When the medical jackaroo rides into town

IN MY heady days of youth, I spent 18 months avoiding a steady job and worked as a locum. This involved a serious commitment to helping out GPs in their week of need, then running away. My CV screamed like a real estate billboard: location, location, location.

The locum tenens is now an endangered species, although in earlier centuries sightings were common. The very nomenclature derives from the Latin for locust and ten, because any more than nine of them in the one

town was considered a plague.

These nomadic apothecaries would wander from village to village, offering to leech excess iron and replace it

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