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What to think about before applying for a GP job in Australia

Leaving your family, friends and the familiarity and comforts of home for a new life and job half a world away is one of the biggest and bravest decisions you will ever make.

But before you make it and start applying for jobs in Australia, it’s important to be sure it’s the right decision for you.

After all, it’s not one that can be easily or inexpensively reversed.

Australia has long been called the “lucky country” and there’s no doubt there are incredible work and lifestyle opportunities on offer.

But short visits back home are not an option when you have trekked as many as 15,000 kilometres across the globe.

Some people suffer feelings of isolation and loneliness in a foreign land so far from home.

So as you ponder a potentially life-changing resolution, ask yourself the following questions to ensure this decision is the right one for you.


Question 1. Why?

It’s the most obvious single question but it’s also the most important. Why do you want to do this? Why do you feel this way?

Everyone grows frustrated in their job at some time or another.

It’s worthwhile compiling a list of pros and cons which can help you really crystallise and better assess how you are feeling and how strongly those feelings are pushing you towards a decision.

In the UK for instance, many doctors are so frustrated by the lack of rewards, trying conditions and long hours that they can see no other viable alternative than to leave their homeland.

When this is stacked up against the opportunities available in Australia, the ‘why’ becomes pretty clear.


Question 2. Does this align with my career goals?

Most of us start out at university or medical school brimming with ambition.

But sadly, sometimes that drive is eroded by a broken system that feels like it’s been designed solely to break our spirit.

Think back to when you began training as a doctor – when the world was full of possibilities.

Why did you want to become a doctor? Was it the money? Was it the prestige? Maybe you simply possess a passion to help people in need and make the world a better place? It might be a mix of all three.

How far do you want to go in this profession? Are you interested in research? Do you wish to become a surgeon or specialise in a particular branch of medicine?

Or are you content working as a GP with a work-life balance that works for you?

All of these possibilities exist for doctors in Australia.


Question 3. Does Australia align with my lifestyle goals?

No matter what kind of lifestyle you seek, you’ll find it at your fingertips in Australia.

It offers warm, tropical climates in the north, through to mediterranean and milder, temperate climates in the south.

Boasting everything the great outdoors has to offer from vast open landscapes to lush rainforests, vibrant rivers and sprawling coastlines, Australia has something for everyone whether you love adventure, nature or just soaking up the sun.

Indeed Australia is the sunniest continent on the planet!

And it is dotted with busy, bustling cities around its shores whether you love art, sport, nightlife or cafe and pub cultures which are so abundant down under.

There’s flexibility too so you can work to live your life rather than live to work.


Question 4. Is this right for my family?

Unless you are on your own, this is a decision which will affect your immediate family.

Australia is a fantastic place to raise a young family.

The average house size in Australia is 214 square metres – bigger than anywhere in the world and nearly three times bigger than those in the UK.

And that’s before you take into account that big back yard with garden, outdoor entertaining area, bbq and maybe even a pool.

And there is room to move. Australia enjoys one of the world’s lowest population densities with just 3 people per square kilometre compared with the UK’s 280 per square kilometre.

There are plenty of jobs for you and your partner with the unemployment rate dropping to a near record low 3.6% in June.

World class public and private schools as well as acclaimed universities abound in every city.

And Australia is one of the world’s safest countries with a crime rate in 2023 of 43.03, compared with the UK’s 46.07.


Question 5. What are the short, mid and long-term implications of a move to Australia?

Whatever big decisions you make in life, there comes an initial cost or investment and a move to a new country such as Australia is no different.

Short term – Uprooting and moving your life, lock, stock and barrel is not cheap and economically, you may have to resign yourself to going backwards for a short term before going forwards. There may also be an emotional cost with feelings of doubt about the move. You are not only walking away from friends and family but also the safety of a job and the assured pay packet that comes with it.

Medium term – Once you have overcome the initial challenges of the move, things will settle. You and your partner have jobs, the kids are in a great school, you have started to meet new people and make new friends. This is the time where you can begin to build both professional and personal relationships and enjoy the fruits of your new homeland.

Long term – This is when you can really start thinking about the pay off. By now, you have probably bought into the Australian market and you own one of those big houses or the land you had always wanted. You have established yourself in your career and are starting to tick the professional boxes you had always dreamed of, whether that be advancing your career, climbing the medical ladder or just finding real peace and happiness with the lifestyle you had craved.


Question 6. Am I ready?

This question is all about timing and the only person who can answer that is you.

Consider the health of your parents – perhaps they are frail and relying on you in their senior years. If you are an only child, that can be even more challenging.

Maybe your partner is pregnant and you need to decide in which country you want your child to be born.

If you have older children, they may be reluctant to abandon their own friends for the great unknown.

Are there any other factors keeping you from making this decision?

Rely on your gut instinct – it’s almost always right.


Contact HRA today

If you are interested in working as a general practitioner in Australia, there is no better time than now!

Health Recruitment Australia is a recruitment agency focussed specifically on matching overseas doctors with the right clinics in Australia.

There is currently a significant shortage of GPs in Australia, with multiple opportunities for doctors interested in making the move.

The financial rewards and quality of life in Australia significantly outweigh what doctors have become accustomed to in the UK, Ireland and throughout Asia.


Why not start with an informal, no-obligation discussion with the experienced team at Health Recruitment Australia? Contact us.


Enquire now, and we’ll be
in touch shortly!


Enquire now, and we’ll be
in touch shortly!