What is a physician or paediatrician?

In Australia and New Zealand physicians and paediatricians are medical doctors who have completed Advanced Training in a medical specialty with the RACP to diagnose and manage complex medical conditions.

Physicians treat the medical conditions of adults and paediatricians treat infants, children and adolescents. They're sometimes referred to as specialists, specialist physicians or consultant physicians.

Physicians and paediatricians work in hospitals, private practices and community medical centres and may also focus on research or medical administration. Other physicians work in government, public and private organisations providing public health, occupational and environmental medicine, and rehabilitation services.

Becoming a physician or paediatrician

Doctors looking to further their training should view the RACP’s training pathways to becoming a physician or paediatrician and becoming a physician pages.

There are 33 specialty training programs offered by the RACP that are available to eligible applicants

At the end of training eligible trainees are invited to be admitted to Fellowship of the RACP

Overseas trained physicians and international medical graduates

Overseas trained physicians need to be assessed before they can practise as accredited physicians in Australia or New Zealand.

International medical graduates are those who have completed their medical degree overseas but have not completed specialist physician training.

Getting involved and making change

Physicians and paediatricians are involved in a huge variety of RACP work at different stages of their career, influencing major change in medicine.

They can represent their profession through RACP’s advocacy work, enabling them to be the public voice of their profession and of the RACP.

With experience, they can become a Supervisor of physician training and play an important role in supporting trainees during training, guiding learning,  and providing feedback on progress.

They can join an RACP committee to ensure the voice of their specialty is heard within our membership and externally. Our committees can help to amplify the voice of a single individual to have the collective weight of the College behind it.

Physicians can become a lead Fellow on major RACP projects, adding their expertise  to initiatives that directly affect our members.

Calls for Lead Fellow roles and RACP committee positions are advertised through the RACP’s Expression of Interest channel

Celebrating achievement

We count Nobel prize winners and many internationally eminent medical experts among our members.

Our College Roll celebrates the career journeys of members living and deceased. 

In their own words, they provide insight into the incredible work physicians and paediatricians have achieved throughout history in Australia and New Zealand.



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