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About Postgraduate Medical Training

About Postgraduate Medical Training

Postgraduate medical training refers to the years of medical training that are undertaken after successful completion of a university (undergraduate) medical degree.

Postgraduate medical training is split into two stages:

  • Prevocational Training – refers to the first two to three years after graduation and covers Internship in the first postgraduate year (PGY1) and Residency in the second postgraduate year (PGY2). Medical graduates must be granted provisional registration with the Medical Board of Australia to undertake Intern training. After successful completion of their Internship, doctors are eligible to apply for general registration and continue their training as a Resident. Residents complete clinical rotations to gain broader clinical experience across various medical specialties. Many Residents then seek to undertake further training in a particular medical specialty which requires them to apply and be accepted into a specialist vocational training program by a specialist medical college. Some Residents elect to take up Medical Officer positions rather than go on to vocational training.
  • Vocational (or Specialist) Training – refers to the training that is undertaken once a Resident has been accepted into a vocational training program with one of the specialist medical colleges. This training is undertaken as a Registrar and the training programs vary in length from three to seven years full time equivalent. There is no single-entry point to vocational training – most training programs can start in either the second or third postgraduate year, but not all Registrars start training at the earliest opportunity. On successful completion of all the relevant College requirements, Registrars obtain a Fellowship qualification in their chosen specialty and are recognised as fully qualified Specialist Medical Practitioners or Consultants.

This generic training pathway is illustrated below.