AMC pathways for IMGs and Registrations
One question that every IMG (international medical graduate) or specialist has in mind is what is the proper way to get to Australia and practice medicine or any other field. No one describes this in a very clear way but here in this article, we will provide you our best info step by step for this answer which includes AMC pathways for IMGs and types of registrations.
From the limited knowledge, we have of the exact process is that Australia and Newzealand have limited residency slots and it is difficult to get residency there but that too depends on factors.
The residencies of particularly higher demands are Surgery, Opthalmology, Radiology, etc. While those where there is an instant demand for a limited amount of time are Psychiatry, internal medicine, and General practice. Some general practitioners even make more than the specialists there sometime.
Now the chances of landing a residency also depends on the area you desire. There are local areas in Australia where hospitals are not that developed and doctors do not want to work there and for those areas, you can assume there is always a residency spot available for you. These are away from the big cities. Many of those desperate to get to Australia are employed in those areas in whichever field they like.
AMC Pathways for IMGs (Types)
To be eligible to practice in Australia, You have to pass their recommended essential tests. The main of which is AMC (you can find all about AMC by clicking here). Alongside that, you have to pass the English language tests which are compulsory for it. they are the IELTS and the TOEFL (details also included in the AMC article just above).
There are three Pathways for Medical graduates to choose to get to Australia.
- Standard Pathway
- Competent Authority Pathway
- Specialist Pathway
Your current qualifications will determine which pathway you are eligible for. A detailed discussion of every pathway and its eligibility is described below and all the idea of Jobs in Australia and practice in Australia is centered around these pathways and registrations. This will require some serious mind concentration as these pathways and registrations are confusing so
The standard pathway is for IMGs who have only completed their basic Undergraduate degree (MBBS or equivalent). They have to pass the AMC examination which includes the
- CAT (computer adaptive test)
- MCQ (multiple choice questions)
there is another standard pathway named the work-place based assessment but very few are tested through that pathway
After passing your AMC exam a candidate must have a minimum of 12-month supervised practice too. These two are the basic requirements for the standard pathway and before you take this step you have to verify your primary qualifications through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).
Competent Authority Pathway
This Pathway is for IMGs who are non-specialist or specialists and are seeking general registration with the medical board of Australia. The Board has approved a specific list of authorities that are competent to assess, for medical registration. these are
- General Medical Council (United Kingdom – for the PLAB examination or for graduates of GMC-accredited medical courses in the United Kingdom)
- Medical Council of Canada (LMCC)
- Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates of the United States (USMLE)
- Medical Council of New Zealand (NZREX)
- Medical Council of Ireland (graduates of medical courses in Ireland accredited by the Medical Council of Ireland).
These too have to verify their Documents at ECFMG before applying for the Pathway.
The specialist Pathway is for IMGs who have the most experience compared to those eligible for the Competent or standard pathway. It is for one of the following categories
- Specialist recognition: Overseas-trained specialists applying to assess their current qualification on the level of Australia that whether their level of qualification in their specific specialty meets that of an Australian with the same specialty qualification. After passing through this pathway you will be able to get general registration for that specialty in Australia.
- Area of need: Overseas-trained specialist applying for a post in an area of need of his specialty in Australia. For passing this you have to apply to relevant specialist medical college for an assessment of your qualifications and relevant experience against the specified requirements of a position in a confirmed area of need. This is just like specialist recognition.
- Short-term specialist training: Overseas-trained specialists wishing to take specialist training in a specific specialty in Australia for a specific period of time (usually not more than 24 months) can apply for this pathway and this only provides them experience.
These registrations will clear your mind don’t worry. read on
Australian medical board Registration (Types)
The main idea behind all these pathways is their registration. There are three types of registration
Basically, limited registration would allow you to practice in a specific postion in Australia for a specific amount of time. Provisional registration allows you to attain training in Australia for mostly just a year so that you become eligible for General registration which is the best and final forever registration.
this type of registration is for medical practitioners whose medical qualifications are from a medical school outside of Australia or New Zealand. The schools in which they studied must be listed in both the Australian medical council recognized medical schools and the World directory of medical schools.
This registration provides IMGs to provide medical services in Australia under supervision in four categories
- Postgraduate training or supervised practice: this will only allow you to practice under supervision in an Australian healthcare facility and after completion of your training you may leave the country or may seek general registration.
- Area of need limited registration: This allows you to work in a health care facility that is in need of medical practitioners. The state or territory ministry for health declares that the area you will work in is an area of need and these are mostly rural or remote areas. you will be eligible for this area of need limited registration only if you are already eligible for the standard or specialist pathway described above. Else than that, you must have at least three years experience in general practice or primary care and finally, after that, you need to pass the Pre-employment structured clinical interview (PESCI). The details of which you can get by clicking on it.
- Public interest- limited registration: This type of registration is offered in mostly disastrous situations or pandemics involving public interest. This is of the duration of the interest and provides a limited scope of practice. You have to work under supervision.
- Teaching or research-limited registration: These are for teachers who want to teach for instance at a university. The practitioners can undertake limited clinical practice that too only relevant to their teaching or research role. This type of registration is also used for experts to teach or demonstrate a specific clinical technique (usually lasting 4 weeks).
In short limited registration is always for a specific period of time after which you are required to return to your country.
This registration is a temporary registration for IMGs before they apply for general registration. The board can grant you a provisional or general registration based on your qualifications or through the successful completion of an examination. If you get a general registration then good for you but if you get a provisional registration then you have to work at least 12 months in supervised practice to be eligible to apply for general registration. 3 types of people are eligible for this registration
- Australian and New Zealand medical school graduates who can after 12-months supervised practice under their provisional registration apply for general registration.
- AMC holders
- Applicants through the Competent authority pathway.
This the full form of registration to the Australian Medical Board. This is available in three cases
- Australian of New Zealand medical school graduates who have completed approved intern training (they work for 12 months after getting their provisional registration and then can apply for general registration)
- Medical practitioners who have previously held general registration and are returning to Australia to seek practice.
- IMGs (international medical graduates) who have completed the requirements of the competent authority pathway or the standard pathway.
below is a rough outline of where you stand in relation to the pathways, type of registration and jobs.
After getting your general registration you can now apply for a full time job in Australia.
You look for job openings in ads or newspapers, after which you make a solid strong CV, the more experience the better so take your time to prepare a good application package. After that, you send your application. You may not necessarily get the job at first so try and try again and eventually, success will be yours. Don’t forget to leave your queries below in the comments.
In the meantime, we have an article for job openings in Australia for IMGs.