If you are keen to get to Australia as soon as possible, here are some tips that will help you find a good practice more quickly. These comments apply specifically to GPs with MRCGP/MICGP who are planning to enter the PEP Specialist Pathway:
GP practices who engage a GP from the UK do need to invest in order to support you on the PEP program. A good practice will provide you with lots of informal support as you learn about Australia billing systems, differences in pharmacology, local referral systems and much more. Many candidates are asking us to source Australian GP jobs for 12 months only so they have the flexibility to move on as soon as they have completed the program and been awarded their FRACGP. This does not appeal to practices who have invested in your training for a year.
At present, the requirement to have a mentor who meets AHPRA standards, is a major impediment to practices being able to take on UK Specialist GPs. Even if the practice is needing a GP and willing to provide a good package to a new GP, they need to find sufficiently qualified supervisors to sign a massive pile of papers from AHPRA. They will also be required to be available for questions and to provide feedback on your performance.
While this kind of support from other GPs might be the norm in the NHS, the Australian system does not recognise or reward supervising GPs for their input to your training. Unlike the NHS where all GPs are salaried, Australian GPs only get paid for the services they provide for patients. If they spend extra time supporting you, this takes away from their ability to see their own patients and to generate their own income. More importantly, they do not receive any additional payments from Medicare for supporting you.
In addition, the supervision standards are set and monitored by the Medical Board through AHPRA. Some GPs are fearful that they will need to invest a great deal of time to be able to support you. Although this is not actually the case, the perception is there and stops many GPs from agreeing to be a supervisor.
A good recruiter will only present you with positions where you will actually be able to comply with regulations and start a job successfully. Its not worth signing up for a job only to find that you cannot gain access to the PEP Specialist Program. A good recruiter will conduct the following checks before offering you a position:
GPs generally earn much more income in Australia while working less hours than compared with their previous jobs with the NHS. In the long term, you will be better off financially and personally for making the move to Australia.
However, the move to Australia will require you to invest some money. Apart from the usual international moving costs such as shipping your good and paying for your flights, additional costs include (but are not limited to):
Many GPs consult colleagues who have made the move earlier and social media makes this very easy. Other GPs will often generously share advice and give you helpful tips. Take a moment to consider the advice you are receiving:
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