Frequently asked questions

In 2011, a decision was made that HETI will no longer automatically allocate all junior doctors who had successfully completed their Australian Medical Council exams to positions in New South Wales hospitals.

The rationale for this decision was that there will be a marked increase in the number of local graduates and the priority was to ensure that these local graduates would be able to secure positions in Australia first.

You now have to apply for Junior Medical Officer positions in NSW hospitals through the annual medical recruitment process.  IMGs now have to compete with Australian graduates for the JMO positions.

Please attempt to complete both Part 1 and Part 2 of the AMC Exams. However many IMGs are working in hospitals in New South Wales having only completed their Part 1 MCQ.  This is due to doctor shortages and the need to fill positions with IMGs.

Recency of medical practice is helpful. The Australian Health Practioners Registration Authority (AHPRA) requires any doctor who has not practiced in the previous two years to appear before a panel who will determine their suitability for conditional registration.

While it is essential to pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test, your application will be viewed favourably if you can demonstrate fluency in English. Knowledge of local usage or slang may also be a bonus.

Consider accepting jobs in rural and remote Australia.  There are vacancies in areas of need, and you may need to be prepared to relocate to non-metropolitan and regional areas.

You may wish to consider seeking support with the preparation of your letter of application and curriculum vitae. A professional-looking application will highlight to an employer your commitment in a highly competitive environment.

  • Your CV should look professional, reflect your current experience and be set out in a logical order.
  • Make sure your contact details and referee list are up to date.
  • You may seek advice from friends or colleagues who have been successful in getting a job.
  • Look out for spelling or grammatical errors.

You may need to seek assistance with preparing for your interview. The style of interviewing in Australia may be different to that which you have experienced elsewhere.

There are resources available to help you with your interview skills when applying for a job in Australia.  You can also seek the assistance of a coach who can prepare you for an interview.

If your application at the time of annual medical recruitment is not successful, applying for positions mid-year or after the annual medical recruitment process has been completed is recommended.  You can increase your chances of securing a position that has become vacant due to mid-year resignations or some positions not being filled during the recruitment period.  You can contact Local Health Districts and make enquiries about jobs that may become available throughout the year.

Whilst it is not always possible to secure a position in your preferred area, you can explore applying for jobs in alternative specialties.  This may be an entry point.  If you are successful you will be able to increase your knowledge of the Australian healthcare system and use this experience to better position yourself for a job in your preferred specialty.  You can contact the following groups about seeking employment:

  • Local Health District websites
  • Local Health District JMO Managers
  • Rural Health eg Rural Doctors' Network (RDN) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) websites
  • locum agencies
  • the Doctor Connect website.

Specialists should explore the options of applying for recognition via the AMC/specialty college. The specialist training pathway may enable you to work in your preferred field under limited registration until you obtain full registration.

The Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) offers a growing range of online education on this website. Check the HETI homepage regularly for details of new education as it becomes available.

You should seek assistance with revising your basic procedural skills and obtain current information on clinical protocols.

You may wish to consider retraining in another vocation, for example if you have been away from medical practice for a number of years.