Standard Pathway

General Practice Australia | Standard Pathway | People Medical

This is a FAQ BLOG and you can refer to our Getting Started as a General Practitioner in Australia blog here.

Need help understanding your pathway?


Date Updated: 2024-06-11

What is the Standard Pathway?

The Standard Pathway is one of 3 ways an International Medical Graduate (IMG) can become a General Practitioner in Australia, and it is open to IMGs who have, at a minimum:

  • A Medical qualification, 
  • Passed the AMC MCQ Exam (AMC Part 1), and
  • Passed an English Language Test

This pathway involves working under supervision for a period of time before you pass the AMC Clinical (AMC Part 2) or Workplace Based Assessment (WBA) and progress to General Registration.

How do I start this pathway?

Your first steps on this pathway are to:

  1. Have a primary qualification in medicine and surgery awarded by a training institution recognised by both the Australian Medical Council and the World Directory of Medical Schools (WDOMS)
  2. Apply to ECFMG to have your qualifications verified via EPIC: https://www.ecfmg.org/psv/ 
  3. Apply to AMC to have a portfolio established: https://account.amc.org.au/sign_in
  4. Sit and pass the AMC MCQ Exam 
  5. Pass an approved English Language Test

After these steps, you will be eligible for Limited Registration with the Medical Board of Australia.

You also have the option to sit for the AMC Clinical or Workplace Based Assessment after you have passed the AMC MCQ. This is a requirement to be eligible for General Registration later on in your journey. Additionally, it makes you eligible for Provisional Registration with the Medical Board of Australia.

How do I find a job?

If you do not have any general practice experience, we recommend you start in the Hospital system. You will need to work for a period of at least 47 weeks full-time equivalent (FTE) experience. In this time you will also need to have either passed the AMC Clinical or Workplace Based Assessment in order to be eligible for General Registration.

If you want to find a job in General Practice, the first thing to do before looking for any General Practice positions is to check your restrictions. There are 3 for international medical graduates—19AA, 19AB, and Area of Need:

  • 19AA restricts Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents who are not Fellowed and requires them to join a 3GA training program whilst preparing for Fellowship in order to be able to access Medicare. Generally, these programs require you to work in a MM 2 – 7 area. 

  • 19AB restricts International Medical Graduates and requires them to work in a Distribution Priority Area for a moratorium of 10 years in order to access Medicare Benefits. You can check the DPA in the Health Workforce Locator here

  • Area of Need Certificates are required for General Practices employing a General Practitioner seeking Limited Registration (Area of Need). An Area of Need Certificate is based on the need for doctors in the area.

You can find General Practice positions on private or job boards, or contact us for help finding a job!

Do I need a PESCI?

If you have a job in general practice, you will be required to sit a Pre-Employment Structured Clinical Interview (PESCI) for that location. A PESCI is an interview format exam that assesses your ability to practice safely in that location. You can sit a PESCI with ACRRM, IME, or RACGP.

When you have passed your PESCI, you can now apply for Registration with AHPRA. If you require any help with this paperwork, get in touch with us!

What medical registration can I apply for?

As an IMG you will be eligible for one of three kinds of registration in a General Practice setting on the standard pathway:

Limited Registration (Area of Need)

  • Have a Medical degree
  • Have passed the AMC MCQ 
  • Have passed an English Language Test
  • Have 3 or more comparable years of assessed General Practice Experience. In our experience, you generally need 5 or more years of overseas experience to be assessed as having 3 years of comparable Australian General Practice Experience. 

Limited Registration (Post-Graduate Training Program)

  • Have a Medical degree
  • Have passed the AMC MCQ 
  • Have passed an English Language Test
  • Whilst it is not a requirement, have 3+ years of comparable general practice experience, there is less risk of AHPRA not approving an application if you have at least 3+ years of prior General Practice Experience. 

Provisional Registration

  • Have a Medical degree
  • Have passed the AMC MCQ 
  • Have passed an English Language Test
  • Have passed the AMC Clinical (because of the difficulty of the AMC Clinical, AHPRA does not require you to have any previous general practice experience, however we would still suggest that you have at least 12 months of prior GP experience.)

Do I need supervision?

As a doctor on Limited or Provisional Registration you will be required to undertake 47 weeks of supervised practice. During this time, you will also need to have passed the AMC Clinical or Workplace Based Assessment to be eligible for General Registration. 

If you don’t want to sit the AMC Clinical, you can skip General Registration and instead, sit for the Fellowship exams and go straight to Specialist Registration. Please not however, that you can only renew your initial registration 3 times, so make sure you are close to receiving Fellowship if you decide to skip General Registration.

Your supervisors should also be 2 VR Doctors that have at least 3 years of experience with General and/or Specialist Registration and who are not supervising another IMG on Level 1 supervision, so make sure your clinic is able to provide this.

How do I attain Fellowship?

In order to become a Fellowed General Practitioner, you will need to sit for either the ACRRM or RACGP Fellowship Exams. You may also be required to join a Fellowship Training Program in order to prepare for these Exams. Once you have passed, you will be a Vocationally Registered General Practitioner in Australia. 

Please keep in mind that you will continue to be restricted by 19AB until the end of your moratorium. 

We Can Help You

Here at People Medical Consulting, we have a passion for guiding medical practitioners through their career pathways to Australia. We have extensive experience in assisting medical facilities in recruiting doctors from local and overseas who will best suit their requirements.

We provide Document Assistance for those requiring support for their PESCI with IME, ACRRM or RACGP, registration and all other mandatory AHPRA requirements, fellowship program related forms and letters, application for Medicare provider and prescriber numbers, application for 19AB or 19AA exemptions and preparation of employment documents.

If you want to talk to someone about your pathway or practice management—book a consultation with us below, or if you need Recruitment or Document Assistance, contact us at help@peoplemedical.com.au or click the buttons below. We’d be glad to help you!

Information from this blog has been taken directly from:

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