Working as a GP in Australia
If you are GP looking to move to Australia and practise as a GP, it can be overwhelming and confusing to understand the registration and visa processes.
In this blog, we hope to clarify and explain the changes and what that means for you working as a GP in Australia or New Zealand
Medical Registration Process – Australia
The pathway for medical registration for overseas trained GPs is via the RACGP. This pathway is called the Practice Experience Pathway (PEP).
Under the PEP you will undertake a comparability assessment and apply for limited or provisional registration whilst working towards Fellowship under peer review, the length of which is determined by your comparability outcome. The additional assessment requirements include
1. Completion of the RACGP core modules and units including a self-reflective activity
2. Colleague and patient feedback using a Colleague Feedback Evaluation Tool (CFET) and Doctors’ Interpersonal Skills Questionnaire (DISQ), collectively known as multisource feedback (MSF).
3. A clinical assessment visit which will involve a medical educator observing you in practice during four consultations (direct observation) and a clinical case analysis. The clinical case analysis involves the assessor selecting patients seen by you in the preceding week with oral questioning about aspects of the case. You will be provided with feedback on your performance.
4. Supervisor reports at the end of the work based assessment.
The additional requirements are not onerous, in fact, they aim to support professional development and transition to Australian general practice, while enabling you to receive feedback on your progress to fellowship.
To enter the PEP, you must have accepted a job for a position located in a Distribution Priority area (DPA) and Modified Monash Model (MMM) 1-7.
The Modified Monash Model is a geographical classification system that uses population data to classify areas on a scale of MM 1 (major city) to MM 7 (very remote). All locations from MM2 – MM7 are automatically accepted by the RACGP and if you are substantially comparable, which should be the case with MRCGP, then you an also work in an MMM1 area.
As an overseas trained GP, you also need to work at a practice that is in an approved location classified as a Distribution Priority Area (DPA). The DPA system identifies areas where people don’t have enough access to doctors, part of an initiative from the Australian government to get more GPs into rural areas and to better reflect the healthcare needs of an area.
What this means, in reality, is that GPs are not as easily able to work close to the major State capitals such as Sydney, or Perth however we have a number of vacancies close to Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin and Hobart plus regionals cities such as Geraldton and Rockhampton.
Health Workforce Certificate
Lastly if you require a subclass 482 visa, the location must also be eligible for a Health Workforce Certificate which confirms the genuine need to fill a primary healthcare position. The practice will apply for this for each doctor they employ. To allow the practice to sponsor a GP, they must be granted a health workforce certificate.
The Australian medical registration paperwork may seem daunting and I’m sure you will have heard lots of rumors regarding what is possible. Many doctors have called us concerned that they will now have to work in a rural area. Although there have been quite a few changes over the years, we are fully up to speed with what this means for you as a GP.
There are also some real benefits and opportunities working in regional and rural areas; having more autonomy, broadening your skill base and building relationships within the community, we would invite you to get in touch to discuss your options.