In Australia, General Practitioners (GP) are the ones that help patients manage their holistic health needs. They are their first point of contact when they are ill or injured. A GP will diagnose mental and physical ailments, and disorders, treat and diagnose injuries, and provide treatment. This includes medications.
To become a GP in Australia, you have to complete your medical training. Then you will need to work for one to three years as a Resident Medical Officer. Once you have done this, you have to apply for a fellowship to become an accredited General Practitioner.
You apply for this accreditation through the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners or the Australian College of Rural Remote Medicine. Once you become accredited, you can work independently as a General Practitioner in Australia.
This is the general idea of how to become a GP in Australia but here is some more general information to reach this status. It will take several years of formal training and education to get to this point. You will have to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. There are prerequisite subjects you have to take, such as mathematics, English, physics, chemistry, and biology.
You will also need to study medicine at a recognized university with a relevant degree such as a Bachelor of Medicine Studies/Doctor of Medicine. You could choose an alternative undergraduate degree in any other subject followed by a postgraduate qualification that is related, such as a Doctor of Medicine.
To be able to get into the postgraduate courses will depend on your bachelor’s degree, the semi-structured interview, and your test score on the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT). Once you have made it this far, you will need to do the following.
- Complete a one-year accredited internship to become eligible for general registration.
- Apply for and register with the Medical Board of Australia. Then you will do one to two more years of residency training before you start your special GP training program.
- To become a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) you will need a fellowship qualification from ACCRM or do a three-year Australian General Practice Training (AGPT)
- Once you complete your fellowship, you can apply for specialist registration. You do this with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. You can start to work as a GP in Australia once you have this registration.
Before you can start doing clinical placements, you have to have a National Police check, provide a schedule of immunizations, and do a Working with Children Check.
Becoming a GP in Australia can take seven years. Three of those years will be to get your undergraduate degree and the other four getting your Doctor of Medicine Degree.
If you enjoy working with people and helping them to stay well and be healthy, then working toward your degree to become a GP in Australia is worth the time. It is a rewarding career. It does take many years so you need to be dedicated to working in this field.