So you want to be an Aussie doctor?
Do you fancy working overseas as a doctor? Staff shortages, good working conditions, and a high quality healthcare system, and an outstanding quality of life and standard of living make Australia a tempting prospect. Stephanie Gapper investigates what it takes to set up as a doctor down under
On a dark, cold December evening, when you've been at work all day and there's no prospect of going home any time soon, and you don't really feel like going outside because it's pouring with rain and you'll have to wait ages for a bus, is it any wonder that the land down under suddenly seems irresistible?
It has certainly proved so to many UK medical graduates. In 2002-03, 476 UK doctors went to work in Australia on a temporary visa, and 251 as occupational trainees, far outnumbering medical migrants from any other country.1 At first glance it's not hard to see why. Australia seems to have struck a good balance between public healthcare funding (via Medicare, Australia's equivalent of the NHS) and private healthcare provision, with the result that many hospitals and surgeries are better equipped and staffed than those run by the NHS. Working conditions, although extremely professional,