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Locum on your terms – A doctor’s story, by Faith Traeh

Posted on 05 February 2019

“There’s a lot of pressure on young doctors to go straight into specialty training and tick certain boxes for fear of damaging their career chances. 

I never planned on having a conventional career in medicine. I always wanted to do relief work and work in an international healthcare setting. Locum work allowed me to do this.

I worked as a locum doctor in between trips, which meant I had the choice of working or the freedom to leave the country for months at a time – something I couldn’t have done in specialty training.

In early 2018, I travelled to Iraq to take part in a medical mission with a small NGO called Global Kindness Foundation. They set up dental clinics and optometrists in schools in Najaf and Karbala. These schools are mainly attended by orphans and disadvantaged children. We set up a rudimentary clinic and as the only female doctor on the trip, I provided primary care and health check ups to girls between 6-18 years of age.
 
I’ve also visited Northern Greece with another NGO called Health Point Foundation, as their co-ordinator on the ground for 3 months. We were the main providers of dental care for over 15 camps within the region. Everyday we’d pack all our clinical equipment into the car and set up in a new camp. I was involved with the induction, supervision and support of the dental volunteers. I was also the main liaison for regional government and other NGOs in the health sector and worked hard to expand our efforts to the refugees in other camps or squats.

After that, I went onto study for a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene. I’ve since been out to Lebanon to assist in the set up of medical clinics for refugees close to the Syrian border.

Being involved in these types of projects has always been what I wanted to do. I’m fortunate enough to have the flexibility that locum provides.

I’ve also been lucky enough to visit Sri Lanka, Turkey, Switzerland and Germany in this time.

I feel the experiences I have had are beyond value. They have provided me with skills that will be a real asset in the future”.
 
 
 
 
 

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