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GP and healthcare trends Australia
Overseas doctors: What to look for in a medical practice

Making the decision to move overseas to work as a doctor can be life-changing but if you don’t find the right medical practice, it could make life tough.

You might quickly find yourself struggling without a support network in your new home.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to finding the right practice for you.

It should both encourage and inspire you to improve as a doctor.

And it should also provide you with modern tools, the best possible working conditions and offer a work-life balance that suits you.

It’s the only way to make a successful and fulfilling career transition and rediscover the happiness you desire at both a professional and personal level.

Here’s what you should be looking for in a new medical practice

Practice location

The location of the medical practice must be one of your biggest considerations.

If you’ve chosen to live in a city, research the demographics of the suburb within that city and its distance from the CBD, particularly if you also intend to live close by.

Ensure it matches your lifestyle preferences and family needs, taking into account schools, amenities, recreational opportunities and proximity to public transport.

If you’ve chosen to live in a rural location, research what the city or town has to offer, how close it is to the nearest capital city and how easy it is to travel there via rail.

Is the practice in a growing area, with the likelihood of a rising demand for health practitioners?

Is it the only practice in a small town? Either is good for the business.

Patient demographics and needs

Consider the demographics of the area the practice serves and whether the needs of those people align with your specialties, skills and interests.

Is it an area full of young families or does it have an ageing population?

Practice size and setting

Ask yourself whether you want to work in a solo practice, in a small group practice or a larger medical centre.

Think about the pros and cons of each business model taking into account patient load and the ability to share that burden when unavailable to work (sickness, annual leave).

Think too about administrative support and opportunities to collaborate with peers.

Practice reputation 

Go online to find out everything you can about the practice you seek to join.

Does it boast a strong reputation that satisfies the needs of its patients?

You don’t want to find yourself working somewhere that is littered with managerial problems and suffers from negative feedback.

Clinical autonomy and scope of practice

Evaluate what level of clinical autonomy you are likely to have.

Will you be free to make your own medical decisions or be bound by bureaucracy, corporate structures and micromanaged?

Determine how much say if any you will have in the direction of the business or whether you will be restricted to your role as a GP.

Administration and infrastructure

Try to assess the scope and quality of administration and nursing support staff.

These are roles most doctors don’t generally want to have to think about but in smaller or solo practices, it becomes a necessity.

Ask whether the practice is fully fitted with the latest modern equipment and uses electronic health records (EHR) to streamline its business.

Professional development and education

Find out whether the practice makes time for, encourages and embraces continuing professional development (CPD).

Most registered medical practitioners in Australia are required to undertake a minimum 50 hours of CPD per year.

Seek out a practice that makes it a priority for its staff to keep abreast of the latest medical advancements.

Referral network and specialist access

Look for a practice that is well connected with a comprehensive network of specialists and allied health professionals.

Consider the ease of collaborating with other medical professionals both in and outside your practice to achieve the best possible outcome for your patients.

Community engagement

Consider the practice’s involvement in the local community.

Does it actively participate in any outreach programs to improve the lives of the underprivileged?

Community engagement is a great way to boost job satisfaction and an even better way to meet people in your new home land.

Work-life balance

Ask whether your practice actively encourages work-life balance and to what degree it allows its GPs the flexibility to create their own schedules.

Will you be required to work at night or on weekends?

Will you have the ability to work as few or as many hours as you wish?

Make sure you know the demands and expectations before committing.

Practice culture and values

Like any workplace, the success of a medical practice is tied closely to its culture – how it values and treats its staff and how they respond for the betterment of the business.

Try reaching out to doctors who already work there. Do they enjoy working in the practice and would they recommend joining?

Ensure the practice’s own ethics and values meet your own.

Transition and support

Ask what level of support you can expect from the practice.

This applies on two levels:

Making the move – will they help with visas, registration in Australia, finding somewhere to live when you arrive, setting you up with accountants, financial planners and tax agents etc?

Once you have started – will you be working in a supportive environment with a company and staff who can help and advise you on matters such as legal problems, personal issues, burnout etc.

Financial considerations

Now for the big one. Think carefully about the financial package you have been offered and the terms of your employment.

Remember, pay isn’t always what it seems – earning the maximum amount might be determined on the hours you put in, and if the clinic isn’t busy, your pay packet will suffer.

Many doctors work as sole traders within the clinic, paying a service fee on income generated.

Think about whether your potential earnings meet your personal goals and how it fits with the local cost of living. 

Ask plenty of questions!

Contact Health Recruitment Australia today

There’s plenty to consider when moving to a new country to live and work.

Making that decision is merely the first step.

Finding the right city, area, and medical practice to work in can be thoroughly overwhelming.

That’s where Health Recruitment Australia can help.

HRA is a recruitment agency dedicated specifically to matching overseas doctors of all ages with the right clinics in Australia. We’ll work closely with you to find the right medical practice based on your lifestyle and career goals.

The significant GP shortage in Australia has opened up multiple opportunities for doctors keen to make the move.

The financial rewards and quality of life are what draws so many overseas healthcare professionals to Australian shores with conditions far superior to what they are used 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!