Hospital non-specialists

A hospital non-specialist is a doctor with no postgraduate qualifications, who receives a government salary for the delivery of non-specialist healthcare services in a public hospital to public patients.
Hospital non-specialists have no right to private practice within the public hospital system.

Employment conditions

Employment conditions for hospital non-specialists are determined by individual hospitals. There’s a general uniformity in terms of salary and conditions, and Overseas Trained Doctors (OTDs) are paid at the same rates as Australian trained doctors.

Public hospital positions

The type of public hospital positions available to an OTD include:
  • Internships (typically the one year of supervised training required by the Medical Board of Australia to achieve general registration) – These positions are primarily intended for graduates of Australian medical schools. The demand for internship positions is extremely high and there is significant competition for them.
  • Resident Medical Officers (RMOs)/Hospital Medical Officers (HMOs) – These are generally doctors in their second or third year of prevocational training.
  • Registrars (specialists-in-training).
  • Postgraduate trainees


Working in the public hospital system can give you the opportunity to work in Australia while fulfilling any further training or bridging courses you need:
    • to pass the Australian Medical Council exams
    • to complete the 12 months of supervised clinical practice required as part of the Australian medical registration process
    • or even just to provide training opportunities in various specialties.
Some Australian hospitals may be able to help OTDs with relocation expenses and provide temporary accommodation when you arrive. Check with your hospital for more information once your job is confirmed.

Medicare provider number

You need a Medicare provider number to:
    • make referrals to specialist services
    • request pathology or diagnostic imaging services
    • prescribe medications
but these activities are not affected by Medicare provider number restrictions.

Medicare provider number restrictions
Medicare provider number application form