Work as a Doctor in Australia

To work as a doctor in Australia is a promising and respected profession. If you are studying to become a doctor and you want to work in Australia, or, you are thinking about going to medical school in Australia, this guide will give you a full overview of each process. Learn about the qualifications to become a doctor in Australia or the immigration process for those of you who are already established doctors.

As currently predicted, Australia will be experiencing a doctor shortage in the coming decade. According to Deloitte Access Economics Shows, this emerged as only few medical graduates are entering the field and demand for health services is rising (Medipeople, 2020). By 2030, for example, there will be a shortfall of 2,298 full-time general practitioners, which is around 24.7% of the workforce. Especially now, during Covid-19, Australia is in great need of medical professionals.

A junior doctor has an average salary of $70,000 to $85,000. Meanwhile, a top consultant will earn an average of $394,866. A full-time general practitioner doctor makes an average of $200,000 to $350,000 annually. Generally, a doctor’s salary depends on experience, the number of working hours, the location, and the type of work.

Becoming a doctor in Australia is a bit of a journey but is undoubtedly worth the process. Here are frequently asked questions that will help you through your journey to becoming a doctor in Australia or work in Australia as one.

Qualifications to Become a Doctor in Australia

Becoming a doctor in Australia is going to be a demanding process. However, the time it would take you to complete your process will depend on the medical studies you invest in and the specialties you acquire. Even so, the steps in becoming a doctor in Australia are quite straightforward:

Must complete the year 12 prerequisites

To work in Australia, you need to complete your high school and your bachelor’s degree if you also plan to enter medical school here. Suppose you choose only to complete your high school. In that case, you will need to accomplish an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank).

 (ATAR) of 99.95 in the high school certificate or equivalent and achieve band four in advanced mathematics or equivalent.

Must complete bachelor’s degree in an accredited university

Suppose you prefer to receive a bachelor’s degree to work as a doctor in Australia. In that case, you will need to attend an accredited university or a recognized college to study a medical program. You do not necessarily need to have a health-related undergraduate course. You can compete in diverse fields like arts, commerce, psychology, pharmacy, and others. Even so, upon graduation, most educational institutions will require you to have a grade point average of 65.

Pass the entrance exam

To work in Australia, some universities will require you to take and pass the University Clinical Aptitude Test and Graduate Medical School Admissions Test if you are planning on taking undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses.


UCAT or University Clinical Aptitude Test is one of the main criteria for applying for an undergraduate medical course in Australia. This test will evaluate your skills that are desirable in health-related processions. UCAT includes abstract reasoning skills, empathy, and problem-solving. The higher your score, the higher your chances of getting accepted by any medical school in Australia.

Here are some universities that will require their students to take the UCAT: The University of Queensland, Western Sydney University, University of Newcastle, Curtin University, The University of New South Wales, Monash University.


People who are planning to pursue a postgraduate in a medical school in Australia will first need to take a Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) coordinated by the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER). This test will specifically evaluate the student’s ability to undertake academic studies in high-level in the field of medicine and health. It will assess your analytical and critical thinking skills and how you communicate and organize ideas. GAMSAT follows three sections: Reasoning in Humanities and Social Sciences, Written Communication, and Reasoning in Biological and Physical Sciences.

Here are a few of the many universities in Australia that will require you to take the GAMSAT: University of Melbourne, Deakin University, University of Queensland, The University of Sydney, University of Notre Dame, University of Western Australia, Griffith University.

Study for a postgraduate degree

After you complete your bachelor’s degree, it is necessary to apply to a four-year postgraduate program such as Doctor of Medicine if you want to work as a doctor in Australia. Your application to the postgraduate program in Australia will be dependent on your performance on completing your bachelor’s degree, GAMSAT performance, and your skills that will be evaluated through a semi-structured interview. The postgraduate program will act as a pre-internship to prepare the students.

Complete your internship

Upon completing your medical degree, you will now need to complete 47 weeks or 1 year of internship in Australia’s public hospital. Keep in mind that the graduates are responsible for the arrangement of their training. Moreover, graduates of a medical degree must apply for provisional registration six before completing their degree. This is to help them achieve their internship and be eligible for general registration.

Receive general medical registration from the Medical Board of Australia

After completing a year of internship, you will be receiving a general medical registration by the Medical Board of Australia. Every 30th of September, every year, your registration needs to be renewed. This is a necessity for graduates to maintain the registration throughout their careers and if you would still have to complete a year of internship in Australia if you have done yours outside of Australia to receive your general registration.

Enroll for one or more years of prevocational training and obtain a fellowship by applying for a medical specialty training program

Many medical program graduates seek further training as Resident Medical Officers once their hospital internship is complete. Prevocational training will help them better for medical specialty programs. The length of training varies on your specialty. 

Once you completed your training for Resident Medical Officer and internship, you are now eligible to apply for a specialty medical training program through accredited medical colleges in Australia. You will be required to undergo several assessments, such as clinical, written, and practical assessments. These will differ depending on the medical college you are applying to. The length of years you will spend on these training programs will range from three to seven years.

Check out the Best Places to Study in Australia.

The Pathways to Immigrate as a Doctor to Australia

The main requirement that you will need to work in Australia as a doctor is to register with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). After you complete the AHPRA registration, you may work in Australia.

For overseas trained medical practitioners, their different assessment pathways you can follow for registration: 

Competent Authority Pathway

The pathway is available to internationally trained specialists or non-specialists, which would lead to general registration. The Medical Board of Australia has approved tons of international authorities that are competent to access this program. The international authorities are the General Medical Council, Medical Council of Canada, Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates of the US. Medical Council of New Zealand, Medical Council of Ireland.

International trained doctors should possess the qualifications in medicine and surgery awarded by training institutes recognized by both the Australian Medical Council and the World Directory of Medical Schools. Applicants in this method will be supervised by AHPRA in a provisional registration and satisfactorily complete the 12-month supervised practice.

Specialist Pathway 

The specialist pathway is for internationally trained doctors. They already have a primary qualification in medicine and surgery awarded by both the Australian Medical Council and World Directory of Medical Schools. Also, the application should have satisfied the necessary training and examinations to practice their specialty in the country of origin with not more than two years away from finishing the specialist training overseas. Internationally trained specialists applying in this pathway should directly apply to the applicable expert medical college for assessment.

Standard Pathway

The standard pathway is for the applicants who are not eligible for either the Competent Authority Pathway or Specialist Pathway. The applicants should have a primary qualification in medicine and surgery awarded by both the Australian Medical Council and World Directory of Medical Schools. 

How to Apply for a Doctor’s Work Visa

Internationally trained doctors are under provisional registration when applying for work in Australia. They should hold a valid visa, such as an employer-sponsored visa, temporarily. Even so, internationally trained doctors cannot consider a general skilled visa since a provisional registration does not guarantee a full positive skills assessment. Before attaining a general skilled visa, one must need a full registration status.

The business sponsor or nominator can request the workforce certificate. It should be issued by one of the following: 

  • BSW Rural Doctors Network Ltd;

  • Health Network Northern Territory Ltd;

  • Health Workforce Queensland Ltd;

  • Rural Doctors Workforce Agency Inc.;

  • Rural Workforce Agency Victoria Limited ;

  • Western Australian Centre for Remote and Rural Medicine Ltd; or

  • General Practice Workforce Inc.

Keep in mind that employer-sponsored visa applications, resident medical officers, medical practitioners (NEC), and general practitioners are required with a health workforce certificate before a nomination is approved.

Let UIS Australia Help You!

Working as a doctor in Australia can be complicated and a long journey, so you will need an expert to help you throughout the process. If you plan to work as a doctor in Australia, UIS Australia is ready to help you.

If you want to work in Australia, live, or study, we offer consultation services just for you! We will handle all the necessary immigrating transactions for you. You will experience a hassle-free and more comfortable journey to your migration dreams. So do not wait any longer. Contact us now in UIS Australia and work in Australia!

Ron Ford

Ron Ford immigrated with his family to Australia in 2005 to work as a social worker. Following their difficult immigration process, he slowly turned to blogging and creating content about immigration: "…As a family of 5, we struggled to make ends meet. I was working around the clock and Clarissa was working in housekeeping any time she could spare. The move to Australia completely changed our lives, but it cost us a lot of money, time, and tears. Ever since I've wanted to help others on their journeys the way I wished someone had helped us".

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