Locums for a Small World Blog

Want to practice medicine in Australia? Three doctors fill us in on work, play and the locum tenens lifestyle.

Posted by Everett Fitch

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There’s no doubt about it…Australia is, in a word, vast. Now, when we say “vast” we mean it. No single word in the English language is more appropriate in encapsulating the true essence of Australia. This country contains, in elegant manner, a multitude of cultures, cuisines, dialects, landscapes, oceanscapes and cityscapes all within its 2,969,907 square miles.

You’ve got Western Australia with its picturesque Perth and Queensland with its shining Gold Coast. Then you’ve got the gritty yet charming feel of the outback in the Northern Territory and the craggy island atmosphere of Tasmania. And still there's more: in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

So yes, Australia is vast. To place any other adjective by its side would be tantamount to a disgrace. Three doctors who practiced medicine in Australia can testify to its welcoming greatness. They’ll tell you all about what to expect at work as well as what sights they experienced – in a nutshell, they’ll enlighten you on the locum tenens lifestyle here in Australia.

But before we get to their stories you should know that taking an assignment in Australia is about more than just the scenery. It’s about a life experience, a career change. It’s about being entirely immersed in a different culture and healthcare system. (Read: 3 interesting places to practice medicine in Australia plus a brief overview of their healthcare system.) Simply put, practicing medicine in Australia is a work experience you’ll never forget.

And as an Aussie would say, no worries: Your physician placement specialist will handle all the logistics along the way (licensing, registration, travel, etc.). They'll match you with a medical facility as well as put you in touch with the practice where you’ll be working. And if there’s a doctor who has practiced in that area before you’ll even have a chance to chat with them, help you get your bearings ahead of setting foot in the country.

All in all this process should take about three months once a job has been offered. If you’d like you can learn more about the requirements for taking a locum tenens assignment in Australia by visiting our Ask an Expert page. In the meantime, catch a head start on what to expect by reading all about the following doctors’ experiences below.

Isadore Unger, MD – Tasmania

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On practicing medicine in another country:


For Dr. Unger, practicing medicine in another country – especially one with socialized medicine – presented a few challenges. “There were differences in language and terminology,” says Dr. Unger. “Interns were called house surgeons and residents were called registrars or 'reggies' for short. And surgeons are never called ‘doctor,’ they're addressed as ‘Mister.’” Kiwis and Aussies do speak English, but they not only have their own accent, they have a few of their own words. Fortunately, the nurses helped Dr. Unger translate the jargon. “One patient told me he felt 'like a box of fluffy ducks,’” says Dr. Unger, “Which I learned is 'great.’”

Rick Abbott, MD – Tasmania

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On the differences between the U.S. and Australia’s healthcare system:

Beyond figuring out that a “long black” is Tassie's answer to a simple coffee, Dr. Abbott found out that both the healthcare system and work ethic are a bit different, too. “The ER was a great place to work. Because Australia is a national healthcare system, we had very little 'social safety net' to our practice and so we were a real ER. In other words, a very high proportion of our patients had an acute problem that required an acute intervention. We weren't trying to manage chronic disease that had nowhere else to go (as in the U.S.)." Dr. Abbott also praised Tasmania's implementation of an Emergency Medical Information Book (an organized booklet listing their medical and surgical history, active problem list, and current medications) that lots of patients carry with them.

On the adventures him and his wife, Jean Abbott, MD, had:

For his last month in Tasmania, Jean Abbott, MD (his wife, an ER doctor herself) joined him for some Tassie fun. The “Doctors Abbott” ventured to the capital city of Tasmania, Hobart, which serves as the home port for both Australian and French Antarctic operations. They also made their way to a few nature parks to see the wildlife that you'll only find in Australia: wallabies, kangaroos, wombats, kookaburras, and a lot more. They even saw Little Penguins or “Fairy Penguins” out on a quaint little Tassie beach. Ben Lomond National Park is a spectacular place and it's a haven for rock climbers, bushwalkers, and skiers. “Beautiful tundra - though we could only see a few feet of it at a time because of the thick fog,” Dr. Abbott says. “And wallabies were all over the place up there!”

Kathryn Starkey, MD – multiple assignments throughout Australia

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On the experiences you won’t get anywhere else:


"You know when you come to Australia that you're going to see some kangaroos," she says. "What we didn't expect was to see them chewing on the putting green at the local golf course!" It was an event that became a nightly ritual for Dr. Starkey and her partner, Molly Evans, not to mention the famous marsupials. "Watching the kangaroos bounce in – a lovely movement in itself – and chew on the grass at sunset beat anything on the four TV channels," says Dr. Starkey. "And who ever imagines they'll be hiking along and see a platypus swim by on their webbed feet, right there in the wild? A platypus!"

On the reasons for taking a locum tenens assignment in the first place:

As Dr. Starkey tells it, “I had a gynecology practice in the Finger Lakes area of New York, but no life. I went to work early, got home late, had dinner, watched a bit of TV, went to bed, and then did it all again. I told my patients to take care of themselves, but I wasn't taking care of myself.” What she had done was keep a postcard from Global Medical, which inspired her to take action. “I told Molly to start planning; I brushed up on my OB work and we took an assignment a year later." Since then, Dr. Starkey has lost some 40 pounds; she respects a 9-to-5 workday and leads a balanced life. The primary requisite in each new area is a decent library. “I now have time to read, and I love to get books about the areas where we're living and dive into them,” says Dr. Starkey. “I learn the history, the geography, everything. It's fascinating.”

If it feels that you still have unanswered questions after reading these first-hand accounts then read the full stories and more. In fact, we have an online library of sorts you can visit. It's entitled The Locum Life – locum tenens stories told through the eyes of our own doctors. You'll find out more about what it's like to work in Australia, New Zealand and even the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Interested in practicing medicine in Australia right away? Go ahead and view our current locum tenens opportunities in the Land Down Under with the click of a button below.

Search for current physician openings in Australia

 

Topics: South Australia, Queensland, Australia, Dr. Kathryn Starkey, Northern Territory, Western Australia, Dr. Rick Abbott, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, locum tenens lifestyle, Australian healthcare, Dr. Isadore Unger

Tired of hearing about physician burnout? Here’s one possible solution: revitalize your medical career with an international locum tenens opportunity.

Posted by Everett Fitch

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By now in your medical career you may have read something about the burnout epidemic currently afflicting a lot of physicians. Our guess is you’re probably just as tired of hearing about physician burnout as you are tired of experiencing it yourself. But suffice it to say you’re not unique in your exhaustion. Simply put burnout isn’t inextricably bound to healthcare providers. This type of career stress impacts many professionals among many industries and fields. Just check out this article on LoveToKnow.com identifying other occupations with high burnout rates.

Yes you will see that physicians do top the list. In fact, in 2011 a national study was conducted by the American Medical Association and the Mayo Clinic to “evaluate the prevalence of burnout and physicians’ satisfaction with work-life balance compared to the general U.S. population…” What were the findings? “At the time of that study, approximately 45 percent of U.S. physicians met criteria for burnout,” the study authors wrote. This is “attributed in part due to the demands and stress of patient care, long hours and increasing administrative burdens associated with practicing medicine.”

But let’s not focus on what we already know in the statistics; let’s direct our attention to addressing the causes. Because, rest assured, there’s a different way to look at this. Instead of seeing job burnout solely as a problem, see it as an opportunity to change directions.

You’re experiencing burnout for your own personal reasons, right? Sure, the statistics of physician burnout are there; still you have your unique experiences that lead to your very own type of burnout.

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Tell you what let’s do this. Grab a piece of paper and take a minute to write down at least five reasons – that may or may not fall in line with the statistics – on why you’re experiencing stress in your current position. Do any of these fit the bill?

  • You're experiencing lack of control in decision-making.
  • You don't have an ideal work-life balance.
  • You don't have enough face-to-face time with your patients.
  • There are too many administrative tasks throughout the day.
  • Your own self-care may be coming up short due to all of the above.

Some of these reasons impact professionals in many industries (i.e., lack of control in decision-making, not an ideal work-life balance, self-care may be coming up short) but the rest do fall more firmly in the field of healthcare. What do we do in everyday life when a problem – big or small – comes up? We fix it, don’t we?

Now take that piece of paper, throw it in the trash and grab another piece. Or rather write it in your notes app on your phone. Think about what your ideal physician job looks like and jot down some of the finer points. Is it much the opposite of the list above, stuff like more control in decision-making, more time spent with family and passions outside of work, more time with patients, less administrative tasks? If that’s your list then you probably know that self-care is going to fall out of that.

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We’re not here to promise you that an international locum tenens opportunity will take care of all these issues; we’re just saying that to be mindful of your stresses is the first, most important step in addressing physician burnout, or rather, your own burnout.

You may be able to mediate these symptoms by simply bringing them to the foreground within the medical facility you’re working. Don’t do anything drastic. Just focus on lowering your stress levels by opening up communication on what’s bothering you in your current position. Dike Drummond, MD, addresses some of the more particular stresses that physicians face and how to solve them in this article on AAFP.org. It's a great read.

If you still deem it an uphill battle it may be time for a change. Again, regardless of career or industry, we all face a point in time where we must choose to move in a different direction. Consider the benefits of an international locum tenens opportunity when you’re faced with physician burnout. Here are just a few:

  • There’s more patient care and less paperwork.
  • You get to choose when and where you want to practice medicine.
  • You’ll have the ability to see how physicians in different practice settings and different countries deliver care.
  • Locum tenens helps you build a strong CV. (Think of the experience abroad as well as the ability to develop a unique skillset in a diverse background.)
  • Lastly, you’ll get to explore landscapes and cultures you never thought possible.

Go ahead and read more about the advantages to the locum tenens lifestyle. Or another recommended read is 4 common misconceptions about the locum tenens lifestyle.

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Again, we’re not here to tell you that the sole solution to all your problems is locum tenens because it’s not. You really do have to address why you’re feeling physician burnout and if the symptoms can be remedied by a locum tenens assignment overseas then great. But focus on why you’re burnt out in the first place. The point is to identify the cause (or causes) then seek out a solution. As a physician that process should be second nature anyways, just apply it to yourself. While you're at it don’t forget to view current international locum tenens opportunities with the click of a button below.

Search current physician openings

 

Topics: burnout, medical career, physician burnout, international locum tenens opportunity, job stress

What's it like practicing medicine in New Zealand? Hear from three doctors about their New Zealand adventures.

Posted by Everett Fitch

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Planning a locum tenens assignment in New Zealand takes time. But it’s worth it. Consider the scenery alone, c'mon! But that's not the only great thing about practicing medicine in the Land of the Long White Cloud, no. Practicing in this island country affords you a world of experience. You'll be able to see how doctors here deliver care, how their unique culture has shaped their healthcare system and best of all you'll be able to focus purely on patient care with little to no paperwork or administrative duties involved.

Fortunately, too, your physician placement specialist will carry most of the weight throughout your placement process – with the end result being the best match possible between you and the medical facility in need. In other words they'll help you every step of the way in obtaining the New Zealand assignment you desire.

Now there is some effort on both parties involved to gather all the necessary licensing and registration but if you've got the drive and the credentials then there's nothing stopping you from setting foot on this magical island. Keep in mind the whole process will take about three months once a job has been offered. But as long as you are U.S. board certified, or the equivalent in a comparable country and hold an active license, you are eligible for temporary registration.

Don't just listen to us go on about all the fine details. Hear from some doctors – with a variety of backgrounds – who have worked in New Zealand already. Their stories, rich in detail, will hopefully enlighten you. You'll discover not only what it's like to live in a stunning country but also what it's like to be on locum tenens assignment here. What's it like practicing medicine in New Zealand, you ask? Our doctors will tell you.

Mark Dell’Aglio, MD

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On acclimating to the Kiwi way of life:

When you're in another country you take notice of the uniqueness that surrounds you—the noises, the sights, the smells are all brand new. For Mark Dell'Aglio, M.D. and his wife Trinj, a locum tenens assignment in New Zealand meant an opportunity to turn the unfamiliar into an adventure. “It's interesting to watch us learning outside of ourselves...learning the Kiwi way of life,” says Dr. Dell'Aglio. When you visit a foreign country – even if they share your native language – you find yourself learning colloquialisms, customs, and cultural caveats that aren't familiar. Everything from setting up a new home to making new friends is an entirely different experience in a foreign country. But it’s a welcome experience.

On practicing medicine in New Zealand:

“There's very little hierarchy here,” says Dr. Dell’Aglio. “First names are used among everybody, from the students to the doctors. You get to focus on pressing issues without dealing with all the games insurance companies sometimes make doctors play. Quite simply New Zealand medicine is different from the States; the Kiwis are more relaxed – much more patient. They are a 'live-and-let-live' type of people. It's tremendously refreshing...impatience seems to be indoctrinated in [Americans] at a young age...That's not as strong here. Here, there is no whirlwind, more like a soft, gentle breeze.”

Benjamin Ross, MD

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On adapting to the New Zealand healthcare system:


"At first glance their system seems different...but ultimately, the outcomes are similar at about 1/3 the cost of the U.S. system," says Dr. Ross. And the Kiwi way of doing things in the hospital wasn't hard for Dr. Ross, either – he immediately felt a sense of camaraderie with the other General Practitioners; in fact, he says he developed great relationships with all the staff.

On freedom and travel in New Zealand after residency in the U.S.:

Dr. Ross’s work schedule gave him the freedom to travel, tramp and traverse all across New Zealand. “It's hard not to be comfortable working a schedule with no nights or weekends so soon after residency,” says Dr. Ross, “We had plenty of time to explore the North Island and quite a bit of the South Island, too.”

On days off Dr. Ross – and his wife, Stephanie – took to the road, everywhere from Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island to Bluff at the tip of the South Island and everywhere between. The road trips, Dr. Ross explains, were alive with “rolling green hills, winding roads and stretches of shape shifting shores.” On a drive to Wellington – for a Rugby World Cup match between the U.S. and Australia – they stopped overnight in Taupo, a town in the center of the North Island, and awoke the next morning to the crystal-clear waters of the town’s eponymous lake “it was so clear I could hardly believe it!” Stephanie recalls.

Jen Corliss, MD

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On learning the local slang:

The lay of the land was easy on the eyes but the Kiwi slang was hard on the American tongue. “I had trouble understanding some New Zealand phrases when I started,” Dr. Corliss recounts, “so I'd find a nurse to translate and by the end, I even caught myself using some of the slang.” Soon enough, she was ‘sweet-as’, popping ‘round cafes for a cuppa.’

On her daily routine in New Zealand:

“My daily routine had me waking up to the bright New Zealand sun every day. I rode my bike to work past the goldmine through brilliant green fields and was greeted at work by my friendly coworkers. I saw patients during my four-day-a-week schedule and was impressed by the gratitude they showed for the care they received. I always finished by 5pm, so I had time to run to the beach or play a game of netball with friends.”

Well, that’s about it. Any additional questions you may have can be answered in this white paper appropriately called “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Taking a Locum Tenens Assignment in New Zealand.” And if you've still got questions after reading that then go ahead and finish reading these doctors’ stories.

Still have questions after that? You know what to do: fill out this quick information request form and we’ll be in touch. Practicing medicine in New Zealand isn't just a faraway dream; it's a reality that can happen for you. Feel free to view our current international locum tenens opportunities with the click of a button below.

Search for current physician openings in New Zealand

 

Topics: New Zealand, Land of the Long White Cloud, Mark Dell'Aglio, MD, Benjamin Ross, MD, Jen Corliss, MD, New Zealand healthcare

The winter bucket list for locum tenens doctors who double as photographers – international edition

Posted by Everett Fitch

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Two weeks ago we outlined the finest places around the U.S. for locum tenens doctors to not only visit but places where they can hone their photography skills, too. This week we’re introducing the international edition of our winter bucket list.

Much like the U.S. edition you’ll see places that range from cityscape to countryside. In our list you’ll read about horizons where gleaming granite peaks and cascading waterfalls are far from lacking; where burning giants dominate the night sky over leagues of tussock hills; where neon lights heat up the nightlife all while existing underneath an abundance of coastal mountains; and lastly, where a city is surrounded by a fiery red desert with unforgettable sights and adventures in every direction. Yeah, you’re going to want to bring your camera.

Fiordland National Park – South Island, New Zealand

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At this point it’s a given that New Zealand has immaculate countryside. And Fiordland National Park – which includes Milford, Dusky and Doubtful Sounds – is about as gorgeous as it gets.

Gargantuan glaciers carved this land. There’s a personality here, an energy that is palpable in the coastal mountain air. Air so simultaneously crisp and humid you’ll wonder if you’re in the Rockies or on some beach in Hawaii. Still, you’re going to want to bring a jacket because it can get a tad chilly. Maybe pack some protective/waterproof gear for your camera while you’re at it. Waterfall spray can get a little intense if you’re taking the cruise ship route. Tours can last anywhere from a couple hours to a whole day.

If you really want some epic captures of this diverse landscape then take the Milford Track (this one's by foot). It’s touted as one of New Zealand’s most famous hikes. Have a few days or more to spare? Complete the 33-mile, four-day trip. That way you can really capture awe-inspiring scenery like Sutherland Falls. Learn more about how to book a walk with a tour guide or how to venture out on your own.

Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve – South Island, New Zealand

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To be able to capture a dynamic picture of a waterfall amidst mountain peaks takes a certain artistry for sure. It’s an entirely different kind of finesse to be able to capture the night sky in all its glory. If you’re new to astrophotography here’s a crash course that’s worth reading. But we suspect with some basic know-how you’ll be able to shoot the clear skies in the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Reserve, no problem.

A good approach is to create an engaging composition in your long exposure, a bit of tussock land and a large amount of night sky for example. Just do an image search on Google and you’ll see the possibilities that exist here. Aside from simply freeing the skies of all pollution the reserve is also dedicated to protecting the flora and fauna in the area. Take the Big Sky Stargazing tour of Mount John Observatory for an in-depth look of their mission as well as an enlightening examination of the night sky.

Granville Street – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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There’s a street in Vancouver where neon lights used to shine in plenitude far and wide. It’s called Granville Street; you can’t miss it. Though over the past couple decades the flashing signs have been reduced. There is a new interest as of late to bring back what was once thought to be the luminous soul of the city. (Pack your street lens – 50mm or less – for this stretch of town).

This resurgence exists in preserving neon lights even if the business is long gone. If you want to see some of the signs that have fallen prey to neon bans over the years you can find those at the Vancouver Museum. They hold a collection of vintage neons there like the Smiling Buddha Cabaret sign.

What makes this radiant portion of Vancouver truly incredible and unique is that the North Shore Mountains tower not far off. It’s not all glitz and glamour like some neon cities. When we think neon we think Las Vegas where casinos stand among desert scenery or we picture massive cities such as Tokyo where there’s no shortage of skyscrapers. Granville Street is home to a glowing nightlife, sure, but Vancouver is still a mountain city at heart.

Alice Springs – Northern Territory, Australia

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Last but not least is Alice Springs: the gateway to Australia’s outback, its Red Centre. Not the only gateway of course but definitely one of the most visited. That’s because Uluru is nearby: a sacred sandstone formation protected by the Anangu (an Aboriginal people).

Visit even more striking sights, too, like Kings Canyon, Simpson Desert and the Devils Marbles. The last one is a can’t miss. To the Warmangu Aboriginal people these large granite boulders are sacred. When you see them in person you’ll understand why.

Do you really want to make your trip to Alice Springs a success? Book a tour by camelback to watch the sun rise and/or set where Uluru serves as the backdrop. Quite spectacular. Yeah, you can probably guess by now that Alice Springs is a remarkable place to capture very distinct landscapes. You can even stay within the city limits and discover Aboriginal art galleries or learn more about the eclectic history of the town itself.

We know. Technically only one place on this list is in the midst of winter. The rest are in the heart of their Southern Hemispherean summer right now. But if you're in the Northern Hemisphere it's still winter travel to us. No matter. You can visit these stunning sights in any season and still snag an epic photo. The point is to be immersed in travel, to broaden your medical skills and to bring your camera along for the adventure. Find out what international locum tenens opportunities are available now with the click of an orange button below.

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Topics: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Northern Territory, Milford Sound, photographer, dark sky reserve, devils marbles, granville street, vancouver, aoraki, winter, bucket list, photography, alice springs, fiordland national park, star photography

The winter bucket list for locum tenens doctors who double as photographers – U.S. edition

Posted by Everett Fitch

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In the thick of winter it’s easy to stay inside after a long day at work. It can get pretty darn cold outside after all. If the choice is to either stay inside with a hot cup of cocoa or layer up and head outside for a brisk winter walk, most will opt for the hot chocolate. But getting your heart pumping and a burn going on in your calves is good for you.

Try a winter hike up in the mountains. If you don’t have mountains nearby then go for a winter walk around your neighborhood, or a winter stroll through the city. To partake in such a meditative activity is to feed your mind and body with new stimuli. You’re able to see your surroundings in a new light outside the familiar routes you take. It may even change your perspective a little regarding the coldest season of the year, too.

While you’re at it bring your camera along on your trek. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or an expert, all you need is your unique, artistic eye and a touch of enthusiasm. Are you completely new to photography? Do you want something with a little more pixel power than what your smart phone can offer? Then check out our recent blog about the best digital cameras of 2016.

For those already armed and ready with your cameras we’ve compiled a winter bucket list of photography hotspots across the U.S. – from national parks to iconic cities. It’s time to trade in those awe-inducing summer photos that so often invade our social media feeds and replace them with wintry wonder.

Denali National Park, Alaska

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Alaska doesn’t see much light during winter. But that doesn’t mean you can't still enjoy the landscape. Denali hosts some of the most dazzling winter scenery in the whole world. Not just on the ground, either, but up in the sky, too. The northern lights dance and dazzle miles above the Earth. Though this hypnotic phenomena can be fleeting if not periodic so be sure to have your camera handy.

To learn more about activities like dog sledding, cross-country skiing and stargazing check out the National Park Service. Oh and remember to bundle up. Temperatures can drop to -40 F. It’s always a good idea to let someone know when and where you’re going as well.

Sequoia National Park, California

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Those same tall, red, towering trees you see during the summer are still there in winter – except now they’re more vivid, more commanding and proudly alive in their space. The pure whiteness of the snow gives these trees even more arresting color.

Immerse yourself in the silence of these sequoias by snowshoeing or cross-country skiing (with camera at the ready of course). Check out this handy guide to learn more about some of the activities you can partake in during winter. Depending on how much time you have – from a few hours to a week or more – you can go for a hike in Giant Forest, go sledding at Big Stump or take a long, arduous (but rewarding) journey to Pear Lake Winter Hut and camp overnight. Be sure to reserve the hut in advance.

New York City, New York

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New York City is never short of inspiration. It serves as a muse for many photographers with its iconic architecture (e.g., Flatiron, Chrysler, Woolworth, Empire State, Brooklyn Bridge).

There aren’t many hiking trails in town but what it lacks in that department it more than makes up for in its stunning succession of skyscrapers on almost every street. (In fact, Kurt Vonnegut once called NYC “Skyscraper National Park” in his novel Slapstick.) You’ll have a hard time pulling your finger off the shutter no matter if you’re in Times Square or Central Park. Just remember that the winter wind can be bone chilling in NYC, so grab your warmest jacket.

What else is there to do? Take a photographer’s stroll (that means leisurely) from Manhattan to Brooklyn along the eponymous bridge’s walkway.

Salt Lake City, Utah

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We couldn’t think of a more fitting city for you to visit during winter than our very own (other than NYC). We’ve got national and state parks galore that are a stone’s throw away. Plus Salt Lake City serves as the perfect basecamp for skiing and snowboarding – seeing as how Snowbird, Alta, Brighton and Solitude are about thirty minutes from downtown. Don’t forget about the abundance of hiking trails up Big Cottonwood Canyon, Little Cottonwood Canyon and Millcreek Canyon, too.

Still there’s more to this cross-section of Utah than the great outdoors: plan a night out on the town and see the Temple Square lights, go ice skating at Gallivan Center or simply stroll around downtown with your camera in hand and capture the wonderful architecture.

Don’t you think it’s about time that winter got as much photography love as the rest of the seasons? With all these bucket list winter trips don’t forget to bring your trusty camera along with you.

Throw your hot chocolate in a thermos and head outside. Capture all the idyllic snow-blanketed scenery that you can. And enjoy the cold as much as humanly possible. Get your layers on then see what locum tenens assignments are available across the U.S. right now with the click of a button below.

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Topics: Denali National Park, Alaska, New York, Salt Lake City, Utah, California, New York City, photographer, winter, bucket list, photography, Sequoia National Park

Global Medical's top 5 regions for locum tenens doctors to explore in 2017

Posted by Everett Fitch

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It’s that time of year again. The holidays are in full swing. But they will be gone just as fast as they came. We thought it’d be best to prime you with next year’s top 5 regions to explore now instead of waiting ‘til January. That way you can start lacing up your boots, packing your bags and be ready to go once the New Year ball drops. Or at the very least make some tentative plans to travel in 2017.

Fortunately you don’t have to drop your career for any length of time. Within these wondrous regions we have an abundance of locum tenens opportunities for you to take advantage of. Whether your heart is drawn to wander about the countryside or your stomach is hankering to discover the best restaurants in the city, any of these regions will supply you with ample amenities. What’s more you can see how physicians in different practice settings – possibly different countries – deliver care.

As always, if you’ve been to any of these places, feel free to share your favorite adventures. A world of possibilities awaits you within these 5 striking regions.

Tasmania – East Coast

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What can be said about Tasmania that hasn’t already been said? A lot. We’ve barely scratched the surface, barely touched the coast in all our writings. That’s why we’re bringing the East Coast to your attention.

Did you know there are a slew of national parks spread along this part of Tasmania? You’ve got Freycinet National Park with clear waters, pink mountains and Wineglass Bay. Then there’s Maria Island National Park where you can climb to the top of Mt. Maria (2,332 feet up) and witness all-encompassing views of Tasmania. And Douglas-Apsley National Park (named after the streams that wash through the region) is a can’t-miss, too, what with its thick eucalypt forest, deep gorges and magnificent waterfalls.

How to make it the ultimate trip:

Take to the open road. You can hit all the above and more in one fantastic journey called the Great Eastern Drive.

Michigan – The Upper Peninsula

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The Upper Peninsula in Michigan has national parks, historic sites, over 40 lighthouses, shipwrecks, waterfalls and packed forests all ready to be explored. Even in winter you can experience so much beauty in such a small stretch of America.

For example, head to Isle Royale National Park for an introduction to pure wilderness. 53 miles away from the nearest town, Isle Royale can only be accessed by ferry, floatplane or passenger ship. Believe it or not this national park is one of the least visited in the country. Don’t let that deter you. It’s not visited much because of its remoteness. But that adds to its appeal. Keep in mind this massive archipelago is only open to visitors from April 15 – October 31.

How to make it the ultimate trip:

If you don’t want to wait until summer we recommend taking an entirely different ferry to Mackinac Island (pronounced Mack-in-aw), which is open year-round. While this island is actually located between the Upper Peninsula and Lower Peninsula we still suggest a day or two here not only to explore Michigan’s diverse landscape but its incredibly rich history, too.

Hawaii – Windward Coast

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The very word Hawaii conjures up images of unrivaled beauty. Green peaks scrape the sky and fall all the way to the Pacific. The landscape that surrounds inspires most to relax, some to surf and a select few to drop everything and move to these shores.

The Windward Coast might be the place that finally convinces you to stay indefinitely. If you need a nudge then head to Nuuanu Pali Lookout, a five-mile drive northeast of Honolulu. Your head will be in the clouds and your eyes will cease blinking solely to capture as much of the Koolau Cliffs as possible. Other points of interest along the Windward Coast are Makapuu Point Lighthouse, Valley of the Temples and Kailua Beach Park.

How to make it the ultimate trip:

Spend a day in Kailua, a town roughly 30 minutes northeast of Honolulu. Known for its turquoise waters and white-sand beaches the scenery can’t be beat. But if you want more than just pretty views then hit up the farmers’ markets, hip boutiques and delicious restaurants that are abundant in this town.

Oregon – Coast

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The coast of Oregon is a long sweep. It’s tough to pick just a few spots to check out. Still you can already see the mist-blanketed sea stacks and quaint oceanside towns we’re about to describe, can’t you?

Like Florence, a river- and seaside city just about halfway between the northern and southern borders of Oregon. To get your fill of scenery visit Heceta Head Lighthouse and Sea Lion Caves nearby. Then hit up the Waterfront Depot for the tastiest of seafood.

How to make it the ultimate trip:

Cannon Beach has to be one of the only places in the world where people are happy to don their sweatshirts simply to chase that almost unreachable feeling of silent awe. And the cause of that awe? Haystack Rock of course. This 235-foot-tall sea stack just off Cannon Beach could be the most famous ocean monolith in the entire United States but we’re just guessing.

Our recommendation: stand in amazement for a moment then take a peaceful stroll along the beach.

South Carolina – Coast

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It wasn’t intentional by any means but you’re starting to notice a theme, aren’t you? Except one region we’ve outlined, the rest are coastal. We suppose we’re urging you to travel to the oceans of the world. Though a massive body of water does border the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, too. No matter. We’re here to end the list with the coast of South Carolina, home to such greats as Hilton Head Island, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

Granted there are 2,876 miles of tidal coastline so if you only have time to make it to a few places we do recommend the wonderful places we’ve outlined above. Hilton Head Island has its dramatic marshland and some of the most jaw-dropping white-sand beaches along the Atlantic. Charleston is historic and imbued with picturesque architecture overlooking the ocean. And Myrtle Beach…well it’s renowned for many remarkable things, one of which is its world-class golf.

How to make it the ultimate trip:

Stay in Charleston for a while, a romanticism exists here unlike any other. What to do? Pick a direction on any cobblestone street and start walking. You’ll encounter antebellum buildings and a slew of delicious eats.

What now? There's no better time like the present to start planning your 2017 travels. Oh and be sure to consider any of the above locales when searching for your next locum tenens assignment.

Happy 2017 travels!


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Topics: Hawaii, Oregon, Tasmania, South Carolina, michigan, windward coast, Cannon Beach, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Hilton Head Island, top 5 regions, top 5 regions 2017, upper peninsula, mackinac island, Haystack Rock, Freycinet National Park, Great Eastern Drive

The best digital cameras of 2016 to consider for your locum tenens adventure (when a smart phone camera just won’t do).

Posted by Everett Fitch

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Picture this: You’re walking through the city and you see architecture that captivates you or a person on the street who delights you. You reach for your smart phone but the photo you take doesn’t wholly capture the energy you wanted. The lighting is off and there’s no true focus on the subject.

Another scene: you’re hitting every national park you can in one road trip and you witness all sorts of amazing wildlife and towering scenery along the way. You want so badly to capture every moment for eternity, or at least for your lifetime, but your smart phone camera just ain’t up to snuff. The scenery whizzes by too quickly resulting in blurred photos.

What’s the point we’re trying to make? No matter where you’re journeying in the world on your locum tenens assignment you deserve a camera that captures the awe you felt in the moment.

We’re not bad-mouthing smart phone cameras by any means. In fact, for the globetrotters who double as hobbyist photographers a smart phone will often suffice. After all smart phone cameras have come a long way over the past couple years. With megapixels ever increasing – plus the ease of use as far as Wi-Fi connectivity – it’s just fine to be content with your smart phone.

But sometimes you want a better quality photo or video, don't you? Because even with the rapid technological progress of smart phone cameras you still can’t beat a digital camera. The megapixels are greater and most digital cameras nowadays come with Wi-Fi connectivity (depending on the model of course).

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Granted those two features aren’t the only selling points of a digital camera. And we’re not here to sell you on the hottest cameras, either. We’re simply here to enlighten you, to broaden your picture-taking horizons.

Go ahead and read through the list then you can decide for yourself whether or not you want to upgrade. Keep in mind, in order to fit such an expansive topic into one blog we’re sticking to the best digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) and mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras (MILCs) of 2016.

And since we’re aiming for brevity here’s a crash course in these two types of cameras: DSLRs, put simply, use a mirror to direct light from the lens to the optical viewfinder (OVF). The mirror allows you to see what the camera will capture. Mirrorless cameras on the other hand don’t employ mirrors – a relatively newer technology – but instead capture light right onto the image sensor where you can see electronically what the camera will capture through the electronic viewfinder (EVF). If you’d like to read in greater detail about the differences between the two types of cameras, check out this article. If you'd like to learn more about the pros and cons of each type of camera, here's a great read.

The reigning advantage of both DSLR and mirrorless cameras over smart phone cameras and point-and-shoots is that you have a lot more manual control, plus the lenses are interchangeable. This gives you the capacity to achieve grander photography and videography in one package. But enough with the gritty tech talk. Let’s get down to the best digital cameras of 2016 – from entry-level to professional.

Entry-level DSLR – Nikon D3400

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For those of you who are already well versed in the photography world, you know that a lot of photographers are either very pro-Nikon or very pro-Canon. There are diehards who swear by one brand over the other. You may even be one of them. We ask you to set aside your differences and take the Nikon D3400 for what it is: a really great entry-level DSLR. It offers 24.2 megapixels, great battery life and Bluetooth connectivity.

Mid-range DSLR – Canon EOS 80D

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The Canon EOS 80D was actually released not too long ago – back in March to be exact. It comes packed with some great features over the previous model, the 70D. What you get is a new image sensor and a faster autofocus system. What hasn’t changed is the fact that these cameras – both the 70D and the 80D – are excellent for shooting action, plus they also have a convenient articulating touchscreen.

Professional DSLR – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

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Some terms you may hear as you’re searching for your next camera is crop sensor (APS-C) vs. full-frame sensor. Most entry-level to mid-range cameras (both DSLRs and mirrorless) utilize APS-C sensors – meaning it crops the frame. Or “…only part of the image produced by the lens is captured by the APS-C size sensor.”

As you reach both the professional DSLR and mirrorless cameras you’ll get what’s called a full-frame sensor. In other words, “full frame refers to a sensor size that has the same dimensions as the 35mm format.” It captures the entire image produced by the lens.

One full-frame camera to look out for that was released not very long ago is the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Its predecessors, the Mark II and the Mark III both made a huge impact on the photography and videography world. Essentially these cameras became veritable workhorses for videographers wrapped up in a small, convenient package.

Entry-level Mirrorless – Sony a6000

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While the Sony a6000 is not a new camera (it was released in April 2014), it still is a staple among the mirrorless community. It’s often lauded as having one of the best autofocusing systems in its class, even rivaling that of many professional DSLRs. And if you’re an action photographer you’ll be pleased with its ability to shoot 11 frames per second. Another fantastic feature: you can achieve that cinema-quality look with the camera’s ability to shoot in 24fps HD video.

Mid-range Mirrorless – Sony a6300

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You guessed it: the Sony a6300 is the new and improved version of the a6000. It was released just this year back in March. Though it still sports the same 24 megapixels, what has improved is the overall image quality. And with increased image quality comes increased focusing capabilities.

You also get better low-light performance. This may not seem like a huge selling point but believe us, it is. When you find yourself in a dark living room wanting to snap a picture of your family during the holidays, the low-light capabilities save the day. One final upgrade: it can shoot in 4K video!

Professional Mirrorless – Sony a7r II

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By now you might think we’re strictly Sony fans when it comes to mirrorless cameras. While the author is a Sony a7s II owner he restricts his bias as much as possible (the ‘s’ version has better low-light capabilities than the 'r' version).

The very fact that Sony has made some amazing advances in the mirrorless technology world lands it firmly in first place among many lists, for its focus speed, its resolution and its low-light capability among many other advantages. The Sony a7r II is no different. In fact, it’s a beast for anyone wanting 42.4 megapixels and a highly intuitive autofocusing system.

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Well that’s it for the best digital cameras of 2016. Now get out there and start snapping pictures and shooting video. Always feel free to share your photos and footage with us from your locum tenens assignments. And if you’re looking for great locales to shoot in, look no further than these healthcare opportunities.

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Topics: Canon, digital camera, mirrorless, nikon, sony, dslr, best digital cameras 2016

4 of our favorite family-friendly experiences in the Land of the Long White Cloud

Posted by Everett Fitch

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New Zealand is a country unlike any other. Once you step foot here you won’t believe the wonders that exist in both city and countryside. Sounds an awful lot like an overpromise, doesn’t it? We assure you that it’s not. Everyone who visits say they love it for its friendliness, its community, its nature, its landscape, everything.

Okay, maybe not everyone. We shouldn’t speak in absolutes. There have probably been a few people over the years who have visited the Land of the Long White Cloud and weren’t that impressed. We’d venture to guess it’s because they’re not fans of waterfall-and-peak-filled fjords, lakes roughly the size of Singapore, coastline complete with geothermal pools, tussock farmland with big skies, glaciers, volcanoes, rainforests and geysers. You know, the kind of countryside you’d do anything for as a kid, just to play and frolic and lose yourself in fresh air.

That’s exactly our point. New Zealand is an ideal family-friendly destination. In fact it ranks 1st on the Legatum Prosperity Index: an annual ranking developed by the Legatum Institute, which essentially measures how prosperous a nation is through factors like economic quality, business environment, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, social capital and natural environment. You can discover more about their methodology as well as their findings concerning New Zealand right here.

The real important takeaway is that this island-country is rich not only in landscape but also in just about everything else. You should feel compelled to explore its greatness with your whole family. If you find yourself in New Zealand on locum tenens assignment already, here are some unforgettable experiences you’ll want to consider.

Experiencing Franz Josef Glacier – South Island

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Clothed by the Southern Alps, Franz Josef Glacier is a marvel. Cacophonous colors shade the horizon. Light blues you’ve never met before rush toward you. Dark greens you won’t recognize slip into your field of vision. Nonetheless, the sight is welcoming.

Start in town, Franz Josef, where you can frequent quaint cafes and shops while the Southern Alps tower over you. This is where you’ll want to book your adventures, too. You can choose anything from a guided walk to a scenic flight. If you’d like to overnight it, there are a variety of hotels, motels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, plus holiday parks. And believe it or not, a lot of the places where you can stay are enshrouded by rainforest.

Stargazing at Lake Tekapo – South Island

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The southern lights in all its vibrant beauty can be seen from Lake Tekapo’s shores. Wait a minute, the southern lights? Yes, the northern lights has a sibling existing at the exact other side of the world, the Southern Hemisphere. And if you head to Lake Tekapo during winter you’ll experience an amazing show. Unfortunately this happens during July and August for New Zealand (that's when their winter occurs) so you'll have to wait a bit to see the southern lights.

No worries. You can still catch some killer stargazing with your family. Head to Mount John Observatory on an Earth & Sky tour where you can witness some of the darkest skies in the world, perfect for viewing the Milky Way.

Taking a cruise in Milford Sound – South Island

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Milford Sound is without a doubt one of the hallmark stops on any South Island tour. Famous novelist Rudyard Kipling (author of The Jungle Book) once called this glacier-carved fjord “the eighth wonder of the world.” High praise, but suitably so.

Waterfalls pour out of forested, tall-reaching peaks. Hiking trails abound so you’re more than apt to find an agreeable view of Milford’s magnificence. And there’s ample accommodation so if you plan to stay for a few days, you're solid (though, do book in advance because places tend to fill up).

Truthfully, boat cruises are the way to go. You’ll encounter much more of the unimaginable this way. There will be coves filled with marine life and even waterfalls that you can experience up close. Plus some boats are even equipped with underwater viewing observatories so you can witness all the life blooming beneath the surface.

Going the museum route in Wellington – North Island

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So far we’ve mentioned only experiences showcasing the raw beauty of New Zealand. We’d like to take a moment to highlight the culture and arts that’s abundant in this country, too.

There’s no better place to enlighten you and your family than in Wellington. This cultural hotspot has a lot going for it. Like Te Papa Tongarewa, a national museum where the continued focus is preserving the history, language and lore of New Zealand’s people through exhibitions and education. Six stories of rich artwork, both past and present fill these walls. Another huge plus? Aside from being architecturally stunning this museum sits right on the waterfront so you’re bound to experience some spectacular views.

Not quite as large but equally as important is the Museum of Wellington City and Sea that’s housed in a heritage building on, you guessed it, another immaculate waterfront. Take in the views outside then head inside for a taste of Wellington’s cultural history. This museum is dedicated fully to Wellington complete with interactive exhibitions. Check out the exhibit, A Millennium Ago, that highlights Maori legends using holographic effects.

Well, that’s it. While there’s a ton of other family-friendly experiences in New Zealand, they’d be too numerous to list in one blog. Discover what locum tenens opportunities are available in the Land of the Long White Cloud with the click of an orange button below then start planning your scenicand educationalfamily-friendly adventures right away. (Oh, and if you'd like to learn more about Maori culture before you embark, then click here).

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Topics: Wellington, Franz Josef, New Zealand, Milford Sound, Land of the Long White Cloud, Museum of Wellington City and Sea, Legatum Prosperity Index, Franz Josef Glacier, Lake Tekapo, Mount John Observatory, Te Papa Tongarewa, family-friendly experiences in New Zealand

6 striking U.S. Virgin Islands locales and experiences you’ll want to escape to this winter

Posted by Everett Fitch

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We’re sure you’re well aware that winter is coming in the Northern Hemisphere. So it’s either time to start throwing on those layers and prepare for the cold season ahead, or if you’re more inclined, you can skip the winter clothes shopping and take a locum tenens assignment in the U.S. Virgin Islands where the warm days never go out of style.

Now we’re not diminishing winter by any means. In fact, we love winter. Just check out these top ski resorts in the Rockies we wrote about recently. If that doesn’t get you excited as ever about the upcoming ski season then we don’t know what will. However we do know there are plenty of people out there who’d opt for year-round, sunny Caribbean weather instead. The following list of top locales and experiences in the U.S. Virgin Islands is for anyone who’d rather be sipping a piña colada on the beach than carving the slopes in the Rockies.

Magens Bay – St. Thomas

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We’ve written about Magens Bay more than once. And it’s for good reason. The whole area is magical. It tops many lists as far as beautiful beaches the world over are concerned. The waters are calm, too, which means the bay is perfect for tons of sea-based activities.

Great pastime: To top your Magens Bay trip off we suggest you rent a kayak and venture out into the serene waters where you can catch sublime seascapes and landscapes from not too far offshore.

Secret Harbor Beach – St. Thomas

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Just as poetically beautiful as Magens Bay but with less crowds is Secret Harbor Beach. Maybe because it’s a secret? Nah. It’s not as busy as Magens but it’s definitely no secret. You can’t keep locals and tourists away from scenes with humming Caribbean waves and rolling green hills for too long.

Great pastime: Ask around town and most people will tell you to head to Secret Harbor on a clear day and plan an afternoon of snorkeling. Diving is superb along these rocky coastlines.

Coki Point – St. Thomas

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You’re catching on that tropical beaches and bays will permeate most of this list, aren’t you? You’d be right in that inference. Point is that’s what makes up these islands. They’re diverse but only insomuch that an impeccable tropical island can be diverse. And Coki Point is as eclectic as it gets. Much like Secret Harbor this small yet lush bit of coastline is fantastic for snorkeling. Plus there are plenty of activities and booths around as well as food trucks to keep you entertained and well fed on this stretch of coast for an entire day.

Great pastime: Rent a jet ski on a less crowded day. You’ll have a blast ripping through those waves unencumbered all while admiring the beauty that is Coki Point.

Charlotte Amalie – St. Thomas

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Charlotte Amalie is THE iconic town to visit in the Caribbean. As a matter of fact it’s the capital and largest city of the U.S. Virgin Islands, too. It’s much of what you’d expect: there are colorful, colonial buildings, old cobblestone streets and tons of history in every step. (Visit all three quarters in Charlotte Amalie for a glimpse into the origins of this bustling capital: Kongens Quarter, Dronningens Quarter, and Kronpindsens Quarter.) But that’s part of why you want to visit, right? Not only for the tropical breezes but for the magic of the Caribbean ambience, too.

Great pastime: If you truly want those stupefying views of St. Thomas then take the Skyride to Paradise Point. It will cost you $21.00 for an adult pass and $10.50 for a kid’s pass. The passes include unlimited rides all day to the 700-foot tall observation point where you can see lovely panoramic views of Charlotte Amalie and then some.

Annaly Bay Tide Pools – St. Croix

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The Annaly Bay Tide Pools are a marvelous place to cool off in such a tropical climate. But getting there is somewhat difficult. Many sites recommend that you either hire a trained guide or, if you’d like to navigate the trail yourself, to simply be extra cautious of the terrain (it’s a five-mile round-trip hike). Don’t let that deter you. Just check the sea and wind conditions before you embark. (Please keep in mind you can go by four-wheel drive vehicle, too.)

Great pastime: You guessed it, hiking to the Annaly Bay Tide Pools. The adventure itself is in getting to the tide pools. Along the way you’ll encounter all the vibrant rainforest scenery that St. Croix is known for. The relaxation and pure euphoric state comes once you dip into the pools.

Virgin Islands National Park – St. John

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Did you know that Virgin Islands National Park covers roughly 60% of St. John? The park itself holds many natural treasures. There’s Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay and Hassel Island that are not to be missed. Plus you’ll find Danish plantation ruins wrapped up in quintessential rainforest landscape throughout the park.

Great pastime: Go for a hike, any hike. Truly, the best thing to do on St. John is to immerse yourself in nature. The park is filled with 22 nature trails, everything from an hour-long stroll to a full-day hike. Here’s a list of hikes you can take.

There you have it. The U.S. Virgin Islands are replete with breathtaking views. And we’ve only provided an iota of possible experiences. The rest is up to you. Find a physician opportunity in the U.S. Caribbean by clicking the orange button below then fill up your itinerary with all these tropical adventures and more. If you have your own set of favorite locales then please feel free to mention them in the comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Topics: St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix, Secret Harbor Beach, Virgin Islands National Park, U.S. Virgin Islands, Magens Bay, Coki Point, Charlotte Amalie, Annaly Bay Tide Pools

Best restaurants, best bars and best pastimes in every single Australian capital city (pt. 2)

Posted by Everett Fitch

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The best thing about traveling to a new city is discovering it all your own. Every pair of eyes will see new cityscapes differently; every set of taste buds will experience the local cuisine uniquely; every person will feel different feelings when gazing out at a strange, faraway sunset.

When you travel to any one of these capital cities in Australia, we recommend you try hard to unearth as many layers of it as you can. See more sights. Taste more local food. Experience more nightlife. Explore more beaches and mountains and rivers and oceans nearby.

The deeper you dive the more you find out about yourself and the very culture you’re exploring. You begin to see all the multitudinous sides. The buildings and city centers and countryside that surround become more familiar to you as the days pass. They shed their mysterious veneer. Think of discovering a city as though you’re getting to know someone. Long after the pleasantries have passed, you may even persuade yourself to stay in one of these wondrous cities.

Do you plan to take a locum tenens assignment in Australia? If you do we suspect you’ll be hard-pressed to peel yourself away from this great country once the time has come. Simply put, you’ll fall in love.

Feel free to read part one of our two-part series examining the best restaurants, best bars and best pastimes in every single Australian capital city. Then come on back – because it’s time to round off the list for you with part two below.

Hobart, Tasmania

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Best restaurant:
Franklin

This consistently top-ranked restaurant hosts its kitchen smack-dab in the middle of the open-floor plan so you’ve got unrestricted views of all the madness and beauty that goes into making your elegant meal. As much as this place is about the ambience, people definitely come wolf-hungry for the food. The menu is rich with local produce, local meats and seafood and local wines and beers. Word of advice, book ahead.

Best bar: Republic Bar

Conveniently enough some of the bars we’ve listed so far double as a restaurant (and vice versa) so if you’re looking to knock out two birds with one stone, then you’re in luck. Republic Bar just so happens to be a pub that serves up fine grub, too. This joint is a favorite among locals for its upscale seafood and BBQ menu, not to mention it has some of the best live music in town seven nights a week.

Best pastime: Salamanca Market

This one was difficult. There are so many great pastimes in Hobart. We had to go with Salamanca Market. Every Saturday since 1972 this stretch of waterfront in Hobart is alive and bustling. The air is filled with ocean breezes, live music and fragrant foods. Plus the Georgian sandstone architecture is quite the sight.

Melbourne, Victoria

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Best restaurant:
Cutler & Co.

Thus far we’ve tried to incorporate both fine-dining establishments as well as some more laid-back food joints. Cutler & Co. though falls into the former more so than the latter. Another open-kitchen design, this restaurant serves up the most elegantly prepared dishes you’ve ever seen like the beef short rib with native pepper, parsley and horseradish. They do have a more, relaxed sharing-style lunch menu every Sunday if that’s more your style.

Best bar: Riverland Bar

Known as the iconic waterfront pub of Melbourne, Riverland Bar skirts the Yarra River in the shadow of Princes Bridge. Of course you can hang inside with your brew but why would you do that if you have an entire outside patio (suitably dubbed the “beer garden”) with resplendent views to enjoy your drink of choice?

Best pastime: St Kilda Esplanade

Not far from the city center you’ll find St Kilda Esplanade. This palm-fringed stretch of sand and boardwalk is an eclectic wonderland complete with captivating views of Port Phillip. It’s quite often humming with both locals and tourists alike. You won’t be wanting for more while you’re visiting, either: there are markets, boutiques, restaurants, bars, rollercoasters, you name it. And of course, there’s immaculate coast as far as the eye can see.

Perth, Western Australia

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Best restaurant:
Alfred’s Kitchen

Alright, back to basics. Welcome to Alfred’s Kitchen, a real burger legend in Perth. This roadside joint has been around since 1946 so you know they’re serving up the real deal. And if you’re vegetarian, no worries, they even prepare a mean lentil burger that the locals say is to die for. For you meat-eaters out there, snag Alfred’s famous, original-recipe pea and ham soup.

Best bar: Frisk Small Bar

Are you looking for a more intimate atmosphere where you can share great drinks with new friends? You’re in luck. Frisk Small Bar offers just that. Though they specialize in gin cocktails they do serve up plenty of other choices.

Best pastime: Rottnest Island

Okay, this one is a bit outside of town (12 miles off the coast, or about a 90-minute ferry ride) but we’re sure you’ll forgive us for not listing a best pastime directly in Perth once you step foot on this island – especially after you lay your eyes on a quokka. These tiny marsupials can be found throughout the island. Now on top of spying on these adorable creatures you can also explore coral reefs and shipwrecks, relax on one of over 60 beaches or just walk around with your camera for an entire day and take pictures of sublime ocean scenery.

Sydney, New South Wales

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Best restaurant:
Bennelong Restaurant

If you’re in Sydney you’re probably going to want to splurge a bit. (It might very well be Australia’s most iconic capital city.) There’s no better restaurant to do that at than Bennelong. Located right inside the Sydney Opera House, it’s been deemed the grandest of restaurants in the city. Where else can you marvel at one-of-a-kind architecture while having your taste buds blown away by crab ravioli? Nowhere, that’s where.

Best bar: The Lobo Plantation

Again, you’re in Sydney, you’re going to want to head to the best of the best. So head to The Lobo Plantation, a fine establishment that won Bar of the Year in 2015 by Time Out Magazine. Grab a local beer or your favorite cocktail and sprawl out with your friends in one of their mammoth-sized booths.

Best pastime: Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge

We would’ve chosen a tour of the Sydney Opera House but since you’ll already be eating inside the architectural wonder with our restaurant recommendation we thought we’d give you the next best thing, a 360-degree view of the city with the BridgeClimb. That’s right, book one of these tours and you’ll be up close and personal with this modern marvel. Don’t worry, a guide will be with you the whole way and all safety measures are taken.

Well that concludes our tour of Australia’s capital cities. Don’t forget to comment below with some of your favorite spots. All that’s left to do now is see what current physician jobs are available in Australia by clicking the big orange button below.


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Topics: Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Best Restaurants in Australia, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Best Bars in Australia, Best Pastimes in Australia, Victoria, New South Wales

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Twice a month, our inquisitive locum tenens community asks us to tackle topics ranging from cuisine and culture to recreation and entertainment. We also include great storytelling from our doctors. Have a topic you’d like to read about? Let us know.

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