Victoria Divisions of Family Practice

Urban Locum Program (ULP) pilot celebrates one-year milestone


A year after its launch, the Urban Locum Program pilot is demonstrating value. Between October 2022 and October 2023, ULP locums have covered 552 shifts, enabling significant time away for local family physicians. The program is seeing high demand, emphasizing the need for continued locum coverage to support physicians’ health and wellness.

Over the past year, the ULP has grown steadily with the recent July – Sept quarter marking a notable surge in coverage. Locum demand still exceeds supply, however, in that quarter alone ULP locums covered 259 shifts – a 151% increase compared to the previous quarter. Notably, 44% of coverage requests were fulfilled in that period.

The ULP’s successful advocacy for enhanced locum compensation has boosted recruitment into the program. The increase facilitated the onboarding of 14 new locums, including 8 recent graduates. The pilot provides a significant pathway for new grads to enter family medicine and a channel to retain them in our community.

The pilot is earning accolades from both host and locum physicians. Here is some recent feedback:

Locum physicians:

  • “This program is a breath of fresh air, allowing me to spend more time with patients.”
  • “Locuming in a new practice with a new EMR would be so much more difficult without the support of the ULP!”
  • “ULP's administrative support in connecting with clinics and organizing locums has been invaluable.”
  • “The system here is different, and I knew no one. ULP lets me try out different locations and schedules, meet people, and explore the perfect fit. The communication and support have been incredible, plus it offers a flexible option for those wanting to start a family.”

Host physicians:

  • “I was very excited to register as soon as I became eligible and it has been a great learning experience and I am relieved. Please continue it after the pilot.”
  • “ULP greatly helped improve my work-life balance. Everyone has been so great at ULP! We hope that the program will be expanded to include more hours/days.”
  • “Less hassle of worrying about calculating what to pay the locum and tracking their billing after the fact. Makes having a locum a lot less painful to arrange.”
  • “Reliable locums, easy payments - no fuss.”

Interested in joining the program? Apply here!

Have feedback or questions? Contact Becky Litt at

posted on: November 2nd, 2023