigate, your first day at a new hospital when working as a locum. This will also hopefully give you the opportunity of being invited back for more shifts in the near future.
🌟 Tips for Settling into a Long-Term Locum Position: This article will help you get settled into a long-term locum position, provide advice for making a positive impact when joining a new team or working in an unfamiliar hospital, discuss how to make the most of your time there, and what to do if any issues arise.
❌ The Biggest Mistakes I Made In My First Month As a New Locum Doctor: Join Ryan, our very own Health Tech Fellow and A&E Locum Doctor, as he shares with you some of the mistakes he made in his first month when he first started locuming.
🦉 2 Years As a Locum Doctor. What Have I learnt?: In this article, Ryan, our resident Health Tech Fellow, shares with you his top advice for starting out as a locum doctor and some thoughts for you to give serious thought to before starting.
🌱 Can I locum in my F1 or F2 Year?: Are you allowed to locum during your Foundation Years? Where can I work? and can Messly help me find work during these years? Find out the answers to these and more in this short article.
🌟 Dealing with First Day Anxiety as a Locum: As a locum, it can often feel like you're reliving your first day over and over again. See our top tips from an experienced locum on how to overcome 'First Day' stress and anxiety and ease into new environments.
🏥 What to Expect From a Hospital Induction: All new locum doctors should receive a Trust induction before starting their new roles. Inductions ensure that new doctors understand local practices, policies, and systems that will allow them to do their jobs in a safe and effective way.
1️⃣ How My Locum Agency Helped Me Out of a Rut: Like many junior doctors, Amelia found herself in a rut during the Covid-19 pandemic. As a locum doctor, she quickly found herself in over head. Here's how her Locum Agency helped her get out of her rut.
🤝 How to Make Friends as a Locum Doctor: Because locum doctors work ad-hoc shifts and move between different teams and departments, it can be difficult to make lasting friendships. But you're now alone, we've pulled together some top tips from other doctors on how you can stay connected.
🛫 Top Travel Destinations for your F3 Year: By working as locum doctors, F3 doctors can design a work-life balance that perfectly suits their needs, and offers the benefit of flexibility for travel. But knowing where to travel to can be the biggest challenge. That's why we've put together this list to help point you in the right direction.
🧐 How to Discover Your Passions in Your F3 Year: As a junior doctor it can feel like you're always trying new things and it can be hard to lockdown your main interests. That's why it's important to use your F3 Year to find a passion and identify possible routes for your future career.
🎷 Hobbies to Explore in Your Free Time as a Locum Doctor: In this article we have curated a list of hobbies you can try in your F3 Year, whether you're working as a locum, or working less-than-full-time or you just want to explore who you are outside of medicine.
👉 Tips for Locuming in a New Specialty
We've also written a detailed guide for locuming in each of the main specialties, giving you tips on how to settle into each of those departments. These will be especially useful if you haven’t rotated through that specialty in your Foundation Training rotations before.
👉 Pay and Pension
💲 Locum Rates: What Can I Expect?: A guide to help you know what to expect to be paid as a locum, including a general overview of the UK pay rates, as well as an explanation of the pan-London rates.
🏙️ Locum Rates in London: This articles explains the difference between the rates for locum doctors in London and elsewhere in the UK, exactly where those rates apply, how much you can expect to be paid, and your options if you want to earn more.
💵 Managing Your Finances as a Locum Doctor: An overview of the key financial issues to consider as an F3 locum, including tax codes, your NHS pension, and getting tax rebates, with specialist advice from our friends at Medics' Money.
💼 Should You Locum Through a Limited Company?: Here we explain what it means to locum through a limited company, discuss the pros and cons of doing so, and answer the key questions you’ll need to be thinking about when deciding if it's the right approach for you to take.
💰 How to Make a Living as a Full-Time Locum Doctor: Exploring how much you might expect to earn from locum work as an F3, highlighting key financial and work-related considerations you should be making, and providing advice to help manage your finances.
💷 Interpreting the BMA’s Junior Doctor Locum Rate Guidance in 2023: A guide to help you understand the updated BMA hourly locum rate card for junior doctors, as well as tips to improve your own hourly rate.
💡 Tips to Increase Your Locum Pay: Our top tips to help you earn the best rates possible for your grade, specialty, and region when working as a locum doctor.
🤝 How to Negotiate a Better Locum Rate: A detailed guide to help you becoming better at negotiating with prospective employers, to help you maximise the amount you can earn while locuming.
📊 Locum Doctor Salary Calculator: Our free calculator lets you work out how much you could earn annually as a locum doctor, based on your grade, specialty, and the region you work in.
🧾 Decoding Your Locum Payslip: Confused about your first payslip as a locum doctor? We’ll take you through the basics so that you can understand and identify any issues affecting your pay.
💲 Do locum doctors get sick pay?: If you're a Locum F3 doctor don't assume that by leaving contracted employment, you automatically lose your employee rights to sick pay. Always make sure you understand your contract and your rights, and know what you are entitled to.
💲 Do locum doctors get annual leave?: If you're a Locum F3 doctor don't assume that by leaving contracted employment, you automatically lose your employee rights to annual leave. Always make sure you understand your contract and your rights, and know what you are entitled to.
💲 Do locum doctors get maternity pay?: If you're a Locum F3 doctor don't assume that by leaving contracted employment, you automatically lose your employee rights to maternity or paternity leave. Always make sure you understand your contract and your rights, and know what you are entitled to.
💷 How consultants in the NHS are paid: Is your CCT is looming? Thinking about what you can get paid as an NHS consultant? In this article we'll cover what NSH consultants do and what rates you can expect if you decide to locum as a consultant in the UK.
👉 Finding Work
📄 How to Write the Perfect Medical CV: Everything you need to get your CV up to scratch as you begin to look for locum work, to ensure you have the best possible chance of securing the jobs you really want during your F3 year.
📑 How to Write the Perfect Medical CV for Finding Locum Work: Following from "How to Write the Perfect Medical CV", this article will explain how to tailor your CV for the purpose of finding locum work in a specific specialty to help show prospective employers that you are perfect for the role.
📱 The New Way to Find Locum Work: An introduction to Messly's new service, which allows you to find the locum work you need quickly and easily on your own terms.
🚶♀ A Step-by-Step Guide to Locuming Through an Agency: A helpful step-by-step guide to working with a locum agency, to help you have a positive and successful experience in getting the types of shifts you're looking for.
🤝 How Hospitals and Locum Agencies Work Together: This article explains how hospitals and locum agencies work together to fill their vacant shifts, helping doctors to be fully informed when choosing which agencies to register with themselves.
🙂 What Makes a Good Recruitment Agent: Detailed guidance to help you judge whether a recruiter is a good match for you, and how to know what makes a good recruiter overall.
💯 How to Get the Most From Your Locum Agency: Once you're registered and fully compliant an agency, you'll then begin working with them to find shifts. This article explains how that process works and provides some useful tips for getting the most out of your relationship with your locum agency.
❔ Answering the Key Registration Questions for Locum Doctors: A list of answers to the most common and frequently asked questions when it comes to approaching registration and compliance as a locum doctor.
✅ Agency Registration and Compliance for Locums: A complete guide to which documents most agencies and banks require from you, as well as tips to make the registration process as quick and easy as possible.
🗃️ Finding the Right Locum Agencies for You: In this article, we provide tips for how to figure out which locum agencies are the right ones for you to approach based on your own specific interests and needs.
📞 How Registration Calls with Locum Agencies Work: Registration calls with locum agencies can be a bit daunting the first time around, but it's an important conversation to get right. In this article we discuss how to make the most of this call and give you some top tips to ensure you're well prepared.
🥇 4 Reasons Why Messly is the Best Way to Find Locum Work: Since we launched in 2016, we've helped over 7,000 doctors find locum work. We've learnt a lot from this and have constantly endeavoured to improve our platform to give you the best experience possible. Here's four reasons why we're the best way to find locum work.
👉 Appraisals and GMC Revalidation
👍 How to Ace Your Annual Appraisal as a Locum Doctor: A guide for keeping a portfolio throughout your year of locum work, and help with how to prepare for your annual appraisal towards the end of your F3 year.
📖 Do I Need an Appraisal as an F3 or Locum Doctor: This article takes a look at what a medical appraisal actually is, how it links to revalidation, whether you actually need to do one as an F3 or locum doctor, and whether you can get away without doing one.
👉 Career Progression
⬆️ Getting Learning Opportunities as a Locum Doctor: Our 5 top tips to ensure your time working as a locum doctor in short-term positions is still contributing to your long-term career, and to help you continue to make progress you can demonstrate to future employers.
⬆️ How to Move up to SpR as an SHO Locum Doctor: Our guide to gaining career progression as a locum SHO. Learn how to make the jump to registrar outside of a training programme and what important things you'll need to consider when doing so.
⬆️ How to Step up to Consultant as a Full-Time Locum Doctor: Our guide to becoming a consultant as a locum doctor. Read on to find out what evidence you'll need to collect throughout your career to progress to this prestigious position, and what routes are available (such as CESR) to make this official.
⬆️ How I Created My Own Clinical Fellowship: Dr Amelia White, Messly's Clinical Lead, explains how her clinical fellowship came to be, and the pros and cons of designing her own fellowship.
🧐 Locum Doctors - Is Medical Indemnity Necessary?: We’ve partnered up with the MDDUS, one of the UK’s leading Indemnity providers for medical professionals, to bring you this in-depth guide. Covering the different types of legal issues you may face as a locum doctor, as well as answering questions about the different types of indemnity available.
⚖️ Real-Life Examples of Medico-Legal Issues for Locum Doctors: Join Dr Richard Brittain of the MDDUS, as he shares his personal experiences of medico-legal cases that he was directly involved in while working as a locum doctor.
👉 Video Guides
📽️ Answering the 10 Most Common Questions About Locuming for Junior Doctors: In this video, Dr Evey Clay, an Opthalmology SpR, joins us to answer the 10 most common questions junior doctors ask about locuming.
📽️ The BEST F3 Options for Junior Doctors: Dr Evey Clay talks through the most popular options for an F3 year, including locuming, trust grades, clinical fellowships, and spending your F3 year abroad.
We're currently working on an exciting series of interviews with doctors who have had interesting and successful experiences working as locum doctors. Check back soon to find some of these live on the website, including one which will provide detailed advice for getting a mortgage while locuming.
👉 Facebook Groups
Everything you need to know about F3 Years, as well as information and tips about how to decide if an F3 Year is right for you.
Our centre for all things locuming; from how to find work and negotiate rates, to how to get learning and development opportunities on the ward.
Find out what a portfolio is, how to use one to benefit your career, and get our tips and tricks on how to ensure your portfolio helps you with job applications and appraisals in the future.
Everything you need to know about applying for, working in, and moving to Australia as a UK junior doctor. Get insider reports on the different regions of Aus, and learn how to get your Australian adventure started.
Hear from doctors currently working in New Zealand about their experiences working in one of the happiest countries on Earth.
Find a full list of all of our episodes from our F3 Stories Series including a summary of the topics discussed in each episode.
Learn everything you need to know about fellowships, from how they may be able to benefit your career and how to find and land a job, to how to prepare for your first day on the job.
We would love to know your thoughts on the resources we provide, so please feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments about this article.
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