General practitioners (doctors) work with patients to provide overall care in diagnosing and treating physical and mental illnesses, disorders and injuries. They also prescribe medications and treatments to promote or maintain good health.

Where general practitioners (doctors) are employed

General practitioners work in hospitals, medical and other healthcare services.


Full-time general practitioners (doctors) earn more than $1,600 per week.

Graph of pay scales for General Practitioner Doctor

Job prospects

In 2011 there were 2,544 people employed full-time as general practitioners (doctors) compared with 2,056 in 2006.

How to become one

There are a range of programs available to those interested in becoming a general practitioner (doctor).  

For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian Universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

Licensing or registration requirements

In Australia, all general practitioners (doctors) must be registered with the Medical Board of Australia. The Board governs the following types of medical registration:

Recognition of qualifications and skills obtained outside Australia

If you have overseas qualifications as a general practitioner (doctor) you must have your qualifications, skills and experience assessed by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and successfully pass the AMC Multiple Choice Question Examination. Gap training and a period of supervised practice may be required to meet the registration requirements.

After assessment of your qualifications there are three recognition pathways for registration:

  • Competent Authority Pathway (for specific countries)
  • Specialist Pathway
  • Standard Pathway

For information about assessment of overseas qualifications, and looking for work in Australia visit Recognition of overseas qualifications or contact Skilled Arrival Services on 08 8303 2420 or email

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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.

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