How to become a Doctor

How to become a Doctor

Doctors are highly qualified and skilled people who diagnose, manage, treat, cure and prevent illness and promote wellness in their patients.

There are lots of different types of Doctors, and depending on your area of interest and strengths you might like to consider these options – but you won’t have to decide until much later on your journey to becoming qualified.

If you’re good with people, compassionate but analytical, can retain and use information in lots of different ways, and enjoy variety, then you could consider becoming a Doctor.


About you:


  • Good communication skills, compassion and a good bedside manner
  • Confident and analytical
  • Able to exercise high ethical standards
  • Enjoy working with people
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • A high degree of motivation and self-discipline
  • Ability to work long hours, often under pressure
  • Good practical skills
  • Ability to solve problems
  • Effective decision-maker
  • Drive to continue learning throughout career
  • Good time management skills


The job:


Duties vary depending on the type of Doctor and practise, but examples include:

  • examine patients to determine the nature of the disorder or illness and record the patient’s medical information
  • order, perform and analyse laboratory tests, X-rays and other diagnostic images and procedures
  • provide overall care for patients, and prescribe and administer treatments, medications and other remedial measures
  • aid in the prevention of diseases and disorders by advising patients on diet, exercise, hygiene and general health
  • prescribe and administer medication and inoculate patients to prevent infectious or contagious diseases
  • provide pre-natal and post-natal care
  • report births, deaths and notifiable diseases to government authorities
  • arrange for patients to be admitted to hospital
  • refer patients to other medical specialists and exchange relevant medical details.


Lifestyle Impact: High


  • Part-time opportunities: Low – only around 24% of Doctors work part-time (source:
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 46 hours, slightly above average (source:
  • Doctors’ salary (median) $109,457* per year (source: *Salaries greatly vary depending on your skills and experience.
  • Future career growth: Strong (source:
  • You will be doing most of your work indoors, in clinics and labs.
  • You will need to work long hours, sometimes including weekends and holidays.


Doctors are most in demand in these locations:


Doctors and other healthcare professionals are needed right across Australia, particularly in rural and regional areas. Most Doctors work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.


How to become a Doctor in Australia


You will need to complete both university-level study and further practical training in order to work as a Doctor in Australia.


Step 1 – Complete Year 12 with a focus on English and Maths.


Step 2 – Complete an accredited medical program in Australia – this can be either undergraduate or postgraduate. You can see all of the Ahpra-approved programs of study here.


Step 3 – Complete an internship before applying for general registration with Ahpra’s Medical Board.


Step 4 – Start working as a Doctor.


Step 5 – Consider undertaking a fellowship and further specialist training, before applying for specialist registration.


Find out more here –


Similar Careers to Doctor


Medical Specialist



Occupational Therapist

Registered Nurse



Aged Care Worker


Find out more about alternative careers.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What options are there for career progression?


There are lots of specialisations you might like to consider after your initial journey to becoming a Doctor is complete – you can see the full list on Ahpra’s website here.


Do I need to go to university to become a Doctor?


You will need to complete a university degree, as well as several years of additional training, before you can work as a Doctor.


Where do Doctors work?


Doctors might work in hospitals, private practices or community medical centres, and may also focus on research or medical administration.


What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Doctor?


If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Doctor is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:

  1. Start researching your study options. Applications can be extremely competitive and you’ll need to work hard to secure a place.
  2. See if you can find work experience in health or medicine. This will help you see if you might enjoy the work, and can help you start building important contacts for the future.
  3. Talk to a Doctor to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries about a career in health.

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