Jul 092010

GP is a specialty in its own right. I have great respect for their hardwork and patience. Not everyone should and can be a GP.

As an international medical graduate, you have 2 options to work here if you would like to go thru the GP pathway:

1. Apply to an “area of need” GP practice – these are mostly in regional and rural areas of Australia. Don’t be afraid to apply to regional areas, parts of Gold Coast are classified as regional areas. There are 2 choices: you can apply to a GP Practice that caters to patients during the day, OR, you can apply to a GP practice that does housecalls – an example of such a service is Medcall. Google “Medcall Gold Coast” and you can get an idea of what they do. Area-of-Need applications are backdoor processes that let you into GP practice without having to go thru a hospital-based program first. You will need at least 5 years GP experience in your own country first before you are allowed to apply. You will need to have passed the AMC MCQ and IELTS before you can be registered to work in an area of need. Pay in the area of need is generally quite rewarding – my friends are in the 200K per year level – but when you work 6 days a week, and mostly afterhours, I’d rather have 100k per year and have a life. =)

2. Apply to a hospital and go thru the internship process and then house officer, then apply formally to the Royal Australasian College of General Practice. This may take several years to do (we did ours in 2.5 years just to give you an idea), but it exposes you to other specialties that you may want to consider or at least gives you an idea to which ones you will need to refer to when you eventually become a GP. You need to be fully registered (passed the AMC-MCQ and AMC clinicals, and have rotated in general medicine, emergency and surgery departments). Then, since you are not an Australian citizen and have not trained in Australia, the only pathway available to you is the Rural pathway of the RACGP. You become a GP registrar and go thru the hoops. Pay depends on where you are sent off as a GP.

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Australia: A Guide for International Medical Graduates
A must-read roadmap to success for any International Medical Graduate considering to practice in Australia!
  • written by an IMG who has firsthand experience
  • in-depth step-by-step explanation of pathways
  • insider tips on writing a curriculum vitae

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  98 Responses to “Thinking of GP practice in Australia?”

  1. You can certainly apply to GP practices already with your qualifications. Outer metropolitan areas would be a good start.

  2. Prior to 2008, you could apply to work in DWS and AON areas without the AMC MCQ. However, since 2008, all applicants are required to have passed the MCQ.

  3. I have a position for overseas trained doctors with full regestration to wrok in an area DWS in Sydney western suburbs, if you are interested to work in General practice , call me on 0438932428 .

  4. Hi,

    I have gone through all the process for a GP position with AMC-MCR + IELTS+PESCI+RACGP assessment. I have been offered o job in Bendigo,Victoria as a GP. MY visa also has come through. As i do not have any Australian work experience is there any unpaid observership program i can go through befor i join my surgery? As I am bit worried with the system and diagonising criteria in Aus. Please give some information regarding this, as i will be joining by Feb end 2011.

  5. Hi, I’ve finally recvd a pass for my PESCI and have now applied for my visa – 05/01/2011.
    Can someone give me a timescale in which to expect my visa to come through, all paperwork has been submitted as well as medicals.

  6. hi,

    It will 4-6 working weeks depending upon the documents submitted by you and your employer is upto date.

  7. There are observerships available but most will be paid in most states in Australia. In Queensland, the Center for International Medical Graduates (sponsored by Queensland health) used to have observership positions but I think it is still on hold for this year. You may want to talk to hospitals near your future workplace for observerships. You can probably tell them that you would like to know how the Australian hospital system works so that you can make the appropriate referrals to the specialties that you will be working with as a GP.

  8. Hi,

    I had applied for PESCI in victoria for GP assessment in sept 2010…how long is the normal waiting period. Before working in victoria is RACGP assessment a must. I have already passed my AMC MCQ and got the required bands in IELTS. Please give me some information regarding the whole process.
    Thank you.

  9. Hi,

    I am a graduate from India and completed my AMC MCQ and IELTS.I have a job offer in one of the GP practices in Melbourne and will be applying for PESCI shortly.However,I do not have any experience in GP neither in Australia nor overseas.Will the medical board reject my application for registration because I dont have enough experience, even if I pass PESCI?Please give me some information about this as I am really worried.

  10. Hi Dr Chaitra,

    I think your question is best answered by your prospective employer in Melbourne. It is quite daunting not to have an GP experience at all.


  11. Hi, could anyone please tell me what are the prospects of getting a job in australia after passing AMC part 2 clinical exam?

  12. Hi djnh,
    After passing the AMC clinical exam, you still need to have done the required rotations in emergency med, int med and surgery to gain the full registration. Once you have full registration, you are guaranteed to be able to work in most hospitals, especially the rural ones.

  13. Hi admin,
    thank you for ur reply, I am aware of the fact that these rotations need to be done to get full registration, but my question is how easy is it to get these hospital rotations in the first place after AMC part 2?

  14. Most of the people who go through the required rotations have been working in Australian hospitals after taking the AMC MCQ and IELTs, so most will just need to submit their previous rotations.

    If you would like to finish both the AMC MCQ and clinicals exams, I would assume it would be a matter of asking different hospitals for the required rotations.

    Again, access to the rotations will depend on the hospital you are applying to. The hospitals who have a lot of local interns may be harder to get rotations from. You may want to try the more regional hospitals.

  15. Hi Guys,

    I waiting for PESCI for a AON GP job. Can someone help me with possible cases?
    I need it desperately.


  16. Hello Drs Suiah and Yesh,
    Can you give me a little information on PESCI, and what the questions look like. It is not a standardized exam, so no information is seen on it, online. Thanks.

  17. Hi there! I am an IMG waiting to sit my clinical AMC in May. I have been working in Australia for the past 5 years and have a Physician training position in Melbourne. I have two children and I really would like to move out to the country and become a GP. Can I just find a GP practice and work there as a registrar or is there no other way then going through the GP training pathway? Cheers

  18. Hi Lond,

    The best way to prepare for the PESCI is to find a study partner to practice cases with.

    If you have the AMC Handbook of Clinical Assessment, use the case to familiarize you with the way the cases will be asked. DO NOT memorize the cases from the AMC book verbatim because the PESCI will certainly have different cases.

    The PESCI cases will most likely cover topics found in General Practice by Murtagh. The PESCI exam puts emphasis on being a safe doctor so expect cases that will cover topics from Obstetrics and Gynae, emergency medicine and internal medicine. Forget about reading Surgery textbooks because they will not expect you to explain in detail surgical operations – they will most likely ask you to explain risks and benefits of doing an operation.

  19. Hi surfrascal78,

    It depends on the GP practice area that you are applying to. If the GP practice has a DWS (district of workforce status), they can help you get fellowship with the RACGP. I can recommend a few agencies that may be able to help you in your area.

  20. Hi, I have 4 years experience post grad – 2 in UK, 2 here in RMO jobs. I have AMC cert and general registration. I am waiting for PR but have been told up 18 months. I would like to start GP earlier than this! Do I have to just wait for the PR or is it an option to apply to a GP practice in the hope they would sponsor me in some way? Thanks!

  21. Hi Dr Yesh and Dr Lond, and everyone.
    Kindly pass more info about the PESCI.
    I am due to have one soon.
    Like Dr Lond, I desperately need help. Pls PM me if you prefer ( a_selga@yahoo.com.sg).

  22. hi, i have just been awarded the FRACGP. i need now to apply to the AHPRA and my visa 457.. can anyone tell me how long it will take to get registration? i have a job offer supposed to start august 21st.

  23. The 457 visa processing depends on the Australian Embassy of the country you are in. In general, the 457 takes 2-4 weeks. The AHPRA registration is certainly the rate limiting factor. It can take 4-6 weeks at best. (all fingers crossed)

  24. Hi Admin, ALL,
    Please shed some light on my queries. I’m confused with the application for GP. I’m from Phils, on a 457 visa, working as RMO in ED x 1 year but only rotated to anes and ICU. work experience in Phils: surgical reg x 6 months then rural doctor in secondary hospital (not under training program) but full time (not really moonlighting) for almost 2 years. AMC MCQ passer + IELTS. Awaiting to be scheduled for clinicals. What are my options with regards to going into GP placement? @michelleg, how did you get RACGP award if you do not have full reg under AHPRA and a PR? @admin, can you recommend some links/sites where I can apply for GP placements, given my limited qualifications? Even if I pass the clinicals, I still need to rotate in the different specialties to be granted full registration? I’m confused…

  25. BTW, I’m currently working in western sydney. please help…

  26. Hi Karen.
    You can go to NSW health and look for the area of need GP positions. Email the clinics individually. Some are willing to sponsor for the PESCI.
    You may want to have your RACGP assessment of overseas clinical experience (RACGP OSGPE) while waiting.
    Hope this helps. I also have limited experience and now waiting for PESCI.

  27. I just came across this website through googling. I find it extremely helpful. Thanks for the efforts and shared knowledge.
    I am a medical graduate from Myanmar looking to practice as a GP in Australia. I first thought I need to go through hospital training first before I can work as a GP as I don’t have Aussie Medical Practice experience. I now kinda know that I could possibly start as GP straight away.
    Here is my background. I have over 5 yrs post-intern clinical experience ( 3 yrs hospital based and 2 yrs general practice ) plus 7 months clinical attachment in UK and one month recent attachment in Singapore. I did PLAB 2 in 2005.
    Recently, I have cleared AMC MCQ and IELTS. I am taking MRCP part 2 written (I know it might not be relevant for GP but it kinda motivate me to keep studying and improve my medical knowledge).
    My question is what are my chances of landing on a GP job. I tried some agencies. They ask for 1 yr Western experience. How do I look for employer for AoN GP. Many thanks in advance..

  28. hi everyone ,
    i was goin thru the posts n realised ppl here r very helpful unlike those who u meet in the real world
    any help n guidance willll be greatlyyyyyyyyyyyyy appreciated
    im an img , have passed amc mcq and ilets, have 3 + years exp in accident and emergency dept, in the caribbean islands , please tell me wat shuld my next step be and how to proceed , i am willin to start as an gp as i want to move to aus asap, but in the long term i am interested in a training program
    thanks in advance
    n good luck to alll

  29. hello everyone
    anyone willing to help
    please find some time n guide me please
    i need help wid cv too
    some sites eloborate on ur work history , whereas some say keep it brief
    i know it is a very imp document
    so i dont want to do any mistakes , so please please help me
    thanks in advance

  30. which particular part in our CV do you need help in?

  31. Hi Diya,

    Sorry for the late reply. Please download the ebook – it has the most current information about the application process. Once you have read it, you can ask me questions to clarify things better for you.

  32. Hi,

    Sorry for the late reply. You can try to search for GP practices and contact them directly. It is still possible to get employed as a GP without Western experience.

  33. hi
    thanks so much for ur time n effort
    I need to know how long the whole process takes
    after extensive research i have realised there are plenty gp vacancies.
    I am currently workin on my cv , n will start applyin shortly , I need to know wats the next step
    how will they contact me? I also a heard from someone that we can apply for a fracgp as well during the same time we start work , I need some guidance on this please, and also if there is anything i need to do in between now and awaiting responses from employers in terms of registration etc or anything else in order to save time
    thanks so much

  34. hi dr.sujay, can you please shed some light on the racgp assessment application n results process

  35. hi admin,
    can u kindly help please
    I am tryin to get some info on racgp assessment application and tips to apply for overseas experience assessment. I had sent a request earlier on but havent got any reply

  36. Hi,
    I have completed my AMC part 1 and 2,along with IELTS.
    You have mentioned that we need to do a rotations in intern med,emergency med n surgery..before being eligible for registration
    how do u go about applying for that??

    please provide me any information regarding this…
    i am also looking to do some observership….since i have not gotten a good response to my job applications..Please let me know how to apply for observership as well…


  37. Goodmorning sir,

    am enquiring about the competent authority pathway. I have passed the MCCEE and MCCQE1 and yet to do the MCCQE 2 to obtain the LMCC for Canada. I graduated from a school in AFrica listed in the IMED/WHO list of medical schools and already had Primary Source verification of my Medical Credentials. When I obtain the LMCC, Do I have a chance for adavnced standing and limited registration in AUstralia?

    Thank you.

  38. Dear Admin, All
    I have 3.5 yrs experience from India 2 yrs of which includes a Pg in Derm and the rest in general practice..Will this suffice for me to apply for Gp positions.
    Is it essential that our experience should be assesed first by the RACGP or can we directly sit for the PESCI exam…Please help!!

  39. hello admin,
    I am an overseas trained doctor with nearly 3 years of clinical experience and i have passed both AMC MCQ as well as AMC CLINICAL exam . I have been applying to hospitals but everyone says tey are full for 2012, is there anyone in a similar position as me. If there is any way I could get a position at a hospital, any help would be appreciated.

  40. We are a GP practice located in Western Australia.Can we use this space to contact IMGs who are looking for jobs.

  41. Hi Yesh,I`m going to have PESCI in WA soon, would you please advise me about the questions you had in your interview .
    Many Thanks

  42. Dear Admin, all
    I am an IMG and have passed AMC 1 & 2 along with OET. I like to find job as a Gp, but I don’t have any experience in Gp. How can I find the job and how to prepare PESCI?

  43. Dear admin,

    i recently received an interest for an GP position in an AON practice. I am a bit confused my eligibility for the registration. As I passed AMC part1 and 2 exams, cleared OET exam and have Australian PR. I have 5 years experience in surgery but not in GP back in my home country, and no Australia practice experience. AHPRA told me I am entitled to submit the registration application for this position on the condition of passing PESCI.

    Is case like this, without GP and australian experience, possible in the AON GP positions?
    Do I need to be assessed by the RACGP?

    Just wanna clarify these questions before I spend another bulk of $$$ on PESCI !!

    Thanks for answering!

  44. Hi,

    I plan to do the PESCI in NSW.I have few questions about how to prepair for PESCI.
    where I can get the past questions?
    What are the books that I have to study?
    If some one like to do studies with me through skyp please contact.

    many thanks.

  45. Hi, I’ve already obtained Lmcc in canada, and I am willing to apply through competent pathway for GP position ,please let me know how, hard is it and how i can get true information about it.

  46. Hi everybody,

    I have completed AMC MCQ and IELTs. I want to know how to find employeer for PESCI ? Which state would be better for Supervised GP jobs?


  47. Dear members or admin:
    I am a GP from Iraq and I got a job offer from Darwin/NT,which requires me to do PESCI in NT.

    1. I want to know if I want to apply for the PESCI exam entrance VISA to Australia ,which is the appropriate visa type for me ,since the recruiter or the RWA didnot clarify that important issue.

    2. what sort of book or website could be helpful to pass this a little bit vague exam. I am now preparing with Murtahg and AMC clinical book .
    Best regards

  48. Dear admin,

    i m interest for an GP position. I am a bit confused of my eligibility for the registration. I m currently working in uk. As I passed Plab 1& 2 exams & holding full GMC registration , cleared Mrcp ch part 1exam. I have 6 years of experience in paediatrics ( 3 yrs in uk) 2 years experience in GP but in my home country, and no Australia practice experience.

    Is case like this, without GP and australian experience, possible in the AON GP positions?

    Just need to clarify these questions & opportunities in AU.

    Thanks for answering!

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