Frequently asked questions

I’m an Overseas Trained Doctor (OTD) . How do I get a job in Australia?

Work through the First steps flowchart to check your eligibility and find out more about the registration process.

First steps flowchart

If you want to work in a rural General Practice, then contact the appropriate Rural Workforce Agencies

How can I get permanent residency in Australia?

Check the Department of Home Affairs website for detailed information on visas and other immigration issues.

Department of Home Affairs website

Overseas Trained Doctors (OTDs) need to achieve registration in Australia before they can get permanent residency. Work through the First steps flowchart to find out more about the registration process.

First steps flowchart

Medicare provider number restrictions affect where you can practise in Australia and what postgraduate medical qualifications you require.

Restrictions - find out more

Will my overseas qualifications be acceptable for work in Australia?

OTDs whose medical qualifications are from a medical school outside of Australia or New Zealand and who are seeking registration to practise medicine in Australia must provide evidence that they are eligible for one of the Medical Board of Australia (MBA)’s assessment pathways.

For further information see MBA Website

First steps flowchart

Where in Australia can Overseas Trained Doctors (OTDs) work?

Most Overseas Trained Doctors (OTDs) will need to undertake a period of supervised employment in an Area of Need. If you need a Medicare provider number for Medicare billing purposes, you’ll also need to work in a District of Workforce Shortage to access Medicare rebates.

Restrictions - find out more

What’s a District of Workforce Shortage (DWS)?

A DWS is an area where the general population’s need for medical services is deemed to be unmet. An area is a DWS if it has less access to medical services than the national average.

District of Workforce Shortage factsheet
Map locator (shows current DWS areas for GPs)

How do I know if a vacancy is in a District of Workforce Shortage?

Check with your Australian employer or with the medical recruitment agency advertising the position you’re interested in.

You can also check the map locator.

Map locator (shows current DWS areas for GPs)

Where can I find information about life in Australia?

You’ll find a list of useful links on the Living in Australia section of this site.

Living in Australia

How much will I get paid?

Pay rates for doctors in Australia vary among the various specialties. Your pay will also depend on where you work and what job you’re doing.

You can check with the State and Territory Health Departments for information on pay rates for doctors in the public hospital sector.

ACT Health Directorate

NSW Department of Health

NT Department of Health

Queensland Health

SA Health

Department of Health and Human Services Tasmania

Department of Health Victoria

Department of Health WA

For information about likely earnings for a rural General Practitioner, please contact the RWA in your State/Territory

Rural Workforce Agencies

How do doctors with New Zealand medical training obtain medical registration in Australia?

The MBA may grant general registration to New Zealand medical graduates following successful completion of an internship. The medical schools in New Zealand are accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC).

Further information is available in the MBA’s approved registration standard Granting general registration as a medical practitioner to Australian and New Zealand medical graduates on completion of intern training.

Do all OTDs meet the standards required in Australia?

OTDs (referred to as international medical graduates by the Medical Board of Australia) seeking to practise in Australia must meet the requirements of the registration standards for:
  • Continuing professional development
  • English language skills
  • Recency of practice
  • Professional indemnity insurance arrangements
  • Criminal history
  • Limited registration (if relevant)
The registration standards can be found on the MBA Website.

All OTDs applying for registration must also be in a registration pathway (Standard pathway, Competent Authority pathway, Specialist pathway).

GPs and hospital non-specialist doctors can check the likelihood of getting medical registration in Australia by completing the AMC practice exam online. The practice exam consists of 50 questions and has a 83 minute time limit.

Specialist OTDs may experience difficulties meeting the standards required for specialist practice in Australia, or will require significant periods of advanced training to meet the standards. Specialists will have their qualifications and experience assessed by the relevant Australian/Australasian Specialist Medical College and the outcome of this assessment will determine the specialist OTD's eligibility for registration with the MBA.

An OTD who is found to not be comparable to an Australian trained specialist can apply for the Standard pathway after successfully completing the AMC Computer Adaptive Test Multiple Choice Question (CAT MCQ) Examination.