Medical and health training in Australia
Health professions are either:
- regulated by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) through national boards that represent each profession
- self-regulated, and represented by health profession associations.
To study or train in one of the Ahpra-regulated professions, you must complete an approved program of study. Your education provider must ensure you are registered as a student in your chosen field with Ahpra.
Policies and strategies
We have policies and strategies to improve the health of Australians and ensure our workforce and students have the support they need.
- The National Medical Workforce Strategy will guide long-term medical workforce planning across all levels of government. This work will include developing simpler training pathways to encourage more people to choose a career in health care.
- Our Stronger Rural Health Strategy includes initiatives to improve support and training pathways for medical and health students.
- We are developing a National Nursing Strategy, which will enable nurses and midwives to work to their full scope of practice in primary care, mental health and aged care.
- We will develop a Nurse Practitioner 10-year Plan to address nurse practitioner workforce issues.
- The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce Strategic Framework and Implementation Plan 2021–2031 will help increase the number of First Nations health students and make sure they have the support they need.
Programs for medical and health students and trainees
We fund training programs for medical and health students:
- The Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program supports health students to undertake rural training. It also supports 26 regional training hubs to build training pathways and guide students and trainees through these.
- The Murray–Darling Medical Schools Network is establishing 5 university medical school programs in rural areas of the Murray–Darling region. The schools will enable medical students to study and train in their communities, increasing their likelihood of staying and working in rural areas.
- The Bonded Medical Program provides a Commonwealth supported place in a medical course in exchange for participants working in an eligible regional, rural or remote area for 3 years.
- The Health Workforce Scholarship Program provides financial assistance for healthcare training and upskilling.
- The Junior Doctor Training Program supports education and supervision for junior doctors in rural primary healthcare settings and private hospitals.
- The John Flynn Prevocational Doctor Program will better streamline and coordinate medical training in regions and fund new rural primary care rotations to boost training capacity for the next generation of doctors.
- Through the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program, we fund the training of up to 1,500 general practice registrars each year.
Read more about:
Strategic support for students and trainees
Rural and regional placements
We fund several programs to enable students and trainees to study and train in rural and regional areas:
- The National Rural Generalist Pathway aims to attract, retain and support rural generalists.
- Rural Workforce Agencies in the relevant state or territory can provide you with support and help you find placements.
Read more about how we support the rural health workforce.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
We support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people complete their studies and work in the health sector.
- what jobs and scholarships are available to you
- how we support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce.
Support to study specialised medicine overseas
We support participants of the Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program who want to study specialties in the USA on the temporary, non-immigrant J1 visa.
We can give you a statement of need to submit with your J1 visa application.
Support for international medical graduates
If you’re training overseas, and want to practise medicine in Australia, support is available. Read more on DoctorConnect.
Who we work with
We work with multiple agencies to support and deliver medical and health training opportunities and professional development. These include:
- universities, which deliver healthcare courses
- specialist colleges, which provide specialist training and recognition
- peak and representative bodies
- the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra).
You can also get support from the:
- Australian Dental Association
- Australian Dental Health Foundation
- Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists’ Association.
- Australian Medical Association
- Australian Medical Association Council of Doctors in Training
- Australian Medical Students’ Association
- General Practice Registrars Australia
- LIME Network
- Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand
- National Rural Health Student Network
- Nurse and Midwife Support.