Training and working as a doctor in the NSW public health system

Progressing your career as a medical graduate

There are seven accredited medical schools in NSW where you can complete your medical degree. It is then necessary to complete a 12 month internship in order to gain general registration with the Medical Board of Australia.

If you wish to specialise, you will need to undertake postgraduate training in general practice or another medical specialty through an accredited medical college training program. The requirements for entering a training program vary by specialty. However, the earliest you may start your training is in your second or third postgraduate year.

Once you are accepted onto a training program, NSW Health offers training positions in all the accredited medical specialities. You will also have the opportunity to train in rural, regional and metropolitan hospitals in NSW.

Training positions in NSW Health.

Postgraduate training involves being accepted onto a college training program and securing employment in a training position. In NSW, junior (non-specialist) doctors are employed as:

Interns: a first year doctor working under supervision to obtain general registration.

Residents: a doctor who has obtained general registration and who works in a hospital under the supervision of a specialist.

Registrars: a doctor with at least three years’ experience in a public hospital, who supervises more junior doctors and is training to become a specialist.

Other medical positions in NSW Health

Once you have completed your specialist training, or you have chosen not to specialise, there are a number of positions within NSW Health, including:

Career medical officer: a hospital non-specialist doctor who may work in a variety of clinical settings in a hospital. A Career Medical Officer may practice in a variety of medical specialties including emergency medicine, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynaecology, intensive care and rehabilitation medicine.

Staff specialists: a doctor who has finished their training in one of the medical specialties and has obtained employment as a specialist doctor. Staff specialists can be employed on a full-time or part-time basis, and can also see private patients within the terms of their employment arrangements.

Visiting medical officer: a doctor who has finished their training in one of the medical specialties and is engaged under a contract to provide services in a public hospital to public patients (rather than being an employee). Visiting medical officers will generally also have a private practice and the ability to admit their private patients to the hospital where they are engaged.

More information

If you are interested in a rewarding career with NSW Health visit:

NSW Health
NSW Health: Junior Medical Officer Recruitment
NSW Health Jobs
Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) for intern recruitment
University Admissions Centre (UAC) - Undergraduates
University Admissions Centre (UAC) - Postgraduates