Specialist International Medical Graduate Overview
In addition to the information provided here, we recommend all SIMGs applying for specialist recognition in Australia or vocational registration in Aotearoa New Zealand read Guidelines for Applicants.
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) to train surgeons and maintain surgical standards.
SIMGs with formal postgraduate specialist qualifications in surgery who wish to work in Australia can apply to RACS for an assessment of their qualifications and experience for comparability with Australian trained surgeons.
(Note, the process in Aotearoa New Zealand is different as applications must go to the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) who makes all registration decisions. While MCNZ is independent of RACS on its Specialist International Medical Graduates (SIMGs) decisions, it does seek the advice of RACS on vocational registration applications and approvals.)
The guidelines for applicants provide detailed information for SIMGs considering applying for specialist recognition. While the website attempts to summarise this information, it is strongly recommended that all applicants read the guidelines before applying.
For more information, visit here to see our FAQs.
The role of the Australian Medical Council and Medical Board of Australia
The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) is responsible for medical registration and is supported by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
The Australian Medical Council (AMC) is the national standards body for medical education and training in Australia. The AMC also maintains the qualifications portal where SIMG records can be accessed by RACS (for assessment purposes) and the MBA (for registration purposes).
The process for SIMGs
1. If you are a SIMG wishing to practice surgery in Australia, you must first have your medical qualifications verified through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC).
2. Once verification appears on your portfolio in the AMC portal, RACS will complete its assessment of your qualifications and experience.
3. The MBA will then receive the outcome of the RACS assessment and determine the type of registration you are eligible for.
4. The MBA makes the final decision on whether to grant registration.
Information on registration categories and types of positions medical practitioners in the specialist pathway can apply for is available on the MBA website.
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is accredited by the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) to train surgeons and maintain surgical standards.
RACS advises the MCNZ on applications received from Specialist International Medical Graduates (SIMGs) for vocational registration in the nine surgical specialties of the College. The MCNZ is the statutory authority and final decision maker on applications for vocational registration.
SIMGs with formal postgraduate specialist qualifications in surgery who wish to work in Aotearoa New Zealand can apply to the MCNZ for an assessment of their qualifications and experience for comparability with Aotearoa New Zealand trained surgeons.
(Note: the process is different in Australia, where SIMGs can apply directly to RACS for assessment).
The role of the Medical Council of New Zealand
The Medical Council of New Zealand is legally responsible for all medical registration in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The process for SIMGs
1. If you are a SIMG wishing to practice surgery as an independent specialist in Aotearoa New Zealand (ie. with vocational registration), apply directly to the MCNZ.
2. The MCNZ will undertake an initial review to ensure you meet its base standards. It will then refer your application to RACS, requesting advice on the comparability of your training, qualifications and experience to that of an Aotearoa New Zealand-vocationally registered surgeon in the same surgical specialty who holds the MCNZ-prescribed Aotearoa New Zealand/ Australasian post graduate qualification (e.g. Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons [FRACS]). The MCNZ will determine the type of registration you are eligible for.
3. The MCNZ makes the final decision on whether to grant registration.
Information on registration categories and types of positions medical practitioners on the vocational pathway can apply for is available on the MCNZ website.
For medical registration requirements in Aotearoa New Zealand, please contact the MCNZ.