As you might have noticed the registration process for IMGs in Australia is forever changing and sometimes illogical in ways, The aim of this post is to help IMGs through the registration process.
In the UK all the accreditation is undertaken by one body which is the GMC with GPs having to register with a PCT trust who hold annual appraisals for their GPs, When I first started in this line of work all those years ago finding positions in the UK for doctors from Poland, Germany and the Scandinavian countries I remember thinking how long winded the process is. Now I’m thinking the exact opposite after working on getting doctors who qualified outside of Australia into positions in Australia. After months of trying to find a logical pathway through the beaurocratic layers in place here in Australia I think I have finally cracked it, Well until it changes again which it inevitably will…..
Firstly if you are from the UK, Ireland, Canada or New Zealand the process could nearly be described as straightforward, You simply apply to the AMC using the competent authority pathway and the chances are you will get mutual recognition but then you are still subject to the 10 year Moratorium.
If you obtained your medical degree in any other country and want to work in Australia it would be worth gaining fellowship of a specialist college which is recognized by the relevant specialist college here in Australia, This way if your fellowship is transferable to the Australian college the registration process is much more straightforward and saves a lot of time waiting for an MCQ and a Clinical exam date.
If none of the above applies to you the other alternative is to sit the AMC MCQ exam and then approach a specialist college to assess your overseas practice experience and point you in the right direction for fellowship which will allow you to obtain limited registration until you have gained fellowship. The other way is to sit both the AMC MCQ and the AMC clinical but with the clinical exam being oversubscribed waiting times could be in excess of a year.
A little about AHPRA, AHPRA does the job of the GMC in the UK but without the accreditation role, AHPRA is the national register of licensed practitioners and the accreditation is handled by the Australian Medical Council – AMC. AHPRA’s registration is entirely dependent on the AMC’s opinion and in order to gain full AHPRA registration you will need an AMC certificate. Details on the pathways involved can be found on the AMC website.
Finally the next stage is to find a suitable position but this can sometimes be tricky depending on the type of registration you have, Obviously the most lucrative of positions are locum assignments with some paying in excess of $2000 per day for a VR’d GP in a rural location, To be able to undertake this type of work you will need general registration and be able to work without supervision.
The other options available if you are a GP with non VR status would be to take a position in an DWS and AON where you can work under supervision, These are less lucrative and your registration will more than likely limit you to one place of practice until you obtain your fellowship.
For hospital doctors without fellowship or general registration the same applies with regards to registration and working under supervision.
For GPs its also worth mentioning the 10 year Moratorium but more information can be found in another section of this site or on www.doctorconnect.gov.au
The best and probably the only truly efficient way of finding a position in Australia is by applying to a recruitment agency who will be able to look at your CV and match you up to one of the positions they have available, This ensures that your CV only goes to the organizations who are looking to recruit and also agencies here in Australia have much more leverage in negotiating packages than individual applicants and can also iron out any problems before you arrive to start your new job. Most recruitment consultants have a wealth of experience when it comes to the registration process and are a great source of impartial advice. The one thing I would advise is not to apply to more than 1 agency as if a hospital receives your CV several times from different organizations it may have a negative effect on your credibility and can make you look desperate.
Another thing which you should bear in mind is that recruitment agencies shouldn’t charge you any upfront fees for helping you find a position and any companies which insist on you paying them anything are not credible as this isn’t normal in this industry.
Finally if you have completed the registration process and need help finding a GP or hospital specialist position please drop me an email and I would be more than happy to help. My contact details are in my profile or send your details to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Any questions or if you need anything clarified please just ask and I would be more than happy to help.
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