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In December, Alecto Consultants had the privilege of attending a webinar hosted by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), shedding light on the changes and improvements in the Pre-Employment Structured Clinical Interviews (PESCI) process for overseas trained doctors (OTDs).

The session explained a series of positive changes designed to streamline the system, acknowledge the new insights into the industry such as the Kruk Report and provide a more transparent and flexible experience for applicants. This includes confirmation the doctors are no longer expected to complete a period of observation within the clinic prior to applying for any chance of success.

Simplified System and National Expansion

Since July 2023, the RACGP has been committed to simplifying the PESCI process. These efforts include working on a revamped webpage, a transparent policy, and an applicant handbook featuring a mock case to assist doctors with the process. One of the most significant developments is the national expansion, allowing GPs to apply for PESCIs regardless of the state they are working in which also lines up with other PESCI Providers.

Reduced Waiting Times and Remote Accessibility

All interviews are now conducted via zoom, making it easier for those doctors who are based elsewhere to attend. The waiting times for PESCIs have been significantly reduced to approx. 4 weeks where previously it sometimes took months to obtain a date.

Efficiency in Outcome Reporting

The RACGP aims to provide outcome reports within 15 working days, demonstrating a commitment to efficiency. Additionally, they acknowledged the need for extra information for doctors who fail, which showcases a renewed dedication to support and guidance throughout the process.

PESCI Top Ups and Observation Changes

A shorter or top up PESCI when changing clinics is not available. The RACGP recommended that doctors wishing to change locations either seek AHPRA’s location change after registration, or for those who require a quicker solution, complete an entirely new PESCI.

Importantly, there is no longer an expectation for in-country observation prior to PESCI, alleviating a significant burden for applicants.

The changes and improvements outlined in the RACGP’s webinar signal a new era for PESCIs in Australia. With a commitment to transparency, efficiency, and adaptability, the RACGP is actively working to make the process more accessible and supportive for overseas trained doctors. As the healthcare industry evolves, so too does the PESCI process, ensuring that it remains a relevant and effective tool for assessing the readiness of international medical practitioners to contribute to Australia’s healthcare system.