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Most Common Medical Professions in Australia

The healthcare industry in Australia consists of both public and private organizations, with all of them requiring medical professionals to help meet the growing demand for quality healthcare services. But what are the most common medical professions in Australia, and which ones are the most popular? Here’s an overview of some of the most common medical professions in Australia today, as well as a brief explanation of why they are among the most popular.

Most Common Medical Professions

A study by Deloitte predicts that doctors will make up 29% of Australia’s health workforce. Healthcare assistants and allied health professionals are also expected to have high growth in numbers – 18% and 16%, respectively. Nurses will comprise a large part of our healthcare system as well, comprising 35% of workers.

While our healthcare system is predicted to have a growing need for workers in all medical professions, some are forecasted to have more growth than others. Oncologists, surgeons and podiatrists will likely be among those facing greater demand.

To qualify for any of these positions, you’ll have to meet certain training and education requirements. For example, doctors must complete at least five years of study after high school, while podiatrists will need a minimum of three years to earn their degree. Most allied health professions also require some form of post-secondary schooling and training.

Healthcare assistants and allied health professionals are trained through both on-the-job experience and classroom instruction.

A career as a doctor, nurse or pharmacist is one of many diverse and rewarding options available to students looking for a medical profession. When it comes to medicine, there are so many job options that choosing what profession is right for you can be daunting. This guide lists 12 common medical professions in AU

1. General Practitioner

GPs are also known as family doctors; they are physicians trained to deal with common medical issues and problems. They have extensive knowledge of pharmacology and possess diagnostic skills, such as diagnosing patients using imaging technology. To become a GP, you will need to complete an accredited bachelor’s degree program before entering your training.

2. Physiotherapist

The next medical profession on our list is that of a physiotherapist or physical therapist. Physiotherapists use both manual and exercise-based approaches to treat their patients; their training focuses on pain management and injury prevention. As with other professions, you will need to complete an accredited bachelor’s degree program before entering your training for a physiotherapy qualification.

3. Dentists

Our next medical profession is that of dentists. These professionals work to offer their patients preventative oral health care; they are trained to use both hands-on and dental equipment to help deal with various dental problems facing people in AU. The dental industry in AU is highly advanced and vast therefore this profession will always be in demand as new dental inventions are arising every day.

4. Medical Practitioner

These professionals deal with patients suffering from chronic illness and complex issues; they often provide hands-on treatment during their sessions. Once you have completed your accredited bachelor’s degree program, you will need to complete an accredited medical degree program before you can start your training for a medic qualification.

5. Pharmacist

The next medical profession is that of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician. Pharmacists work with patients who have been prescribed medication; they are trained to use various pieces of equipment and software during their sessions.

Most of these medical professions require an accredited bachelor’s degree program before you can start your training for a professional qualification. As with all professionals, it’s crucial to ensure that you are fully qualified before beginning to work as a doctor or other medical professional.

6. Optometrist

These healthcare professionals are trained in diagnosing and treating vision problems (such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism) by prescribing corrective lenses, contact lenses or glasses to their patients.

An undergraduate degree (three years full-time) from a recognized university will be required for entry into optometry training. You’ll also need excellent binocular vision, as well as 20/20 visual acuity in each eye.

7. Registered Nurse

The next medical profession on our list is that of a registered nurse (RN). This position requires you to have both medical knowledge and experience in practical nursing. According to data from Health Workforce Australia, AU has about 293,000 nurses working within its borders at any given time.

RNs work under strict guidelines established by their state or territory’s Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. Their educational requirements include an accredited bachelor’s degree or higher qualification; most candidates also undertake a two-year training program before entering a clinical role.

8. Physiotherapist

These health professionals are trained to assess and treat injuries, illnesses and disease conditions affecting patients’ muscles, bones, joints, ligaments and tendons. They use hands-on techniques to guide them through treatment routines; depending on their specialty, they may also be required to give treatments such as hydrotherapy or electrotherapy including ultrasound. As with other healthcare positions, you will need to have an accredited bachelor’s degree before you can gain entry into professional training programs.

9. Podiatrist

Our next medical profession is that of a podiatrist, or podiatric physician—one who deals with conditions related to feet and ankles. Podiatrists work closely with an extensive range of medical disciplines; they must therefore develop strong teamwork skills as well as excellent communication abilities. They often serve as consultants for other medical professionals such as orthopaedic surgeons in cases where disorders are difficult to diagnose or require long-term care. You will need to have completed an accredited bachelor’s degree before you can enter training for this role.

10. Psychiatrist

Next on our list is psychiatry, which is a medical specialty dealing with mental health disorders. These issues can include substance abuse problems, anxiety, depression and schizophrenia. As with other professions in medicine, psychiatrists use both pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatments to ease their patients’ symptoms. You will need to complete an accredited doctoral degree before you can become a psychiatrist.

11. Radiologist

Our next medical profession—radiology—is one that we have discussed briefly already; radiologists specialize in diagnosing illnesses through imaging techniques such as X-rays, CT scans or MRIs. Radiologists must develop excellent teamwork skills as well as working knowledge of radiology equipment and software programs used for examination.

12. Dietitian

Dietitians work with patients who have obesity and diabetes; they provide nutrition advice and education during their sessions. As with other professions, you will need to complete an accredited bachelor’s degree program before entering your training for a dietetic qualification.

The Future of the Medical Career in AU

According to a 2011 report from Health Workforce Australia, it is expected that around one million additional health care professionals will be needed in Australia by 2021. These health care professionals will be required to work in a variety of medical careers, including GPs, child and palliative care specialists, paramedics and nurses. At least 19 new medical schools are planned for AU by 2016 with more than half expected to focus on rural and regional areas.

The future of AU’s health workforce: With such a high demand for medical professionals, it is easy to see why people are attracted to careers like these. Health workers in AU can expect great job security, good career progression and plenty of satisfaction from making a difference. If you’re interested in studying medicine, nursing or another healthcare profession, now may be an ideal time to begin planning your career.


While there is a myriad of reasons why one might choose to pursue a career in medicine, both for personal and financial reasons, it’s important to remember that these choices do come with their fair share of challenges. Medical professionals work long hours, often odd shifts and routinely deal with life-and-death situations.

These popular medical professions may be great options for those looking to help others, but you should carefully consider whether or not you can handle all of these potential stresses before committing to any program. As always, you should consult when exploring different medical career paths.


1. What additional medical professions are there?

There is a wide range of medical and healthcare-related careers you can choose from, with some of them being listed below:

  • Occupational Therapist
  • Doctor
  • Pharmacist
  • Dentist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Podiatrists and many more

2. How many medical professions are there?

The medical profession is a broad one and refers to a range of health care careers that involve diagnosing, treating and preventing illness and injury.

3. Where can I study these professions?

Many schools offer degrees and courses for medical careers in Australia, so you’ll want to do your research and make sure you choose a program that fits with your interests and goals.

4. What sort of hours will I be expected to work?

This depends on what type of medical career you are pursuing. Some roles require long hours but include time off during weekends and holidays, while others have more flexible working hours.

5. Can anyone pursue medical professions in Australia?

Yes! Many of these professions are open to everyone; however, some specialties may require licensure from an accredited college or association.


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