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What’s Life in Australia as an IMG Like? (With real stories)


Last updated 20 May 2024

From migrating and completing the AMC (Australian Medical Council) registration to finding, securing and starting your first GP job in Australia, you’re following in the footsteps of plenty of successful International Medical Graduates (IMGs) currently living out their new lives and medical careers in Australia.         

Australia is a favourite destination for international medical students and overseas trained doctors looking for a great salary, tons of specialisation opportunities and an entirely unique lifestyle. Here we’ve collected the stories of real IMGs like you who have shared their journey online to inspire and motivate those who dream of doing the same. 

Dr Nay’s Story

In this inspiring article on Medrecruit, Dr Nay Lwin Htet describes how he and his wife both sat the Australian Medical Council (AMC) exams. She passed both and moved to Perth ahead of him, but Dr Nay was struggling to find a job with just the one exam passed. The turning point was when he was advised to sit an English Test as part of his registration requirements. With that, he was able to get a job on Limited Registration until he passed his AMC clinical exam.
 
Dr Nay did have to move away from his wife and baby to Hervey Bay in Queensland (a beautiful coastal city) for his workplace-based assessment but managed to complete his AMC journey. Now their family are living their dream of moving and working in Australia. 

Aussie Doc Freedom’s Story

Single mum of two and staff-specialist doctor, Aussie Doc Freedom (who remains anonymous), writes a personal finance blog for doctors in Australia to expand their earning potential. In a guest post on The Female Money Doctor, she describes how she left the UK to start work in Australia as an F2 and never looked back.
 
She was eligible for the competent authority pathway where UK non-specialist doctors get an easier and simpler path to register as a doctor in Australia, and recommends only taking the Specialists pathway if you plan to stay in Australia long term as it's a lengthy process.

Dr Naj’s Story

Dr Naj Soomro migrated from his home country, Pakistan, where he received his MBBS, MPH and PhD. From there he took some time to be a lecturer and researcher in Australian universities, which is how he got his permanent residency. Dr Naj then decided to get his medical licence so he could practice. After passing the AMC exams, it took him 14 months and 37 job applications to get a job, which makes a total of 3 years from starting the process to employment.
 
Dr Naj now works in Victoria (near Melbourne) in a hospital’s Emergency Department while also trying to provide guidance to other IMGs wherever possible.
 
Follow along with Dr Naj’s journey on his YouTube: Outback Doctor.

Dr Noty’s Story

Dr Noty originally did his primary medical degree and internship in the Philippines before deciding to move to Australia where his partner was at the time. He completed his AMC exams through the Standard Pathway in 6 months, which was easier since he’d recently graduated medical school. He identified his weakness as a lack of experience with only his internship in the Philippines for a few months so worked on other factors to increase his employability, such as his English language skills, CV presentation and interview preparation. 
 
It took him 6 months and 5 interviews to find a job in the rehab department of a hospital in Northern New South Wales, Australia. This is actually quick, relatively speaking.
 
Watch the full interview on the Career Doctor.

Dr Lucia’s Story

Dr Lucia is a Welsh GP living in Sydney. She moved for the famed work-life balance and personal growth opportunities of moving to a new country. The practice Dr Lucia works at is in a DWS (District of Workforce Shortage) area, which is a 45 min-1 hour commute from the city proving that you can still live in major cities despite the 10-year moratorium. At her particular practice, she’s treated like a salaried GP but without perks like holiday pay, and contracted to 40 hours a week. Time management is a lot more flexible: she chooses her own timings for appointments and can block off periods of time for breaks.
 
Dr Lucia explains how the first few months of working as a GP in Australia pays less than what she got as a UK doctor. This is because Australian GPs have to develop their own patient base since patients get to choose where they go. She was able to start building hers after around 5 months at her practice and her salary is expected to increase from there. One of the biggest advantages, she explains, is being able to have far more variety, especially in doing minor procedures, rather than just exclusively doing consultations.
 
Follow along with Dr Lucia’s journey on her YouTube: Today With Dr Lucia.
 
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