Changes to the specialist pathway for International Medical Graduates
(Effective from 1 July 2014)
The Medical Board of Australia (the Board) is making changes to the specialist pathway for international medical graduates (IMGs) recognised as specialists in their country of origin. The changes are aimed at streamlining the assessment process for IMGs. The specialist pathway includes specialist recognition (comparability assessment) and assessment for suitability for an Area of Need position.
Under the changes, instead of submitting an application form to the Australian Medical Council (AMC), the IMG will apply directly to the relevant specialist medical college on a college specific application form (which will be available on each college website).
The specialist medical college dealing with the assessment will contact the IMG directly to advise the outcome of the assessment.
The AMC will continue to undertake primary source verification of an IMG’s qualifications through the ECFMG International Credentials Services (EICS). Applicants applying via the specialist pathway will be required to lodge an application for primary source verification with the AMC, prior to submitting their application to the relevant college.
The changes commence on 1 July 2014.
Any new applications sent to the AMC after 1 July 2014 will be returned to the applicant to re-submit directly to the relevant specialist medical college using the college application form.
Further information will be available on this website in the coming months.
The Specialist pathway is open to:
- Overseas trained specialists whose qualifications have been partially recognised by an Australian/Australasian specialist college
- Overseas trained specialists seeking work as an Area of Need specialist
- Overseas trained specialists and specialists-in-training who wish to undertake training in Australia for a limited period (for example, one year)
Applicants for the Specialist pathway are not required to sit the AMC MCQ examination.
Assessment requirement for entitlement to apply for specialist registration
Applicants must have been assessed by an AMC accredited specialist college.
More information about the Specialist pathway can be found at the AMC’s website at www.amc.org.au.
Typical registration types
Limited registration categories and type of positions that medical practitioners in the Specialist pathway can apply for are:
- General Practice position
Limited registration for area of need - if working in an area of need general practice role.
Applicants must have been accepted into the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) or Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) specialist pathway.
More information about the RACGP specialist pathway can be found at www.racgp.org.au.
- Area of need specialist position
Limited registration for area of need - if working in an area of need specialist role.
More information about the ACRRM specialist pathway can be found at www.acrrm.org.au.
More information about the area of need specialist pathway can be found on the AMC’s website at www.amc.org.au.
- Partially recognised overseas trained specialist working towards full College recognition
Limited registration for postgraduate training or supervised practice - if supervised practice is required for full recognition.
Limited registration for area of need - if working in an area of need specialist role where assessment with peer review is required for the purpose of full recognition as a specialist.
- Hospital based position
Limited registration for postgraduate training or supervised practice - if working in a hospital-based supervised practice position (including Fellows).
Access to specialist registration via the specialist pathway
Access to Specialist Registration is based on assessment of specialist qualifications by the AMC and the applicable AMC-accredited Specialist College.
IMGs who have been admitted as Fellows of an AMC approved Australian/Australasian Specialist College, or who have been advised by the AMC that they are eligible for registration as a specialist, can apply for specialist registration.
For more information about the Specialist pathway go to the AMC’s website at www.amc.org.au.
The list of specialties that has been approved by the Ministerial Council are available under Specialties and Specialty Fields.