How to become a Medical Practitioner

Medical practitioners diagnose physical and mental illnesses, disorders and injuries, and prescribe medications and treatment to promote or restore good health.

Personal requirements of a Medical Practitioner

  • Good communication skills
  • Self-confidence
  • Able to exercise high ethical standards
  • Able to relate to people
  • Compassionate towards others
  • Enjoy working with people
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • A high degree of motivation and self-discipline

Education & Training for a Medical Practitioner

To become a medical practitioner you usually have to study medicine at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with particularly good results. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics are normally required. Some universities offer medicine as a double degree and may have additional prerequisites. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For further details, visit Entry into these courses is highly competitive and is based on a combination of academic achievement, performance on the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) and a structured interview. The UMAT is a written test that assesses non-academic personal qualities. Alternatively, you can become a medical practitioner by completing a relevant bachelor degree, followed by a postgraduate qualification in medicine. Entry into the graduate-entry courses is based on prior completion of a bachelor degree, performance in the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) and a score resulting from a semi-structured interview. Studies in behavioural, social, biological and physical sciences, and humanities are likely to enhance performance in the test, and are offered at most universities.

Additional Information
Following completion of the above courses, graduates must undertake one year of full-time employment (internship) at a recognised teaching hospital to be able to gain full registration as a medical practitioner with the Medical Board of Australia. Prior to commencing clinical placements, students will be required to undergo a National Police Check and a Working with Children Check, and provide a schedule of immunisations. It is a legal requirement for graduates to be registered with the Medical Board of Australia before being able to practise as a medical practitioner in any state or territory in Australia. For full details, visit their website. Entry to the various specialisations requires postgraduate study, experience in approved hospitals and the passing of examinations leading to membership of the appropriate professional college. Specialist training programs and examinations are administered by these colleges. Training standards for general practitioners are set by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. To become a general practitioner, you must become a fellow of the college. To become a fellow, you must complete an additional three years of general practice training following the intern year and pass an exam. Rural practice incorporates a further year of special rural skills training.
Related careers