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Australian Medical Registration

Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the process for obtaining full medical registration in Australia starts with being informed.
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Understanding the Australian medical registration:

Exploring the intricacies of the Australian Medical Registration process requires a clear understanding. Unlike in the UK, the term ‘medical license’ isn’t widely used in Australia; instead, terms like ‘Registration for Medical Practice Australia’ and ‘Medical Registration Australia’ are more commonplace and relevant.

To navigate the Australian Medical Registration system, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the various councils and authorities involved, as there are several in the process. We aim to simplify this information for you.

Notably, there are opportunities available for International Medical Graduates in Australia, but the journey comes with significant challenges. Be sure to read the section on the challenges of immigrating to Australia towards the end of this page.

Familiarizing yourself with the entities involved in the medical registration process is a crucial first step in comprehending how to attain full medical registration in Australia.

Australia stands out with its intricate and multi-faceted network of authorities, unlike any other nation. Consequently, gaining an understanding of this structure requires effort, but it is essential for navigating the process effectively.

In summary, for International Medical Graduates aspiring to become doctors in Australia, it is imperative to be aware of the following entities:

  • Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
  • 15 National Boards
  • Medical Board of Australia
  • States and Territory Boards & Committees
  • Australian Medical Council

Ultimately, the collective goal of these organizations is to ensure the provision of high-quality medical services for the residents of Australia.

In brief, AHPRA oversees the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS)*, which was established under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law 2009-10.

Meanwhile, the primary authority responsible for granting registration to foreign doctors in Australia is the Medical Board of Australia. Simply put, this board is the entity that issues the ‘Medical License Australia.’

It’s crucial to note that when we refer to “Doctors,” we specifically mean mainstream Allopathic Doctors. If you belong to an ‘offshoot’ medical profession like Chinese Medicine, Dentistry, Psychology, etc., there are separate National Boards—15 in total in Australia.

Additionally, the Medical Board of Australia carries out various functions. This includes addressing and investigating complaints about doctors, formulating and enforcing codes and guidelines, overseeing the accreditation of study courses, and importantly, assessing International Medical Graduates (IMGs) seeking to practice in the country.

The Competent Authority Pathway is designed for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) aiming for General Registration in Australia, regardless of their specialization. The key requirement is possession of a valid postgraduate qualification from a recognized ‘Competent Authority.’

The Australian Medical Board has sanctioned specific international authorities as competent to evaluate the eligibility of IMGs for practice. These entities, known as Competent Authorities, include:

  1. GMC UK – Requires IMGs to have successfully passed PLAB or completed a GMC-recognized course in the UK.
  2. LMCC (to be linked with Canada License page) – [Additional information needed]
  3. ECFMG – Mandates IMGs to have successfully cleared USMLE.
  4. Medical Councils of New Zealand & Ireland.

The Standard Pathway is the recommended route for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who have not successfully completed the USMLE/PLAB (or UKMLA) exams. There is no requirement to sit for the USMLE/PLAB (UKMLA), but candidates must successfully pass the AMC CAT MCQ.

Often referred to as the Australian Medical Council exam for foreign medical graduates, the criteria for the Primary Medical Qualification remain consistent with those mentioned above.

This pathway offers a direct entry into Australia, with two subsidiary options. IMGs can choose to undergo the AMC Clinical Examination, specifically designed for non-specialist candidates. Alternatively, after clearing the AMC CAT MCQ, candidates have the option to undergo an assessment of their knowledge and skills by an AMC-recognized authority while working under its supervision—a less commonly chosen alternative.

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