I’m looking for my first job in Australia. Where do I start?

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: 2024-05-28

“I’m looking for my first job in Australia. Where do I start?” is a question we often receive from International Medical Graduates (IMGs) or from overseas trained doctors. As we, People Medical Consulting. like sharing what we know to give doctors a clear pathway to finding a job here in Australia, here are the first few steps you need to do before finding a job offer.

Step 1 – The Minimum Requirements

Your first step is to ensure you have completed the minimum requirements to get AHPRA registration. These are:

  • Apply to ECFMG to have your qualifications verified via EPIC: http://www.ecfmgepic.org/
  • Apply to AMC to have a portfolio established: https://account.amc.org.au/sign_in
  • Complete your AMC Part 1: https://www.amc.org.au/assessment/mcq-exam
  • Meet the AHPRA language requirements here. This usually involves sitting an English language test, from the following options:
  • Complete the AMC Part 1: http://www.amc.org.au/assessment/mcq-exam 

Step 2 – Understand Your Restrictions & Requirements

It’s important to do some research to ensure you know what criteria you have to meet, not only to get AHPRA Registration, but to get your visa and to get a Medicare Provider Number. These three things have very different requirements and it is important before you start your journey to check off everything. If you don’t, you could get AHPRA but not a Medicare Provider Number which means wasted time and money for you! Take some time to understand your restrictions and requirements.

If you’re intending on applying to work in the Hospital

If you’re applying to the hospital, make sure you’re applying with a clear CV and you’re answering the selection criteria question with clear patient examples. Make sure the hospital can sponsor you (if you require a visa) and the hospital has the correct supervision requirements in place. Check your specialty- in GP, you need x2 supervisors, make sure AHPRA will give your hospital the tick of approval.

If you’re intending on applying to work in General Practice

If you’re applying for General Practice, and you have less than 5 years GP experience, then you may wish to consider either getting more GP experience, sitting your AMC Clinical or heading to the hospital system first.

As an IMG, you’re restricted by 19AB (DPA or the “10 year moratorium”) so keep this in mind when you start applying for jobs. There are exemptions to 19AB / DPA, but be careful because each exemption has a different and specific criteria. Read more about 19AB here.

If you are a Permanent Resident or a Citizen and a Non VR (that is, have not completed an Australian Fellowship), you’ll be restricted by 19AA. Read more about 19AA here

As you are getting your first job in Australia, AHPRA will require you to have x2 General Practitioners onsite, who have held General and/or Specialist AHPRA Registration in General Practice for more than 3 years. As a Level 1, you will require onsite supervision 100% of the time you are working.

Step 3 – Find a Job!

Your next step is to be offered a job! As you’re getting your first job in Australia, it is important to let your employer know about your restrictions. It’s also important that they can provide you with the support that you need. Make sure they have x2 VR GP’s with 3+ years experience as a VR doctor before you sign a contract and commence the next step.

Once you have a job offer, you can consider sitting your PESCI and applying to AHPRA. To know more about the succeeding steps, you can read the details in our core blog here

Is it difficult to find a job?

It is competitive to get a job in Australia. We’re having a high level of interest from Medical Practitioners from all over the world applying to work in Australia. Our team suggests getting as much experience as you can in a country where you presently have registration to work before attempting to get a job in Australia. 

In addition to experience, you need to adhere to the expectations of your potential employers- don’t send your CV without an introduction email or with a standard “Dear Practice Manager”. Do your research on the clinic or hospital that you’re applying for and make it clear why you’re applying to them specifically. You should also try to contact the person making the decisions and introduce yourself over the phone.

Networking is also an incredibly important part of the Australian job market. Ensuring you are working or even volunteering in some of the locations where you are applying, going to CPD and conferences and actively participating in events will all contribute to you being an excellent candidate for the role.

Personality plays a significant part of decisions when interviewing- employers not only want to see a clear demonstration of your skills set, they want to know that you’re going to fit into the existing team and become an active, positive addition to their current roll call.

While it is competitive to get work in Australia, it is not impossible or even hard providing you have good experience and you’re actively attempting to apply and integrate into the communities.

Our team works with doctors to help them in their career journey and in building their CVs, Covering Letters and streamline their Selection Criteria answers (where required). If you need help with your documents or if you have questions about your GP journey, contact us at help@peoplemedical.com.au or click the button below!

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!

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