Career Guidance Matrix for OTDs

As an Overseas Trained Doctor there are a range of opportunities available to you to gain experience, skills and gather information that can help pave your way to a career in General Practice. This page provides a brief overview of some of these opportunities.

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Medical Registration

All doctors and medical students seeking to practice medicine in Australia must be registered with the Medical Board. For information about the types of medical registration and application process please visit

As an International medical graduate (IMGs) seeking registration to practice medicine in Australia you must provide evidence of your eligibility to undertake either the Competent Authority pathway, Standard pathway or Specialist pathway assessments. To find out the suitable registration pathway visit

Doctors subject to section 19AB applying for the AGPT program are required to be eligible to gain General Registration by the time they would commence onto the program –

19AA of the Health Insurance Act

All medical practitioners who do not hold Fellowship of a specialist medical college that’s recognised in Australia and are Australian permanent residents or Australian citizens are subject to the restrictions of section 19AA of the Act.

In order to access Medicare benefits medical practitioners subject to 19AA of the Health Insurance Act must be participating in an approved training or workforce program under section 3GA of the Act.

Relevant approved programs under section 3GA of the Act

  • Rural Locum Relief Program
  • Remote Vocational Training Program
  • Approved Medical Deputising Service Program –
  • Australian General Practice Training Program

For more information including the full list of approved programs under section 3GA of the Act visit

19AB of the Health Insurance Act

Section 19AB of the Act applies to Overseas Trained Doctors (OTDs) and Foreign Graduates of Accredited Medical Schools (FGAMS). Section 19AB restricts their access to Medicare provider numbers and requires them to work in a district of workforce shortage (DWS) in order to access Medicare benefits arrangements.

OTDs and FGAMS who are subject to section 19AB are generally required to work in a DWS for a minimum period of 10 years (referred to as the 10 year moratorium requirement) from the date of their first medical registration.

Doctors subject to section 19AB applying for the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program are required to train on the rural pathway unless they have a letter of exemption from the Minister of Health. To enquire about an exemption email


There are many sources of employment information for OTDs in Australia. The Department of Health website doctorconnect has a number of suggestions and contact information, although this list is by no means exhaustive.

Hospital positions

Rural General Practice

Rural Health West
08 6389 4500

Australian General Practice Training

The Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program is a government funded vocational training program for medical graduates and overseas trained doctors with little or no general practice experience wishing to pursue a career as a general practitioner.

Three to four years in duration, the program is delivered in WA by the Regional Training Providers (RTP) WAGPET. Covering the whole state, WAGPET offers training opportunities in metropolitan, rural and remote locations.

Remote Vocational Training Scheme

The Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) is a government funded vocational training program for medical practitioners in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and remote and isolated communities throughout Australia.

The training provided meets the requirements for Fellowship of both ACRRM and RACGP and by extension, Vocational Recognition with Medicare Australia.

RVTS supervises and supports its registrars via distance education and remote supervision, allowing them to practice independently in any location throughout Australia. The four year program allows doctors to access vocational training while they continue to provide general medical services to their community.

Independent Pathway

ACRRM’s Independent Pathway is a full-fee vocational training program best suited to experienced doctors who prefer self-directed learning and flexibility. Training requirements are set according to individual needs following assessment of prior learning and experience through the recognition of prior learning (RPL) process.

Specialist pathway

As of the 1 July 2014 overseas trained doctors who wish to work in general practice in Australia and are recognised as specialists in their country of origin can apply directly to either college (ACRRM/RACGP) for an assessment of their comparability to an Australian trained specialist in the specialty, rather than applying through the Australian Medical Council (AMC).

Once SPP candidates have been admitted to Fellowship, they are entitled to apply for entry on the Fellows list. This gives doctors the right to deliver general practice unsupervised to the Australian community and access the higher rebates under Medicare, the national health insurance scheme.

Practice Eligibility Pathway

RACGP’s General Practice Experience (Practice Eligible) pathway enables overseas trained doctors with significant general practice experience gain Fellowship without having to do specialist general practice training (vocational training) in Australia.

In order to be eligible to enrol in RACGP Fellowship assessments via the General Practice Experience (Practice Eligible) pathway you are required to have completed 4 years full time (or its part time equivalent) in general practice, 1 year of which must have been undertaken in Australia.

Additional Assistance Exam Support Scheme

The Additional Assistance Exam Support Scheme provides education and support to doctors who are on the Five Year Overseas Trained Doctors (OTDs) Scheme and members of the Rural Locum Relief Program (RLRP).

The aim of the program is to assist doctors to attain Fellowship of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) or Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM) within two years of commencement on the Five Year OTD Scheme or four years on the Rural Locum Relief Program (RLRP).

Please note that this program only applicable for doctors already practicing in rural WA. If you are interested in working in Australia, please visit the recruitment pages.



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