On this episode of the Pharmacy View podcast, Scott’s guest is Sue Muller, founder of LocumCo, Australia’s leading pharmacist owned and operated specialist recruitment company.
As a young locum, Sue realized that she was unable to accommodate all of the requests she received. After repeatedly passing jobs to friends, she saw an opportunity and created LocumCo to revolutionize the Pharmacist Locum industry. Sue’s database eventually expanded to the entire country.
Starting a business in the 1980’s meant that Sue did a lot of work by hand. She saw the advent of the Internet as a ‘miracle’ and relished the ability to post jobs online and receive an immediate response.
Since then, technology has allowed her to grow her business without always having to increase staff.
This increased flexibility and freedom is especially helpful when dealing with regional and rural pharmacies. Having a targeted database with a service-based app allows Sue to contact the closest people first, and then expand her search as needed. Newer tools such as dialpad have made it easier to delegate and share work, while online magazine creator Mobimag lets Sue share valuable information with potential employees and clients in real time.
Sue is grateful for the Australian government’s assistance with rural care and encourages everyone to take advantage of the technology available. Continuity is key and planning for a locum when possible goes a long way to improving service for your customers.
Locums come from many different areas and backgrounds. Sue and Scott agree that experiencing diverse care is crucial in growing as a pharmacist.
- Adapting to new technology- from the Internet to mobile phones
- The difficulty of consistent care in a rural area
- Where locums come from and why they serve
- How procrastination creates a difficult scenario
- A ‘return to normal’ at the APP Conference
- The indescribable benefit of a diverse experience
- Mentoring the next generation
Key Quotes (Time Stamps)
- “I’ve always advocated that I preferred to improve the technology that we use in the business and the capabilities of that technology rather than having ever-increasing staff numbers.” (5:43) – Sue
- “For the first 20+ years, I would never have my mobile phone anywhere other than by my side 24/7.” (7:41) – Sue
- “Every single day of the week I have tricky scenarios. Sometimes people, I really think, they think I’m a magician who can pull a rabbit out of a hat because what they expect me to do is just incredible.” (14:52) – Sue
- “There are so many pharmacists leaving the profession that if you leave it to the last minute you either have to accept the dregs…or else it’s going to be really difficult.” (16:06) – Sue
- “You want it to be as smooth as possible. You want to come back to your pharmacy when you’ve had your holiday and you don’t want to spend the first week fixing things that a locum has done that you’re not happy with.” (17:00) – Sue
- “I almost feel sorry for someone that’s just grown-up in the city because until you experience what’s out there, you don’t know what you’re missing.” (22:19) – Scott
- “Doing locum work in different areas, in rural areas in particular, makes you so much of a better pharmacist.” (22:43) – Sue
Social Media Clips
- Starting a business in the pre-Internet era (2:53-4:00)
- The additional challenges of emergency rural services (8:35-10:50)
- Freedom and flexibility through emerging technology (17:17-19:28)
Connect with Scott
Connect with Sue
Connect with LocumCo
Other Links Mentioned