To become a doctor in Australia, you must complete year 12 of high school and get a bachelor’s degree. A four-year postgraduate medical program is the next step. Internships are a requirement for full registration.
There is a lot of competition to become a doctor. If you are a domestic or foreign student, the procedures and years required will vary according to your degree of study and area of specialization. The typical process may be summarised as follows.
Year 12 criteria must be completed first.
Students may attend medical school at Australian universitoes in one of two ways. After graduating from high school, or after earning a bachelor’s degree in a related field.
An ATAR of 99.95 in the Higher School Certificate or equivalent is required to apply for the first route, which is open to a maximum of 30 domestic students and 10 foreign students per year.
For this cohort, there are two double-degree options:
- A Bachelor of Arts and a Doctor of Medicine degree.
- Doctor of Medicine and Bachelor of Science degrees
A bachelor’s degree is required for most applicants. The HSC or a state-based equivalent is also required for this. A certain ATAR may be required for some courses, so make sure you finish all of your prerequisites in high school before applying.
At most Australian universities, students who want to study economics, trade, engineering, law, science, and most health-related undergraduate programs must score at least band 4 in advanced mathematics. Here you may find a list of all the requirements for each degree program.
- Complete a bachelor’s degree program.
Before pursuing a career in medicine, students at most Australian universities may pursue a bachelor’s degree in any field of study. Medical students from varied backgrounds are encouraged to participate in this program.
Your grade point average must fall within the range of 65% to 65% (a credit average). The Universities Admissions Centre, using the QAS, must evaluate and determine the GPA of all domestic students.
The third step is to take the GAMSAT and submit an application for admission.
The Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is a standardized test used to evaluate the skills of individuals intending to continue their education in medical and health-related fields at the university level in Australia.
The exam consists of three parts. The GAMSAT is open to students in their penultimate or final year of a Bachelor’s degree.
There is a minimum of 50 grade point average in all three parts to be considered for admission to virtually all Australian MD programs. The test is offered twice a year in March and September.
Most candidates find the Gamsat test rather challenging as only around approximately the top 20% of applicants score highly enough to be considered for entry. Many students end up having to repeat the test three or four times before achieving a successful score so it’s recommended that you spend at least 6 months preparing for it. To assist with their preparation most students use some kind of Gamsat online course to aid them.
Candidates for admission to Australian Doctor of Medicine programs must have a good grade point average and GAMSAT score. Please refer to the admissions guide of the university you are applying for for further information on how to apply.
Applicants from outside Australia may be qualified to take the MCAT instead of the GAMSAT, but they must also fulfill English language standards and the aforementioned prerequisites to be considered for admission.
- Doctor of Medicine (MD) program.
An MD degree from an Australian university takes four years to complete.
There have been significant changes to the curriculum in recent years, including a greater emphasis on hands-on clinical experience, multi-week research projects, and more flexible options for elective and selective study both locally and abroad.
The whole fourth year of the curriculum serves as a pre-internship, enabling students to gain confidence and familiarity in hospital and community settings.
- Completing a year as an intern
To become a doctor in Australian hospitals, students must spend a year in a hospital as an intern.
Internships are arranged by graduates on their own. Each state’s application process is synchronized throughout all of Australia, which typically ends in June.
Candidate preferences and admission numbers vary per state. To apply, go to the state’s website.
In addition, there are 115 seats available in the Junior Doctor Training Program in the Private Hospital Stream. This is an excellent choice for international candidates.
Preparatory registration with the Australian Medical Board is required six weeks before the end of a medical degree to finish this year of practice.