You are known as a specialist if you have completed your training to practise a particular branch of medicine, and you are known as a registrar if you are a doctor training to become a specialist. Specialist training allows you to work in either a specialty practice or a specific part of the health system.
Specialist training programs in Australia are governed by medical colleges and vary considerably in length and the type of hours you are likely to work. There is a lot of competition to get a place in most training programs. The application and entry procedure is typically a combination of an interview, supervisor’s reports of previous training, any previous relevant work experience and relevant qualifications. Some medical colleges reserve and offer Indigenous specific training places.
For example, if you want to work with children you might choose to do paediatrics and work in a children’s hospital or a paediatric clinic. Maybe you want to help people who are in accidents, or require a transplant and choose to be a surgeon. Perhaps you are more interested in what makes people in your community sick and choose a research specialty such as public health. The exception to the rule of specialty training is general practice. It is a recognised specialty, however by its nature it is very general in the type of work you do. Most doctors you visit, for example your family doctor, are general practitioners.
Specialist medical colleges
- Australasian College of Dermatologists
- Australasian College for Emergency Medicine
- Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine
- Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians
- College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand
- Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
- Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators
- The Royal Australasian College of Physicians
- Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
- Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists
- Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia