Question: What If I Have Special Circumstances Which Make It Hard For Me To Work In Certain Places?
Answer. All States and Territories Have processes for considering special circumstances. Some of the types of circumstances that are generally approved are: where you may have certain health conditions that mean you need to be close to certain hospitals or specialists; where you have dependents, such as young children, and are unable to relocate due to care arrangements; and where you and your partner want to work as doctors in the same location.
Generally requests to stay in certain locations, for reasons such as work commitments of partners or needs of school aged children are not granted.
Question: I Have Received My Intern Offer. But I Would Like to Defer It. Is This Possible?
Answer. This will partly depend on how long you wish to defer for.
If you just wish to defer for a a few months. Once you have your offer and are in discussions with your new employer make enquiries. It may be possible to negotiate a later start with your employer. Most employers will generally prefer that you start on time, so that you are not out of sync with your colleagues. But there might be some advantage for the employer in you attending orientation but then starting a bit later as it will probably help them to fill out roster gaps.
On the other hand. If you wish to defer for a complete year. Then you will need to check the policy of the State or Territory that has provided you an Intern offer. In some cases (for example Victoria) you will be permitted to defer and your place will be held for you the following year. In most other cases you will need to reapply the following year and check whether your priority status has altered. In most cases you have the same priority status.
Also bear in mind that it is unclear how long you can defer commencing your internship. However, the Medical Board of Australia expects that once you have commenced your internship you will have completed this process within 3 years.
Question: I Am a Doctor With a Medical Degree From Outside Of Australia. Can I Apply For Internship?
Answer. Unless you obtained your medical degree from a New Zealand Medical School. Then the brief answer to this question is no.
I would love to stop there. And I really think you should as well. But there are rare circumstances where you may be able to obtain an internship with a medical degree from outside of Australia. But the Medical Board of Australia strongly advises against this option and so do I. For good reasons. Firstly the whole Australian medical internship system is designed to ensure that Australian medical graduates are able to undertake an internship. Not for overseas graduates. Secondly (and as a result of the first point) it is very rare to be offered the chance.
Some States and Territories will not even consider an application from an IMG for internship. Others will only do so in limited circumstances, for example, the Northern Territory will accept applications from IMGs who may have done a medical student elective or clinical observership in the Northern Territory and who have experience in rural, remote and indigenous health locations. But even then these applicants are at the bottom of the priority list for obtaining an internship. South Australia will accept applications. But again you are bottom of the list. Queensland will also accept applicants, but only if you have never worked as a doctor. And again you are bottom of the list.
A final note on this question is that the majority of IMGs who do obtain a medical internship position each year in Australia generally have Australian citizenship or permanent residency.
Question: I Have Heard That Some Graduates Miss Out On Internship. Is This True?
Answer. Whilst it is theoretically a possibility that some medical graduates miss out on Internship according to information provided by HETI for the most recent year of intern applications no-one was actually left at the end of the process without an offer.
Only Australian citizens and permanent residents are guaranteed an intern position under the COAG agreement. However, there are generally enough intern positions available for those students who have come to Australia to study medicine and the Commonwealth Private Hospital program offers additional spaces for those that may miss out.
That being said. It is also clear that many graduates choose to drop out of the application process themselves. So not everyone who applies gets an offer. The assumption is that some graduates take up similar intern opportunities in other countries upon graduation.
(Disclaimer: all information here has been sourced in good faith but things do change so you should always do your own due diligence in such matters, we are providing this information to aid you in your application but take no responsibility for any outcomes)
We’d welcome feedback from any Intern programs in relation to the accuracy of the above information.