When people mention Australia, the first association to pop to mind is breathtaking scenery and exquisite wildlife. However, during the last few decades, Australia has become a top-tier destination for many looking to uproot their careers and lives.

This may be due to its education system, medical practice, or altogether way of life. Whatever the reason, more and more medical students and doctors are looking to relocate to this island nation. To help, this article takes a look at all the necessary prerequisites for medical doctors in Australia!

Steps to Become a Medical Doctor in Australia

1. Completing a medical program is the first and most important prerequisite for all medical doctors.

In Australia, those interested in studying medicine are given two options. On the one hand, students may apply to a medical program right after high school. Conversely, they may also wait and obtain a bachelor’s degree before applying.

If you choose the first option, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. For one, there is a limited number of spots for students applying right after high school. For instance, the University of Sydney offers only thirty places for high school applicants, of which ten are reserved for international students. Furthermore, medical programs require applicants to achieve a band four in mathematics advanced or an equivalent for international students. Lastly, you will also need to obtain an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 99.95 in your Higher School Certificate to be eligible for application.

Even though applying to a medical program after high school is possible, it is not the most common route. Rather, most students opt to obtain a bachelor’s degree in another subfield before applying to a medical program. The first step to becoming a medical doctor in Australia is to complete a medical program. At the University of Sydney, you may complete a bachelor’s in business or social sciences and still be eligible to apply for their medical program later on. This practice aims to create a diverse array of medical doctors in the future. However, do keep in mind that some subjects related to medicine may be obligatory in Year 12 and a specific ATAR score.

2. Before studying medicine at an Australian university, there is one more step to complete – the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT).

The next step for you to become a medical doctor in Australia is to pass the standardized examination. The GAMSAT is a standardized exam given to all those adamant enough to pursue a medical career. It comprises three parts, all aimed to test students’ knowledge and capabilities. To pass, applicants will need to achieve a satisfactory score in each component.

Furthermore, although test dates may vary, it is always scheduled several times a year. For example, the University of Sydney offers the exam in March and December each year. Those who complete it successfully will still need to complete an in-person interview, also known as a multiple-mini interview. All further steps for admission vary between Australian universities and require contacting the university of choice for additional information.

3. To receive your diploma, you will need to complete a four-year medical program in Australia.

In Australia, the Doctor of Medicine (MD) represents a master’s level degree program. To give their students a better medical education, most Australian universities have restructured their medical programs in recent years.

For one, there is now a designated researcher period that allows students to pursue medical research both individually and in teams. Furthermore, the number of elective courses has been expanded, as well exchange opportunities. Lastly, to give students more practical immersion, the entire fourth year has been designated for pre-internships. Thus, during their final year of study, students acquaint themselves with a hospital or clinical setting.

Six weeks before graduation, all medical students will have to apply for provisional registration with the Australian Medical Board. Although this may sound complicated, the application process is completed entirely online and does not take much time. Be sure to complete this step, as this allows you to complete your internship year later on.

4. Once you obtain a medical degree, the next step is your medical internship.

In Australia, all medical graduates are required to complete a one-year-long internship at a medical center or hospital. That is the next step to become one of the medical doctors in Australia. All graduates are responsible for their internship positions and must secure them based on merit and their chosen specialization.

The process is synchronized across the country and usually accepts final submissions until June. Even though the process is nationally uniform, every state has its prerequisites and priorities. Thus, not all states will offer the same number of specializations each year. To apply, medical graduates need to refer to their state-based websites.

In addition to national internships, you may also wish to consider private practice as well. Namely, the Junior Doctor Training Program Private Hospital Stream offers 115 internship positions each year across Australia and maybe a solid option for international practitioners or graduates.

5. After your medical internship, the last step is registration.

This is a fairly easy process for medical practitioners working in either Australia or New Zealand. After you have completed your internship year, the next step for you to be an official medical doctor in Australia is to register. The Medical Board of Australia will award you your medical license. However, your registration will renew on September 30th each year. Thus, you will have to keep your license up to date throughout your entire medical career.

On the other hand, international practitioners will have an additional step before freely working in Australia. Namely, foreign doctors will need to complete a 12-month supervised period within an Australian medical center or hospital. Only after will they be eligible for a medical license.


I hope that this article on the Steps to Become a Medical Doctor in Australia was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.