Employment Options for Mothers in the Medical Profession

Anyone who works in medicine knows that the hours are incredibly demanding – both physically and mentally. A working week can quickly go from the average of 30 hours to 80 hours or more. Add a child on top of this and it can seem impossible to juggle both a medical career and a family!

Fortunately all is not lost – there are still options for mums who want to do both. With part-time and flexible work arrangements becoming increasingly common in the Australian workforce, there are more options than ever before.

In the United States, the number of part-time female doctors has doubled in just six years – so it’s not just Australia making life easier for working mums. (American Medical Group Association, 2011) Here are just some of the ways that you can handle both motherhood and your career.

Work from home medical jobs

Depending on your specialisation, working from home – or telecommuting – could be an option for you. With technology becoming more powerful than ever before, doctors and health professionals no longer need to always deal with patients face-to-face.

Telehealth is a hot topic at the moment, with many professions able to offer health consultations over the phone or internet to rural and remote communities, who otherwise wouldn’t have access to many health services. The Australian Government covers the cost of many telehealth services, and until mid-2014, is offering incentives to healthcare professionals to facilitate this service. (Medicare, 2014)

Aside from telehealth, some occupations have the potential for working out of a home office, including speech pathologists, midwives and medical writers – and of course you can essentially choose your own hours.

Part-time jobs

Not all medical workers need to work 80 hour weeks to stay employed. There is a huge demand for part-time and casual workers, as the ‘new-age’ Australian takes greater control over their home/work balance. Full-time is no longer the only option and part-time work is not frowned upon like it was only a couple of decades ago.

There are many medical professionals, both male and female, who choose to work part-time hours in favour of retiring. And in many cases, it’s mums and others that want less hours that are available to fill in those gaps.

Locum work

Unlike permanent part-time jobs, which provide consistent hours that some people prefer, locum work is incredibly flexible and can also give you the opportunity to really grow in your career.

Locum work can be on a daily, weekly or longer term basis – and you choose the jobs you want to take. There is of course a huge amount of opportunity to travel as a locum, which may or may not be ideal with a young family.

Finding part time jobs

Gone are the days when you would need to wait until the mid-week paper to check out job listings – or traipse around the city with a resume in hand. The growth of the internet has brought with it so many life-changing things, including the ability to search and apply for jobs in the comfort of your own home (or even on the go!).

Many businesses and recruiters advertise their jobs exclusively online, and there are sites that cater specifically for the medical profession, meaning it’s a great place to start your search. Ochre Recruitment, for example, lists lots of available locum and part-time work (as well as full-time jobs), which you can apply for online.

Whatever your specialisation, there is no reason to let motherhood slow down the career you worked so hard to get into!