Area of Need Applications

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Area of Need (AoN) refers to a hospital position that has been classified by the government as an "Area of Need". This classification is given when a hospital has been unable to fill a vacancy through the Australian workforce. In such situation, the hospital is given permission to recruit from overseas trained doctors.

If an applicant for the position is found, the applicant must be assessed by the Australian Medical Council and the College. The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons assesses three things when such applications are received:

  • Whether the overseas trained doctor's surgical education, training and clinical experience to determine is substantially comparable to that of a surgeon who has trained in Australia or New Zealand.
  • Whether the applicant is suitable for the position, and
  • Whether the hospital position has adequate resources and support for an overseas trained surgeon and whether it is suitable for conducting clinical assessment

There are some differences between a specialist assessment and an Area of Need Assessment. These are:

  • To facilitate filling the Area of Need position, the timeline for making a final recommendation is 8 weeks compared to 12 weeks for a specialist assessment
  • Two sets of supervisors are required. Two are provided by the hospital according to Area of Need regulations. They will be hospital employees and may not be Fellows of the College. The College will also appoint two supervisors who will be Fellows of the College. These supervisors will undertake the clinical assessment of the IMG surgeon in accordance with the final recommendation of the specialist assessment.
  • For other regulations that relate to Area of Need positions refer to the Australian Medical Council website and in particular, the Guidelines for Area of Need.