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Studying Medicine in Australia

Many medical schools offer undergraduate and graduate entry international full-fee places and the few private universities are able to offer full-fee places to Australian students.  Public universities cannot currently offer full-fee places to Australian students.

As a full fee paying student, the Australian Government does not contribute towards your study costs.  Instead, you pay a tuition fee for each subject in the course, which must be paid in full upfront.  

On average, a standard full-time year of study in the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) will cost just over $57,000 for domestic students and $65,000 for international students.

  • Full fee paying students are not guaranteed an internship following graduation from medical school, and may be forced to continue training overseas.  You should carefully consider whether you accept this risk when enrolling in a full-fee place.

In 2013 just over one-fifth of all medical students were fee-paying with three-quarters of these occupied by international students.  

Commonwealth Medical Internships

Commonwealth Medical Internships (CMI) initiative.

The CMI initiative is designed to increase the nation's capacity to train medical interns in alternative settings, such as private hospitals, and in rural and regional Australia, where there are traditionally fewer options for internship training.

As medical students in Commonwealth-supported places are guaranteed an internship by states and territories, CMI places are only available to eligible international full-fee paying medical students from an onshore medical school in Australia having completed all of their medical degree in Australia.

The information below has been developed to provide an overview of the CMI initiative to assist potential applicants understand how the initiative works.

Programme Guidelines

Commonwealth Medical Internships Programme Guidelines

Deed of Agreement

Commonwealth Medical Internships Draft Deed of Agreement

(source: Department of Health http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/work-commo...)

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Already qualified in medicine?

As an International Medical Graduate there are several key factors relating to registration, accreditation and employment options that you have to consider when embarking on your medical career.

To help facilitate these processes we have highlighted the relevant agencies, departments and councils you will need to be in contact with to get your career started here in Australia.

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Critical information sources

Doctor Portal (www.doctorportal.com.au)

  • doctorportal Learning is a state-of-the-art, mobile friendly, CPD learning management system for Australian doctors. Developed with the busy doctor in mind, doctorportal Learning offers you:
  • CPD point tracking across multiple specialties
  • 24/7 access to online, medical education
  • a range of learning content that suits your interests and/or speciality
  • support in meeting your MBA CPD reporting obligations
  • guidance on your CPD requirements (YES, we know how many points you need and when)
  • REGISTER today for your FREE 60 day trial to see how doctorportal Learning can help you manage your CPD. (www.doctorportal.com.au)

Medicare Australia (www.humanservices.gov.au)

Medicare is a publicly funded universal health care scheme in Australia. Operated by the government authority Medicare Australia, Medicare is the primary funder of health care in Australia, funding primary health care for Australian citizens and permanent residents (except for those on Norfolk Island). Residents are entitled to subsidised treatment from medical practitioners, eligible midwives, nurse practitioners and allied health professionals who have been issued a Medicare provider number, and can also obtain free treatment in public hospitals. The plan was introduced in 1975 by the Whitlam Government as Medibank, and was supplemented in 1976 by a government-owned private health insurance fund, Medibank Private, established by the Fraser Government. Medibank was renamed Medicare in 1984.

Since 1999, the public health plan has been supplemented by a Private Health Insurance Rebate, where the government funds up to 30% of any private health insurance premium covering people eligible for Medicare. Including these rebates, Medicare is the major component of the total Commonwealth health budget, taking up about 43% of the total. The program was estimated to cost $18.3 billion in 2007–08.[2] In 2009 before means testing was introduced, the private health insurance rebate was estimated to cost $4 billion, around 20% of the total budget.[3] The overall figure was projected to rise by almost 4% annually in real terms in 2007.  In 2013/4 Medicare expenditure was $19 billion and expected to reach $23.6 billion in 2016/7. (Source: Wikipedia)

  • Department of Immigration and Border Protection
    Department of Immigration and Border Protection will provide advice on the type of Visa required and how to apply.  This will be an important first stop in your wish to practise medicine in Australia.
  • Australian Medical Council
    The Australian Medical Council provides an easy to read diagram of the pathway to registration and employment as a medical practitioner.  This is also a critical step in your wish to practise medicine in Australia.
  • Medical Board of Australia
    The Medical Board of Australia oversights the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (which is the registering authority for health professionals in Australia).  It has resources on the doctor/patient relationship and its Good Conduct Guide is an important document to read and understand (www.mba.gov.au
Good medical practice: a code of conduct for doctors in Australia PDF (138 KB) Web page 
Guidelines for advertising regulated health services PDF (155 KB)Web page
Guidelines for mandatory notificationsPDF (149 KB)Web page
Sexual boundaries: guidelines for doctorsPDF (110 KB) 
Guidelines for technology based patient consultations
Information on inter-jurisdictional technology based patient consultations is available on the FAQ and Fact Sheets page.
PDF (74.5 KB) 
Guidelines - Supervised practice for international medical graduates
Further information about supervision is available on the Supervision page.
PDF (146 KB) 
  • Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
    AHPRA registers medical practitioners and other health professionals.  It is responsible for ensuring CME is undertaken and insurance is in place.
  • Department of Health and Ageing 
  •  Doctor Connect
    Doctor Connect is a great resource for those qualified primary care international graduates wishing to practise as general practitioners in Australia. 
  • AMA Recruit
    AMA Recruit is a service company of AMA WA and specialises in medical recruitment.

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Registration and Accreditation

The organisations below are your first contact points as International Medical Graduates seeking employment in Australia as medical officers. They provide the information and pathways relevant to obtaining certification of your medical degree and your medical registration which is a requirement for practising medicine here in Australia.

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Support programs for AMC Examinations and Pathways

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Employment Information

For any questions about AMA Career Advice services, please email careers@ama.com.au

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Support services

Return to the AMA Career Advice Service Hub for more information on what services are available through the Service.  Examples of support and assistance include: resume building, applications, and interview skills training and tips and tricks and the specialist training pathway guide (coming soon) and web addresses for the specialist Colleges.

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International medical graduates and the AMA

"We really value overseas-trained doctors, international medical graduates. They're a big part of our health system. They're among my friends and closest colleagues. They've been a really important part of the health workforce jigsaw in Australia, which underinvested in medical students for a long period of time. Over the past 10, 15, 20 years, and well before that, overseas-trained doctors have provided quality care to patients in all parts of the country and in many sectors of the health system."      Dr Michael Gannon, AMA President

 

The AMA Position Statement on International Medical Graduates 2015 replaced the AMA Position Statement on Overseas Trained Doctors 2004.  

The new Position Statement sets out the AMA’s policy on IMGs, particularly those IMGs who are yet to establish themselves in the Australian medical workforce, and recommends priorities for recruiting, assessing, training, and supporting IMGs.

 

The AMA Position Statement on International Medical Graduates is at: https://ama.com.au/position-statement/international-medical-graduates-2015

 

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DISCLAIMER: 

This material is generic in nature and is made available on the understanding that the AMA is not engaged in rendering professional advice. Before relying on the material provided, users should carefully evaluate its accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance for their purposes, and should obtain professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances where necessary.Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this Resource Hub, the AMA or its employees cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage arising to any person as a result of using this site.