Across the country (and abroad) there are civilian GPs working in medical centres attached to a military unit who look after the service personnel and often their families as well. Civilian GPs work alongside  GPs who are in the Army/Navy/RAF, the mixture of civilian and serving doctors works well.

GPs see a mixture of normal general practice and some occupational medicine. No experience is required for the occupational element, the GP will determine if the serving person needs ‘downgrading’ if unwell or injured, and then hopefully ‘upgraded’ when they get better, supported by a dedicated occupational health team. As with civilian general practice, there is a lot of mental health pathology.  To support the GP there is also a defence Mental Health team in each geographical region. For other secondary care specialities, a GP would refer in to the NHS.

The job tends to be set hours, usually 8am until 4.30/5.00pm. No home visits, no on-call (occasionally there is, but not for locums), often a proper lunch-time, protected time for meetings and a good multi-disciplinary team to work with. There is usually a physiotherapy team within the medical centre as well.

Locum pay is about £65 per hour, so about £450-500 a day, depending on how many hours you’ve done. All locum work has to go through an agency – either MMP or CRG (the same jobs are advertised by both agencies).

Previous military locums advise: ‘the jobs are usually advertised as full-time, but if you speak to the medical centre itself, you can ask if they’d be happy with part-time and they often are, some days a week is better than nothing! As a locum, I worked term-time only and took school holidays off’

There are often permanent posts available – called CMPs, Civilian Medical Practitioners, and adverts for these are on Civil Service Jobs website – search for health professionals, and then look through the jobs looking for Civilian Medical Practitioner.