The Australian Medical Council is an organisation whose work impacts across the lands of Australia and New Zealand.
The Australian Medical Council acknowledges the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples as the original Australians and the Māori People as the tangata whenua (Indigenous) Peoples of Aotearoa (New Zealand). We recognise them as the traditional custodians of knowledge for these lands.
We pay our respects to them and to their Elders, both past, present and emerging, and we recognise their enduring connection to the lands we live and work on, and honour their ongoing connection to those lands, its waters and sky.
International medical graduates play a critical role in the health care of Australian communities and make important contributions across a range of areas including as doctors, health service leaders, researchers, teachers and supervisors of other health professionals. International medical graduates bring skills, knowledge and a diversity of experience that adds value to the communities they serve.
We know that many international medical graduates who are wanting to practice medicine in Australia find the process complex, at times bureaucratic, time consuming, uncertain, expensive and stressful.
A difficult pathway to practise in Australia slows the entry of needed medical practitioners. The perception of a difficult pathway leads international medical graduates to go to other countries where assessment systems, registration and migration may be perceived as less burdensome.
By working with partners and stakeholders, and listening to international medical graduates, we are moving forward with initiatives to improve assessment pathways and support for international medical graduates undertaking assessment in Australia. By doing so, we will help to build a strong and responsive medical workforce that can practice safely, including in culturally safe ways, in Australian healthcare settings.
The outcomes of our work will help to inform policy development linked to the National Medical Workforce Strategy. Many of the initiatives that we are working on have direct relevance to the Independent review of overseas health practitioner regulatory settings (the Kruk Review).
High impact initiatives to address barriers and support international medical graduates’ journeys
We have engaged with stakeholders and partners to identify 23 initiatives to address barriers and support international medical graduates’ journeys. The initiatives have been grouped into five themes.
Recognising that the ecosystem in which international medical graduates practice is complex and involves many stakeholders, the initiatives have been categorised according to those that the AMC will lead, those that will require partnership and collaboration with other agencies, and those that the AMC can support.
Lead activities are within the remit of the AMC and can be completed relatively independently within AMC budget; Partner activities are those that the AMC will seek partners and joint funding; Support activities are those that other sectors would lead and fund and the AMC would support.
We conducted a survey to better understand the pathways and experiences of international medical graduates who are, or have, navigated assessment pathways and entry into the Australian medical workforce. More than 4000 international medical graduates have shared their experiences with us.
We asked international medical graduates about what has helped them on their path to practising medicine in Australia, what have been some of the challenges or obstacles and what would improve their journeys.
Download a broad snapshot of what international medical graduates shared with us. Note that the snapshot includes quantitative data drawn from the responses to the survey and does not represent all international medical graduates who wish to, or are practising medicine in Australia.
We are conducting focus groups and interviews with international medical graduates, supervisors, health services, education providers and other health industry stakeholders. The stories shared in these sessions and the survey will help inform the development of personas and journey maps.
The personas and journey maps will provide a much richer understanding of the lived experiences of international medical graduates as they navigate the pathways to working as a medical practitioner in Australia. This will allow responses that reflect the diversity of international medical graduates and their experiences.
This work is being led by a Project Advisory Group that includes a wide range of stakeholders with broad and deep experience in the assessment, supervision training, support, registration and employment of international medical graduates, and a passion for sharing their knowledge to improve the system.