Frequently asked questions

I’m an overseas trained doctor. How do I get a job in Australia?

Work through the First steps flowchart to check your eligibility and find out more about the registration process.

First steps flowchart

If you want to work in rural family medicine, known in Australia as General Practice, then contact the appropriate Rural Workforce Agencies

How can I get permanent residency in Australia?

Check the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website for detailed information on visas and other immigration issues.

Department of Immigration and Citizenship website

Overseas trained doctors need to achieve registration in Australia before they can get permanent residency. Work through the First steps flowchart to find out more about the registration process.

First steps flowchart

Medicare provider number restrictions affect where you can practise in Australia and what postgraduate medical qualifications you require.

Restrictions - find out more

Will my overseas qualifications be acceptable for work in Australia?

Assessment of medical qualifications in Australia is coordinated by the Australian Medical Council (AMC). For specialists, the AMC will forward applications to the relevant Australian Specialist Medical College for their detailed assessment.

Australian Medical Council

Work through the First steps flowchart to find out more about skills assessment.

First steps flowchart

Where in Australia can overseas trained doctors work?

Most overseas trained doctors will need to undertake a period of supervised employment in an Area of Need. If you need a Medicare provider number for Medicare billing purposes, you’ll also need to work in a District of Workforce Shortage to access Medicare rebates.

Restrictions - find out more

What’s a district of workforce shortage (DWS)?

A DWS is an area where the general population’s need for medical services is deemed to be unmet. An area is a DWS if it has less access to medical services than the national average.

District of workforce shortage factsheet
Map locator (shows current DWS areas for GPs)

How do I know if a vacancy is in a district of workforce shortage?

Check with your Australian employer or with the medical recruitment agency advertising the position you’re interested in.

You can also check the map locator.

Map locator (shows current DWS areas for GPs)

Where can I find information about life in Australia?

You’ll find a list of useful links on the Living in Australia section of this site.

Living in Australia

How much will I get paid?

Pay rates for doctors in Australia vary among the various specialties. Your pay will also depend on where you work and what job you’re doing.

You can check with the State and Territory Health Departments for information on pay rates for doctors in the public hospital sector.

ACT Health Directorate

NSW Department of Health

NT Department of Health

Queensland Health

SA Health

Department of Health and Human Services Tasmania

Department of Health Victoria

Department of Health WA

For information about likely earnings for a rural General Practitioner, please contact the RWA in your State/Territory

Rural Workforce Agencies

How do doctors with New Zealand medical training obtain medical registration in Australia?

Medical registration is granted to graduates of medical schools in New Zealand that have been accredited by the Australian Medical Council, and who’ve completed the approved period of intern training.

AMC accredited medical schools

Do all overseas trained doctors meet the standards required in Australia?

Overseas trained doctors must meet certain quality standards to be eligible for medical registration in Australia.

GPs and hospital non-specialist doctors can check the likelihood of getting medical registration in Australia by completing the AMC practice exam online. The practice exam consists of 50 questions and has a 83 minute time limit. It costs $25.

Australian Medical Council (AMC) Multi Choice Question Trial Examination

Many overseas trained specialists will experience difficulties meeting the standards required for specialist practice in Australia, or will require significant periods of advanced training to meet the standards. Specialists will have their qualifications and experience assessed by the AMC in association with the relevant Australian Specialist Medical College.

Australian Specialist Medical Colleges