MTAS (Moving to Australia Soon)

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Junior Doctor emigrate to Australia and New ZealandMy dream: Move to Australia. Live by the sea. Laze around in the sun. Fly my plane to a few minor medical emergencies. Retire.

It’s a well-trodden path. For the last decade or so thousands of FY2 doctors have finished their training here in the UK and headed down under to Australia or New Zealand to take a year out, experience a different culture, travel, and even settle.

But now things are changing. It’s not quite so easy. So let me tell you about my experience of moving to Australia.

Here’s the main problem. Australians. Bloody Australians. There’s too many Australian doctors – and so the need to find doctors from overseas is declining.

Ten years ago Australia had to import thousands of overseas doctors a year to meet demand. They brought them from all over the world. So, if you were a UK graduate, speaking English as your first language, then you had a pretty big advantage. They were taking hundreds of doctors from the UK.
But, they knew this was a problem. So, they were recruiting more Australians into medical school. Lots more. In 2003, there were less than 1,500 Australian medical school graduates. In 2013, there were more than 3,500.
Australian Medical School Grautes figures
Taken from The effects of medical graduate expansion in Australia The Final Report March 2012

This year, like in the UK, there are more graduates than internship placements. So some Australians are missing out. So where are they going? New Zealand that’s where! Combine this with the fact that now many New Zealanders, who previously went to Australia, now stay at home, and this makes it much more difficult to get a job there too.

But it’s not impossible. More difficult, yes. But not impossible. I’ve managed it so it can’t be that difficult. You need to be persistent. And be prepared.

Pop back in a few days for the next blog post: How to get a Job in Australia or New Zealand

Junior Doctors guide to moving to Australia and New Zealand
Part of the Moving to Australia series

Dr Tom Leach

Dr Tom Leach MBChB DCH EMCert(ACEM) FRACGP currently works as a GP and an Emergency Department CMO in Australia. He is also a Clinical Associate Lecturer at the Australian National University, and is studying for a Masters of Sports Medicine at the University of Queensland. After graduating from his medical degree at the University of Manchester in 2011, Tom completed his Foundation Training at Bolton Royal Hospital, before moving to Australia in 2013. He started almostadoctor whilst a third year medical student in 2009. Read full bio

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