Australia is looking for rural doctors

Did you know that Canadian and New Zealand doctors are now being sought to work in regional and rural Australia? It’s true.

A new agreement will let some Canadian and New Zealand doctors work in Australia without supervision if they have relevant qualifications and rural and remote medical experience. Normally, an overseas-trained doctor would require to undergo one year of supervised work, but this new pathway will eliminate this requirement.

JCU School of Medicine
JCU is the hub of rural and remote medicine

This is a reflection on the need for doctors in Australia with expertise in Aboriginal health.

President of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM)—and JCU Medical School Dean and Head of School—Richard Murray has signed a mutual recognition agreement with the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

“The engagement between rural doctors in Canada and Australia is warm and continues to strengthen,” he said.

The agreement will give its fellowship qualification reciprocal recognition in Canada. According to ACRRM, the draft MoU with Canada proposes that the Primary Qualifications of ACRRM and the College of Family Physicians of Canada (Fellowship and Certification, respectively) be recognized as equivalent qualifications. As a consequence, current holders of a FACRRM would qualify for “all the privileges and responsibilities of Certification with the CFPC.”

Similarly, a CFPC certified practitioner with appropriate rural experience would be entitled to apply for Fellowship of ACRRM.

Professor Murray said that the opportunities this creates for Australian and Canadian practitioners to gain experience in each other’s countries could only benefit the quality and depth of rural medical services.

“Working in unfamiliar environments sharpens people powers of observation and stimulates their curiosity,” says Professor Murray. “Like cultural, business, and sporting exchanges, the exchange of rural generalist-orientated practitioners between Australia and Canada would pay dividends over the long-term.”

About James Cook University Medical School

James Cook University’s medical school specializes in rural and remote medicine. The JCU program has a unique place among Australian medical schools. The course is undertaken entirely in northern Australia and has an emphasis on tropical medicine, the health of rural and remote communities, and of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders. The JCU medical program is informed by a concern for social justice, innovation and excellence in medical education, research and service.

Medical students at JCU gain early experience in the tropical health care context and benefit from extensive clinical experience and a full course of medical education and training. The program attracts students, staff and clinicians with an ambition to make a difference, whatever their background, specialty or career direction.

James Cook University’s medical school offers a six-year, full-time undergraduate degree in medicine and surgery, the Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). This medical program aims to produce graduates of the highest academic standards, who can progress to medical practice and to further studies in medical specialties. As mentioned above, the course places special emphasis on rural and Indigenous health and tropical medicine. If you are interested in global health, and the health people in rural and remote places, JCU medicine may be a great fit for you!


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