Want to work in Australia as a GP but not sure when to go?

18 July 2018 | UK/Ireland GPs | 4 minutes read

Want to work in Australia as a GP but not sure when to go?

You’ve decided you would like to take a job as a GP in Australia.  You’ve done the research, you know it’s the right thing for you, but you can’t quite decide when is the best time to make the move.  Perhaps you’re thinking … after I have one more Christmas with the family, after that friend’s wedding, when my child finishes the school year, after I’ve got a few more procedural and minor surgery skills under my belt.

There can be 101 reasons to delay putting your decision into effect, so what, realistically, do you need to take into account when choosing the right time? There are a few key points:

You will need MRCGP by examination, so if you haven’t completed it, just wait until you have.  While it’s not impossible to work in Australia without it, there are so few jobs available for such GPs, you will earn considerably less, and the registration process is prolonged and daunting in the extreme.  In short, it’s a hard road, so hang in and complete your MRCGP.

It will take six to nine months to get through the registration process.  There is no way to shortcut this unless you have previously worked in Australia.  Most find they need this period of time to get their personal affairs in order anyway, and most practices in Australia looking to employ UK GPs will forward plan up to 12 months.  So you can definitely plan to leave within a twelve month period, but probably not less than six months.

Additional training is valuable but not essential.  If you have various procedural and minor surgery skills, you will do well in Australia as most of these procedures attract a higher payment from Medicare.  But it is perfectly possible to acquire these skills while working as a GP in Australia . However only the MRCGP/CCT will assist your registration. Additional qualifications will have no impact on your application for registration

You are waiting until your child finishes the school year in the UK.  Clearly this is a personal decision, but as the Australian academic year runs from the end of January to end November, you either need to disrupt your child’s school year here in the UK or make your child enter school half way through the year in Australia.  It could be argued that it may be easier for your child to adjust to the new school if he/she joins at the beginning of the school year.

You’re going to wait until the right job comes up – because you’re not in a hurry!  Now you’re clutching at straws!  The jobs open to UK GPs have been decreasing year on year particularly in urban locations.  The areas where UK GPs can work – the District Workforce Shortage (DWS) areas – are shrinking year on year.  The registration process is about to change on 31st August making it even harder for UK GPs to get fellowship with the Australian college.  And the visas are becoming increasingly restrictive.  The right job is the job you take now!

So when is the right time to go to Australia?  Compelling personal reasons aside, if you’ve made the decision, if you’ve got your MRCGP, just make it happen – now!

Talk to us at Alecto today and you should be working as a GP in Australia within twelve months.  From our great selection of jobs in all the popular locations, we will find the right job for you and guide you through the process to take up the job in a timely way.  Contact us at info@alecto.com.au

By UK based consultant Raelene Stanley Ware

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