Why retirement shouldn’t mean hanging up the stethoscope

Hanging up

Robin Jerome

Founder and Managing Partner, ZEEP Medical

Robin Jerome, Founder & Managing Partner of ZEEP Medical, discusses the benefits of transitioning to a locum career if you're not quite ready yet to hang up the stethoscope.

As doctors, you lead very busy working lives. Why do it? Long hours, weekend work and stressful conditions are just some of the challenges doctors face most weeks over the course of a 40 year career.

Perhaps it's the idea of helping people. Perhaps for others it's the final payoff? Maybe the lure of life on the golf course, sailing the Whitsunday Islands or learning to fly that Cessna are the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

Unfortunately, a sad reality facing most doctors is that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't as bright as we thought. The kids' school fees, the house renovation and the ever-increasing cost of living all mean that the retirement pot isn't as big as we'd hoped for.

Aside from the financial aspects of planned retirement, going from full time employment to complete retirement isn't all plain sailing. There are emotional re-adjustments to be made. For example, many retired doctors — and their partners — find it a shock to suddenly be full time companions again! And, though not being under constant pressure should be pleasant, it can be hard to suddenly remove the personal challenges provided by medical work.

As humans and doctors, we need to be valued, appreciated and consulted. After 40 years of being 'important', many struggle with the perception of being irrelevant.

Luckily, there is a tried and tested transition plan. It's called working as a Locum. And living in Australia, with an almost ubiquitous demand for locums from remote, rural and regional communities, you couldn't imagine a better country to be in.

It doesn't matter what your specialty is. Whether you're an Anaesthetist, a General Physician, a FACEM, Psychiatrist or an O&G Specialist, there's work for you. Australia's unique post retirement demand for medicine, allows for the perfect transition from full-time high-stress work, to occasional work, that is both well paid, and highly appreciated.

A typical locum shift will be anywhere from 2 days through to several months. So, whether you want to work one week a month, or do a block of work for, say, 3 months a year, there will be a perfect solution out there for you. With most specialists paid somewhere between $2000 to $2500 per day, a week's work that pays almost $15,000 and keeps you relevant and important as a doctor, really is the proven solution.

Of course, the benefits don't stop there. Most people make it a point to put visiting the amazing and remote parts of Australia on their retirement bucket list. Well, you can combine working as a locum and travelling the country. So you could head up into the Northern Territory, do a week's work in Katherine and get to experience indigenous Australia, both as a clinician and a tourist. Next, why not head to stunning Bernie in North West Tasmania, do a fortnight of work and take advantage of the free rental car to tour the region? Or why not head to Broken Hill in outback NSW to give back to the community and learn more about the amazing mining history of BHP?

Sound good? Then let me walk you through how easy it is to work as a locum.

  • Put together an up-to-date CV. 2-4 pages is usually sufficient
  • List 2-3 referees who have observed your work in the last 12 months
  • Contact ZEEP Medical Recruitment Experts
  • Your specialised and highly-experienced Consultant will speak with you about your availability, desired dates and even geographical preferences
  • Shortly thereafter, your first locum shift will be booked! It really is that easy
  • All flights, accommodation and transport is paid for, not to mention the sensational locum rates

We at ZEEP Medical place many doctors into locum roles each week, and the three reasons I hear most often [at interviews] as the answer to 'why do you locum?' is to stay relevant and engaged, the extra income and, indeed, the unique and fabulous experiences of working as a locum doctor.


The Private Practice Magazine

This article featured in
our Spring 2017 Edition

head-settings Created with Sketch.

Start your locum career

So, hang on to your stethoscope, keep a set of scrubs in the suitcase and even consider an early retirement to start working on your locum career. Please contact us for an introduction to Robin Jerome.

Contact us for an introduction 

Call us on 02 9229 9731 or leave your details, including the name of person you would like an introduction to and we will be in touch.

By signing up, you confirm you are happy to be contacted about The Private Practice Services and offers. View our privacy policy.