Specialist Pathway

Specialist medical training and practice in Australia arose from the model of postgraduate advanced clinical training developed in the United Kingdom. National specialist medical colleges set the standards of training and coordinate the training, education and examination of medical specialists in Australia. The areas of medical practice assessed by the specialist colleges in Australia are set out in.

The areas of approved medical specialties are listed in the AMC List of Australian Recognised Medical Specialties. The list includes those organisations, specialties and qualifications that are recognised and approved by the Australian Minister for Health and Ageing.

The table and the AMC list differ, as the areas of medical practice assessed by specialist medical colleges includes emerging areas yet to be approved as new medical specialties.

Applicants for specialist assessment are expected to have satisfied all the training and examination requirements to practise in their field of specialty in their country of training. The standard applied to the assessment of overseas-trained specialists is the standard required for admission to the relevant specialist medical college as a Fellow. Since January 2009, applicants have been required to also demonstrate evidence of English Language Proficiency prior to assessment by the relevant specialist medical college. Where components of the college's examination and assessment procedures are applied, they are the same as, or derived from, those that apply to local specialist trainees.

The AMC has received advice from the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RANZCOG), advising that if an applicant's specialist training was completed in Malaysia the applicant will need to include in their application a 'Gazetted' letter confirming the date they were recognised as a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology in Malaysia.

The AMC has received advice from the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA), advising that Sri Lankan applicants must have completed their specialist training and examinations plus two years further experience in either the United Kingdom or Australia to be considered as an independent specialist in Sri Lanka. As an applicant must be recognised as an independent specialist in their country of training, any Sri Lankan applicants seeking assessment through ANZCA must meet this requirement to be eligible.

Area of Need Specialist Pathway

From June 2002, arrangements have been introduced to fast-track the processing of applications from overseas-trained specialists, whose primary medical qualifications are not recognised in Australia, for assessment for Area of Need specialist positions.

The documentation requirements and arrangements for processing Area of Need Specialist Pathway applications are broadly similar to those for applications through the Standard AMC/Specialist Pathway for overseas-trained specialists. However, there are some differences because of the need to process Area of Need Specialist Pathway applications rapidly and in parallel with the assessing college.

If you are considering applying for the AMC Area of Need Specialist Pathway, you should note carefully the requirements and the steps involved.

Before your application can be processed, you must have been selected by an employer as suitable for consideration for appointment to a designated area of need specialist position.

Details of the position must be provided on the application to determine eligibility to be assessed for appointment as an area of need specialist form at the time the employer lodges the required documentation on your behalf.