Locumunity.com is “kind of like Tinder,” those behind the medical-matching website say. (Website screenshot)

Medical-matching site for locums ‘kind of like Tinder’

South Surrey-based website will also help address doctor shortage, burnout: founders

A new Peninsula-based website that links doctors looking for work with other doctors – and clinics – looking to fill a physician need is “kind of like Tinder,” those behind it say.

“Think of us as the online matchmaker of medicine!” reads a playful statement on locumunity.com’s homepage.

But South Surrey Dr. Haneen Abu-Remaileh says the site is meeting a serious need: providing a centralized search tool that is easing the job search for locums nationwide, and helping reduce physician burnout.

“Already… within Canada, we’ve had locums who live in Nova Scotia applying for a job in Salt Spring Island,” Abu-Remaileh said.

“It maximizes the potential.”

Since the site launched in April, more than 350 physicians have signed up to locumunity.com; Abu-Remaileh said 70 per cent of those are locums – doctors who fill temporary positions.

She and husband Omar Abdolall – who, in addition to being head of product training and development, teaches Grade 5/6 at Bridgeview Elementary – are hoping for 500 sign-ups by the end of this month.

There is no cost for locums – “because they’re such a commodity,” said Abdolall. Clinics or physicians looking to fill positions have different subscription options, from $75 for a 45-day post, to $240 for a six-month post.

Regardless of which category registrants fall into, they then enter what they’re looking for into the database – criteria that can be included ranges from location and schedule preferences, to language and specialty areas – and an algorithm matches them up.

“We’re essentially the middleman,” Abdolall said. “You’re actually able to tap into all of the provinces.”

Abu-Remaileh said she had the idea for the site for “a while.” As a locum herself, she said she identified the need for it after finishing her family-medicine residency in Calgary, and beginning the quest for work on her return to B.C.

“There was no centralized search agency for me to look (for work),” she said.

Locumunity.com also removes the need for doctors to work with a recruiter, she said.

“They can preview job details so they don’t have to deal with that extra obstacle.”

Physician burnout, Abu-Remaileh noted, has been identified as an issue on a provincial level, particularly in rural areas.

“I feel like I am helping solve an issue that has been identified as a true problem on a government level,” she said.

Others on the locumunity.com team are chief technology officer Mubashshir Zakir, head of recruitment strategy Leila Abdolall and head of product development Tabish Khan.

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