Skip to content
changing jobs
Should I switch to another medical practice?

Changing jobs is easy to ponder but much harder to do.

This holds true for all kinds of employees or contractors, including GPs considering joining another medical practice.

It is all too simple to roll up for work the next day and hope things improve.

But the reality is they rarely do.

So it makes sense to seriously consider your options if you are unhappy at work.

After all, the average person spends nearly a third of life on the clock.

But the grass isn’t always greener on the other side so it pays to consider your position carefully before throwing in your lot.

Reasons for changing jobs

There are many reasons GPs might become unhappy at a particular practice.

The primary ones are common across most jobs and industries and include:

  • Money
  • Career advancement
  • Recognition or feelings of being undervalued
  • Benefits
  • Culture
  • Problems with work colleagues or superiors
  • Boredom or wanting to seek new challenges
  • Work-life balance or lifestyle

Reluctance to adopt new practices within a business can also be a trigger.

Times change and sometimes it is not always easy or comfortable for some to change with them.

If you are determined to explore your options, you will want to carefully evaluate any new practice you are considering joining.

These are the factors to consider before handing in your resignation.

Sustainability of the medical practice

Potentially the most important factor is the sustainability of the practice.

If money is one of your motivations, you need to know that the practice you are assessing is well patronised, profitable and well managed.

Rising costs including a new payroll tax are putting increasing pressure on medical practices across Australia so you don’t want to join one that closes its doors soon after you arrive.

Location and community

Working close to home is important to many people.

It helps reduce commute times which allows you more time at home and leads to a happier, less stressful life.

Also consider the demographics of the practice and the specific needs of their patients.

Is it an ageing community or rich with young families?

Do your special interests and skills as a physician align with and complement the practice and their patients?

Financial considerations

When it comes to changing jobs, money is nearly always a major consideration.

Most GPs in Australia work as sole traders or sub-contractors.

It means they are not technically ‘employees’ of a practice but sub-contractors who set their own fees and keep the receipts of all the patients they see.

They then pay the practice a percentage of those receipts.

Sole traders are also responsible for organising and paying for their own Medical Indemnity Insurance as well as contributing to their own superannuation.

They are unlikely to have the benefit of redundancy or retirement packages.

In the rare event the GP works as an employee of the practice, that practice would then be responsible for insurance, termination packages, super etc and those questions should be asked.

GPs arriving from overseas should also assess the total cost of emigrating.

Workload and work-life balance

Some GPs may switch practices seeking more money.

Others may value a greater work-life balance and the ability to have more control over their rosters and on-call times.

At many practices in Australia, it may even be possible to tick both boxes.

Whatever your motivation for changing jobs, you will want to be fully aware of the expectations and demands of the clinic you are appraising.

Find out about patient volumes, their mix of acute and chronic conditions and whether they align with your clinical skills.

Then consider how that affects your own stress levels and desired work-life balance.

Ask specifically about practice regulations regarding personal leave, public holiday and weekend work.

They are not always written into contracts but may still be enforced upon staff.

Culture and values

The culture of your practice could be a primary reason you are looking around so you will want to do your homework on what it is like to work at the medical practice you are considering joining.

Try to talk with GPs already working at the practice to gauge their opinions regarding its culture, values, mission and approach to patient care.

The thoughts of GPs who have moved to the practice are especially useful.

Is it a practice where people stay for many years or does it suffer a high turnover rate?

Determine if the practice fosters a supportive and collaborative team environment among healthcare professionals.

Then try to imagine yourself in that environment, asking yourself if it aligns with your own principles and beliefs.

Professional development opportunities

Changing jobs is often about advancing careers and GPs are no different.

Think about your career goals and whether they extend to fields such as health management or education.

Enquire about promotional opportunities within the practice as well as professional development pathways, leadership and mentorship programs and opportunities for specialisation.

Also ask about how Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements fit in around the clinic’s needs.

In Australia, CPD is compulsory for all registered health practitioners.

GPs must log a minimum of 50 hours per year towards lifelong learning and personal growth.

Transition process and support

Ask how the practice can support you in transitioning to your new job.

This includes things like orientation and getting to know your new colleagues.

Evaluate the facilities, systems and medical equipment at the practice to ensure you are familiar with them.

Ensure you will be supported if necessary when learning to use the clinic’s electronic medical records (EMR) and performing other basic administrative tasks and responsibilities.

If you are arriving from overseas, ask if the practice can help you settle in Australia.

This may include help with short-term accomodation, use of a car and introducing you to valuable contacts such as real estate agents, accountants and like-minded professionals.

Contact Health Recruitment Australia today

Changing jobs is often one of the biggest decisions you will make.

Whether you are a local GP looking for a fresh start or living overseas and interested in working in Australia, Health Recruitment Australia (HRA) can help you make it happen.

HRA is a dedicated recruitment agency that connects doctors of all ages with hiring clinics in Australia.

We always have multiple opportunities on our books for GPs seeking work from Perth to Brisbane, Adelaide to Sydney and Melbourne to Darwin.

HRA can help you realise those life-changing career and lifestyle opportunities.

We will work closely with you to find the ideal city, region and practice so you can resume work feeling excited and reinvigorated.

And if you are looking to emigrate, we’ll answer all of your questions, taking the stress out of the move to ensure it is as pain-free as possible.

We’ll even take care of all that pesky paperwork so you can hit the ground running in record time.

Why not start with an informal, no-obligation discussion with the experienced team at Health Recruitment Australia? Contact us.

Enquire now, and we’ll be
in touch shortly!


Enquire now, and we’ll be
in touch shortly!