Take your medical career farther. Much farther.

It’s tempting. Ditch the routine for months at a time and practice overseas where you can work in the morning and surf or hike in the afternoon. But it’s also entirely realistic. Thousands of your colleagues are doing it right now.

An introduction to international locums

Airfare, housing, ground transportation, and malpractice insurance are all typically covered. The pay itself varies from country to country, but it’s always a competitive wage that affords comfort and travel. Assignments in the U.S. are often the more lucrative, but the benefits of going international — such as a chance to see the world, better work/life balance, and unique cultural experiences — are hard to put a price on.

Many who take international assignments say they find new enthusiasm for the work they do. And return with renewed energy and new perspectives.

Advantages and challenges


  • Great work/life balance. An average of less than 45 hours/week
  • Generous vacation time is common
  • Exposure to different health systems
  • Travel, adventure, and experiences
  • Fewer medical billing hassles


  • May require a visa (which we can help with), but no visa is needed in U.S. territories
  • Sometimes require longer commitments (often six months to one year)
  • Collection of necessary paperwork
  • Adjusting to new cultures and how to practice medicine in a new healthcare system
  • Unmet expectations (e.g. housing quality)

Are you qualified?

Although there are some exceptions, and practice standards differ from country to country, international locums physicians must generally be board certified or board eligible to practice. Some countries also want recent, extensive postgraduate training or experience—three or more years in a comparable health system.

Don’t be fooled by these international myths:

  • International locums doesn’t work for families. Wrong. It’s more often the experience of a lifetime.
  • Visas, credentialing and registration are too complex. Not when GMS takes care of everything.
  • What about language barriers? We usually staff in English-speaking first-world medical environments.
  • Assignments are too long. Some can last years, but others are only a few months, or even weeks.
  • Assignments don’t pay enough. Some countries pay close to what you’d make in the U.S., and GMS generally covers housing and travel expenses.


For answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, check out our FAQ page:

United States
New Zealand
Pacific Islands

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