Rural Careers in Medicine

Have you considered living and working as a doctor in regional Australia? It can lead to a rewarding and satisfying career, where no two days are the same and you can become part of a close-knit community.

From large regional cities to remote outback towns, there are diverse opportunities to work as a doctor in rural and remote Australia.

Many of Australia’s major regional cities have large populations and amenities found in capital cities, such as schools, shopping centres and airports. Unlike capital cities, living in a regional city can be more affordable, offer shorter commute times to the city centre and a higher standard of living.

If you would like a truly unique experience, you could work as a doctor in remote and outback Australia. You may have the opportunity to work with Indigenous communities or the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Wherever you are, you can expect to encounter a wide array of medical issues and think on your feet to provide solutions and care to individuals and small communities. You will make all the difference. 

Overall benefits of a rural career

  • Travel Australia and discover its beautiful sights, landmarks and cultures.
  • Build your skills across a wide array of medical issues and multidisciplinary teams.
  • Be part of small, supportive communities where you can make a big impact.
  • Take on new responsibilities and autonomy to provide health care to regional and rural areas.
  • Use new and developing technologies to connect and provide improved care.
  • Seize some of the many job opportunities in regional and rural areas.
  • Access unique support networks and professional development.

What is the pathway to becoming a rural doctor, once students have finished the medicine program?

There are many pathways to becoming a rural doctor—choosing to either live in a rural area as a GP or specialist, or provide visiting services. To practice rural medicine, you can pursue general practice and specialise in rural care or you can train in surgery and become a provincial surgeon. The skills you learn will be slightly different to your city-based colleagues, and they will vary depending on what your rural community needs. Over the next few years, pathways for rural medicine will be a government priority—with the development of National Rural Generalist Pathways promising to provide training, recognition and remuneration for doctors working outside major cities. New opportunities in specialty training will become available through the national Rural Education Hub program. In the meantime, Adelaide Rural Clinical School has many resident and visiting specialists and GPs who can help you with questions relating to potential training pathways. Contact us by email or phone for advice.

Does the school offer help finding work for graduates?

Adelaide Rural Clinical School offers programs to address the shortage of rural-based health professionals. We work closely with you to provide advice, referrals, placement opportunities, and links to postgraduate rural training programs. Many of our graduates have returned to practice in the region—sometimes in the same community where they undertook placement.