How to Become a GP in Australia

How to Become a GP in Australia 2017-06-04T12:37:45+00:00

Thinking of a career in medicine?

You often start thinking about your career and life goals during the formative years of high school. It may sound early, but even in high school you can start preparing for a role, or multiple roles, in any industry.

If you have a medical career in mind, you don’t have to decide on a specialty yet. But there are a few things you can start thinking about to set you on the right path.   This guide will you help you figure out exactly how to become a GP in Australia.

Firstly, where do you want to study? There are medical schools in every Australian state and territory. Rules and procedures for enrolment depend on the university. Some universities offer undergraduate degrees in medicine, while others only offer postgraduate Doctor of Medicine degrees.  The entry requirements for these will vary, but generally undergraduate medical programs will consider applicants’ Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) and Undergraduate Medical Admissions Test (UMAT) score.

A typical Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) will take four to six years to complete. You will then enter a medical specialty (such as general practice), and this postgraduate study will take an additional three to five years.

Don’t worry if you don’t immediately get into your first-choice university. You have options. For example, you can complete a different degree and reapply to medical school as a postgraduate.

Explainer: A career in general practice


For more information on the GP Training Program visit this page on GPTQs website.

Explainer: How do I apply for GP training with a 457 visa?


For further details on 457 visa applications visit this page on GPTQs website.

Paths for non-medical undergraduate students

There are many paths into medicine for those currently enrolled in undergraduate study.  You can either transfer into undergraduate medicine, or complete your degree and apply for postgraduate medicine. While those studying medical science or nursing may have an easier time entering medicine than those studying arts, for example, medicine is open to all of those who have the passion and talent.

The process for transferring or switching degrees differs at each university. It is recommended you speak to an academic advisor at the medical school you wish to apply to for advice.

Once you are studying medicine you can then consider which specialty is right for you.

Paths for medical students

You’ve decided to pursue a career in medicine. Perhaps you’ve had your heart set on working in general practice from the beginning, or you may still be making up your mind. Regardless, you’ll start to gain opportunities to experience the various specialties during your time as a student of medicine.

You’ll be able to work in various hospitals and with different teams and supervisors. It’s important that you spend this time wisely; keep in the back of your mind any goals you have about your future profession and the lifestyle you want to maintain.

Read up on making the most of your rotations, the different specialties and why being a GP might be the right decision for you. Read more about life as a GP.

If you’ve decided that you want to be a general practitioner you can look into gaining a GP placement or joining a student association related to general practice.