Starting a career in the medical industry: The different types of specialist colleges in Australia.
Overview of the medical industry and workforce:
Thinking about starting a career in the medical industry, but not sure which field you would like to specialise in?
The medical and healthcare industry is one of Australia’s fastest-growing industries. In 2021 there were over 1.8 million people employed within this industry and is projected to grow to over 2.0 million people by 2025 (aisc.net.au). According to health.gov.au, the Health and Medical industries in Australia accounts for 14% of the Australian workforce, with over 125,000 medical specialists/practitioners registered in Australia in 2021 as opposed to circa 92,000 in 2012 which represents a 35.87% increase.
According to Medical Deans Student Statistic Report 2021, there were 3,656 medical graduates from Australian medical schools at the end of 2020, with 83.9% being domestic students. Since the early 2000’s there has been a significant increase in the number of commencing and graduating medical students as shown in the graph below:
Source: Health Workforce Australia – August 2014
It is important to understand there are numerous groups involved in the training pathway from universities to specialist colleges, to public and private hospitals and private practices. This training can often take a long time. According to the Health Workforce Australia (Gov), it can often take up to 12 years of university education/medical school, postgraduate and specialty training before a student becomes a medical specialist in a certain field.
Different types of specialist colleges in Australia recognised by the Australian Medical Council:
It can often be a daunting task when having to decide if you want to specialise in a particular field within the medical industry. There are a number of specialist medical colleges that are assessed and accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC). From 1 July 2010, the health practitioner regulation national law act 2009 makes the accreditation of specialist training programs an element of the process for approval of programs for the purpose of specialist registration. There are a number of specialist medical colleges that are recognised by the Australian Medical Council (AMC), these include:
- Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP) - https://www.acsep.org.au/
The ACSEP is the pre-eminent professional body representing Sport and Exercise Physicians and Sport and Exercise Medicine in Australasia. The ACSEP is dedicated to providing a robust training experience for its Registrars whilst advancing the skills of its members through evidence-based practice.
- Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) - https://acem.org.au/
ACEM is the not-for-profit organisation responsible for training emergency physicians and the advancement of professional standards in emergency medicine in Australia and New Zealand.
- Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) - https://www.acrrm.org.au/
The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) is accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) for setting professional medical standards for training, assessment, certification and continuing professional development in the specialty of general practice.
We are the only College in Australia dedicated to rural and remote medicine, and we play an important role in supporting junior doctors and medical students considering a career as a Rural Generalist.
- Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD) - https://www.dermcoll.edu.au/
The ACD is the peak medical college accredited by the Australian Medical Council for the training and professional development of medical practitioners in the specialty of dermatology.
The Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD) is the only organisation accredited to train and assess dermatologists in Australia.
- Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) - https://www.anzca.edu.au/
The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) is one of the largest specialist medical colleges in Australia and New Zealand, and the region's foremost authority on anaesthesia, pain medicine and perioperative medicine.
We're responsible for training, assessing, and setting standards for all specialist anaesthetists and specialist pain medicine physicians wishing to practice in Australia and New Zealand.
- College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (CICM) - https://www.cicm.org.au/Home
The College of Intensive Care Medicine is the body responsible for intensive care medicine specialist training and education in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.
- Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (RACDS) - https://racds.org/
The Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons (RACDS) is a postgraduate professional education body established in 1965 to provide a broad range of activities to enhance the professional development of both general and specialist dentists through individually actioned studies and examinations leading to Membership or Fellowship of the College. RACDS provides ongoing professional development, mentoring and networking opportunities to its thousand of candidates, Fellows and Members.
- Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) - https://www.racgp.org.au/
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is the professional body for general practitioners in Australia. The RACGP is responsible for maintaining standards for quality clinical practice, education and training, and research in Australian general practice.
- Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) - https://racma.edu.au/
The Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) is a specialist medical college that provides education, training, knowledge and advice in medical management. Recognised by the Australian and New Zealand Medical Councils, it delivers programs to medical managers and other medical practitioners who are training for or occupying Specialist Leadership or Administration positions. It is the only recognised way you can become a Fellow in the Speciality of Medical Administration.
- Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) - https://www.racp.edu.au/
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians is a not-for-profit professional organisation responsible for training and educating physicians and trainee physicians in Australia and New Zealand.
- Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) - https://www.surgeons.org/en
RACS is the leading advocate for surgical standards, professionalism and surgical education in Australia and New Zealand. RACS promotes, teaches and assesses standards across nine surgical specialties in Australia and New Zealand: Cardiothoracic surgery, General surgery, Neurosurgery, Orthopaedic surgery, Otolaryngology Head-and-Neck surgery, Paediatric surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive surgery, Urology and Vascular surgery.
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) - https://ranzco.edu/
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) is the medical college responsible for the training and professional development of ophthalmologists in Australia and New Zealand.
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) - https://ranzcog.edu.au/
RANZCOG is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the establishment of high standards of practice in obstetrics and gynaecology and women’s health.
The College trains and accredits doctors throughout Australia and New Zealand in the specialties of obstetrics and gynaecology so that they are capable of providing the highest standards of healthcare.
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) - https://www.ranzcp.org/home
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) is responsible for training, educating and representing psychiatrists in Australia and New Zealand.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who are specialists in the treatment of mental illness.
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) - https://www.ranzcr.com/
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists is the leading professional organisation for the promotion of the science and practice of the medical specialties of clinical radiology and radiation oncology in Australia and New Zealand.
- Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) - https://www.rcpa.edu.au/
The RCPA is the leading organisation representing Pathologists and Senior Scientists in Australasia. Its mission is to train and support pathologists and to improve the use of pathology testing to achieve better healthcare. For those who are not already familiar with this area of medicine, pathology is about the study of the causes of disease and pathologists are the specialist medical doctors involved in the diagnosis and monitoring of almost all acute and chronic illnesses.
MediSquared strongly encourages all young medical professionals to further evaluate which medical speciality interests them the most and wish you the best of luck in your career.
If you are a practising medical specialist or are just graduating from a medical school, university or college and are looking at venturing out on your own and don't want the overheads of leasing a space, we encourage you to look into our website (MediSquared) and the benefits of renting a consulting/treatment room on a sessional basis.