Training and education

Training and education has a vital and ongoing role for the medical profession, whether it’s to help in gaining recognition, registration or Fellowship, or as part of ongoing professional development. This page outlines some of the training options available to Overseas Trained Doctors (OTDs).

Bridging courses

Bridging courses are short courses that aim to help OTDs in Australia complete the Australian Medical Council (AMC) examinations.

There are 2 types of bridging course: one prepares candidates for the AMC Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) examination, and the other is aimed at candidates for the AMC clinical examination.

Courses generally run for about 10 to 26 weeks.

Note: FEE-HELP is a loan scheme for participants in the AMC bridging course program. It’s available to eligible permanent resident doctors and covers the fees for bridging courses.


Organisations offering bridging courses

A list of bridging course providers can be found on the AMC website.

Cultural awareness training

It’s important that OTDs familiarise themselves with the Australian healthcare system, cultural values and style of communication.

Cultural awareness training - resources

Australian Indigenous Health InfoNet
An excellent source of Aboriginal health information, covering cultural, historical, social, economic and physical environment issues. Includes:
    • online medical and technical dictionaries
    • a list of formal training courses
    • links to other websites with valuable Aboriginal cultural information.

ABC Health & Wellbeing
An excellent source of information on current Australian health issues, news and stories in both national and regional contexts. Aimed at the general public.

Australian medical expressions

GP Fellowship Programs

Changes to General Practice Training commencing 1 January 2019

The existing GP training programs are changing. From 1 January 2019 two new GP training pathways to Fellowship are being introduced:
The General Practice Fellowship Programs Fact Sheet describes changes to general practice (GP) training.

Postgraduate training

Prevocational training

Usually undertaken in a public hospital and can include training across the training continuum from intern to specialist training.

Vocational training

Vocational training programs are run by the AMC accredited Australian/Australasian specialist medical colleges (including the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners) and take between 3 and 7 years to complete.

Successful completion of this training leads to eligibility for recognition by the relevant College, which in turn enables OTDs to apply to the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) for registration to practise independently as a specialist in Australia.

Contact the relevant Australian/Australasian specialist medical college for more information on vocational training programs, or ask your employer for advice.