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Specialist International Medical Graduates (SIMGs) who want to be assessed for eligibility for specialist registration in order to practice as ophthalmologists in Australia must apply to RANZCO. As part of the Medical Board of Australia (MBA)’s Specialist Pathway, RANZCO is directed to conduct assessments for the application types detailed below. Upon completion of an assessment, RANZCO will provide a recommendation as to whether or not an SIMG applicant is eligible to apply for specialist registration.

Specialist registration is granted by the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) and supported by the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) which has its own process, RANZCO’s recommendation being only a part of this.

Specialist Recognition Assessment

Specialist Recognition Assessment evaluates the training, qualifications and experience of SIMGs for comparability with Australian-trained ophthalmologists. Australian trainees graduate as specialists equipped to undertake safe, unsupervised, comprehensive, general ophthalmology practice with experience in each of the 12 clinical areas of ophthalmology. It is recommended that SIMGs familiarise themselves with the RANZCO Vocational Training Program and its Curriculum Standards in order to make an informed decision prior to application.

SIMGs are required to be recognised as specialists in ophthalmology in their country of training in order to be eligible for Specialist Recognition Assessment.

Before an SIMG can apply for Specialist Recognition Assessment an application must first be submitted to the Australian Medical Council (AMC) for primary source verification of their medical qualifications.

Please note: Referees will automatically receive a link to the referee form once an applicant has submitted their online application.

Click here for more information on the Specialist Recognition Assessment.

Short-Term Training in a Medical Specialty Pathway

Short-term training positions are usually conducted in a sub-specialty area (e.g. glaucoma) to enable overseas specialists or specialists-in-training to upskill or gain further experience. These positions are often approximately 12 months long, but the timeframe may vary. The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) states that these positions are conducted on the understanding that the applicant will return to their country of training on completion. RANZCO assesses the suitability of the proposed training position for the specific applicant only. Short-term training does not lead to specialist recognition in Australia.

Click here for more information on the Short-Term Training in a Medical Specialty Pathway.

Processes Outside of the MBA’s Specialist Pathway

RANZCO may conduct the assessment, or training, of SIMGs in the processes outlined below. The successful completion of each leads to eligibility to apply for Fellowship of RANZCO (FRANZCO) and with it the recommendation to the MBA for specialist registration in Australia.

Click here for more information on the Processes Outside of the MBA’s Specialist Pathway.

Last updated: April 23, 2024

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