In a desperate move to find enough doctors, practice groups with inner city locations have been rotating doctors throughout their every six months.
For many GPs this has proved to be a welcome solution to the problem of getting a 19AB/DWS exemption in a good location.
Unfortunately for some OTDs, the experience hasn’t been as positive as they had expected.
Proactive steps you can take to avoid the pitfalls
- Check out the patient base. Patients at some clinics are accustomed to regularly changing medical staff while patients at other locations have had the same GP for years. For example, in larger bulk billing clinics, patients may not have the expectation of having the same doctors available every time they visit – allowing you to get plenty of patients even though your position is temporary.
- Ask the practice what they are doing to manage the rotations. Not all practices are equally skilled at timing the rotations to ensure that they don’t have 2 or 3 doctors starting at the same time. Ask specific questions about how the practice is managing the rotations to ensure that there is a smooth transition
- Adjust your expectations. Working in these roles is sometimes more like locum work and it can be difficult to develop a strong bond with patients.
- Avoid taking shortcuts. If you provide an outstanding service to your patients, they may follow you to your next location. And you never know – a longer-term opportunity may come up in the same organisation and you want to be at the top of the list for GPs they will invite to take up those positions.
- Think of this as an interim solution and keep talking to your recruiter about longer-term options that might allow you to stay in one location for a number of years. We have developed a lot of expertise in helping doctors in this situation and sometimes we are able to find a way of creating permanent jobs at one of the locations where doctors are rotating.
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