Recognition of medical specialties from 2002


In 2002 in response to an invitation from the Commonwealth Minister for Health and Ageing, the Australian Medical Council (AMC) took on the responsibility for advising the Minister on which disciplines of medical practice should be recognised as medical specialties in Australia. The decision to recognise a medical specialty rested with the Commonwealth Minister for Health and Ageing.

To facilitate its advice to the Minister, the AMC managed a two-stage process that assessed applications for recognition against specific criteria and standards. As a first step applicants were required to demonstrate a prima facie case for recognition before being invited to lodge a full application.

Stage 1 of the recognition process was overseen by the AMC’s Recognition of Medical Specialties Advisory Committee. Applications for recognition were assessed against recognition criteria as detailed in the Recognition of Medical Specialties Policy and Process documents, 2002 and revised in 2007.

Start 2 of the recognition process was the accreditation assessment of the specialist medical education and training program. The Australian Medical Council undertakes accreditation of specialist medical education programs process on behalf of the Medical Board of Australia.

Recognition as a specialty required successful completion of both stages of the process, and on the Minister having made a decision to recognise a specialty.

Between 2002 and 2007, the AMC provided advice to the Minister for Health and Ageing on six separate applications for the recognition of a medical specialty.

Completed Stage 1 applications

The Minister for Health and Ageing recognised that a case had been made for the recognition of the following fields as medical specialties:

The Minister concluded that no case had been made for rural and remote medicine (2005).