Education and support for medical doctors and specialists

To become a medical doctor or specialist, you must first complete an accredited medical course. You must then register with the Medical Board of Australia. We fund various programs to support you and increase the number of doctors and specialists across Australia.

Medical doctor and specialist education and training

It takes 10 to 20 years to become a doctor. You will need to complete:

  • an accredited medical course – the Australian Medical Council accredits education providers and their programs of study for the medical profession
  • an internship – mostly in a hospital with rotations in medicine, surgery and emergency medicine
  • a residency in a specific speciality – this could last one or many years
  • a traineeship on a vocational training program to attain fellowship of an Australian specialist medical college.

For more information, see the:

We support:

Support for Indigenous health work

Cultural safety is critical in delivering the best possible health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We are working to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals working in Australia's health system, to improve access to culturally safe treatment.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) has developed the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety Strategy 2020–2025. The strategy aims to make cultural safety the norm for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Medical doctor and specialist registration

All doctors must be registered with the Medical Board of Australia. For more information, see details about:

Finding a job

The Medical Journal of Australia has a job search function for doctors.

Specialists can find jobs through their specialist college. See the list of specialist medical colleges to find out who to contact.

Employers sometimes use medical recruitment agencies to find people to fill jobs. Most agencies list these jobs on their websites.

There are different rules for international doctor or specialist as to where you can work and what you need to do.

Emotional and mental support for medical doctors and specialists

Working as a doctor or specialist can take its toll on your emotional and mental health. Support is available from:

  • the Bush Crisis Line, which provides psychological support to health practitioners and their families in remote areas
  • DRS4DRS, which provides a health advisory and referral service.
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