Can IMG's work in Australia & New Zealand?


Article by Julia Strelou08 Apr 2022
IMG doctors

Thinking of working abroad?

Australia and New Zealand are both attractive locations for international doctors (IMGs) looking for a change in scenery. A great health care system and an idyllic lifestyle are just some of the many reasons doctors from all over the world look for jobs in Australasia.

If you completed your primary medical degree/qualification outside of Australia and New Zealand, then this will get you started with everything you need to know about working as a doctor down under.

In Australasia, doctors who received their qualifications overseas are often known as International Medical Graduates (IMGs) and this is a term you’ll see a lot, both here and on official government documentation.

We have a dedicated team of Solution Specialists who are passionate to helping international doctors (IMGs) make the move. Many of them moved down under from the UK themselves so they can provide you with a personalised service.

Your pathway to medical registration in Australia or New Zealand will depend on your individual circumstances, such as where you completed your primary medical degree, the countries in which you have clinical experience, and if you’re a specialist or junior doctor.

To practice in Australia or New Zealand, you must be registered with either AHPRA (Australia) or MCNZ (New Zealand). For IMGs, this is achievable via a number of pathways (or routes), your eligibility for which is determined by your clinical background.

Finding out if you are eligible for registration can be a complex process, but we are here to help!

We’ve put together this information to help you get an idea of the options available to you.

Non-specialist pathway to working in Australia

"I completed my primary medical degree and internship in the UK or Ireland."

You are eligible for the Competent Authority Pathway. This is the most common pathway for non-specialist doctors. You’ll be able to gain provisional registration in Australia if you get a job offer. Your job offer will need to include 12 months of supervised practice with an AHPRA-approved supervisor. Once you have completed this, you can apply for full, unrestricted registration. If you are confident you are eligible for this pathway, Medrecruit can help you find a suitable job offer and walk you through your move to Australia.

"I have passed the medical licensing exams in the UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, and New Zealand and have completed an internship equivalent in one of these countries."

You may be eligible for registration via the Standard Pathway. This route requires you to complete the AMC examinations, which involve an MCQ and clinical examination. After successfully completing these exams you will be eligible for limited registration, however, you must secure an internship level role for the first 12 months. Most employers do not accept agency applications for entry-level supervised positions – in this instance, it’s best to apply directly once you have successfully completed the exams.

non-specialist pathway to New Zealand

"I completed my primary medical degree and internship in the UK or Ireland."

You may be eligible for the Competent Authority Pathway. This is the most common pathway for non-specialist doctors to gain registration in New Zealand. After six months of provisional general supervision, you can apply for full general registration.

"I completed my medical degree anywhere else"

If you completed your medical training in a country outside the UK or Ireland and you are looking to work as a doctor in New Zealand, there are multiple pathways available to you. Please get in touch and one of our dedicated International Solution Specialists will let you know the next steps

Specialists medical registration pathway to Australia

To work as a specialist in Australia, you’ll need to have an appropriate specialist qualification or postgraduate training qualification first. You’ll need to apply to the relevant specialist college for an assessment of your qualifications. This looks at how your qualifications and experience compare to that of an Australian-trained specialist. The outcome of this will let you know which path to take toward medical registration. This isn’t cheap to do and it does not guarantee you a job offer, but it is an essential step.

There are two main pathways to registration:

  • The Specialist Pathway is the most common.
  • Some doctors may be eligible for the Short-Term Training Pathway, where registration is granted for a maximum of two years.

Specialists medical registration pathway to New Zealand

To work as a specialist in New Zealand, you’ll need to have an appropriate specialist qualification. MCNZ will compare your training, qualifications, and experience to those of a New Zealand-trained and vocationally registered doctor in the same area of medicine. These assessments aren’t cheap and don’t guarantee you a job offer, but they’re an essential step. VOC3 Vocational (specialist) pathway is the most common route to medical registration and is a merit-based system. If you have the right credentials, the Special Purpose – Locum Tenens pathway is a great option if you’re interested in a fixed-term position of up to 12 months. In some cases, you can apply for both pathways. Your Solutions Specialist can help you navigate your options.

To find out more, register with Medrecruit. Once registered, you’ll be able to see and search for job opportunities and if it’s the right time for you, we’ll put you in contact with a Solutions Specialist.

Together, you’ll discuss your options and take your first steps towards medical registration in Australia or New Zealand.

Looking for a doctor job which matches your career and lifestyle aspirations? Start your journey with Medrecruit now

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Julia Strelou
Article by Julia StrelouMedrecruit Editor
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