How to become a physician

Practise medicine and provide health care to patients, restoring their health and helping them maintain wellbeing.

Pathways to this career

  1. Physicians must complete undergraduate studies such as a bachelor degree in medicine or surgery.
  2. Alternatively, study a degree in health or biomedical science before completing postgraduate studies in medicine, allowing you to qualify for a medical residency.
  3. Complete a 1-2 year residency in hospitals or community practices to meet work experience requirements and get on-the-job training from professional physicians.
  4. Register with the Medical Board of Australia to qualify as a practising physician.
  5. Complete a fellowship to become an expert physician and specialise in a particular area of medicine.

What does a physician do?

Physicians diagnose diseases, illnesses, and disorders, and administer healing treatments. They often work highly stressful but rewarding jobs and can be employed in several places, including hospitals, private clinics, schools, and the armed forces.

Duties and tasks

  • Ask patients to explain symptoms and diagnose possible issues.
  • Maintain doctor and patient confidentiality.
  • Manage residents, nurses, interns etc.
  • Prescribe medications to patients.
  • Recommend patients to a specialist if necessary.
  • Request additional tests, blood work, etc. if necessary to determine a health issue, refer to patient files as necessary.

Industry bodies

Related jobs

  • Anthropologist
  • Cardiac technologist
  • Life scientist
  • Medical practitioner
  • Pathologist
  • Public health physician
  • Radiologist
  • Sports doctor
  • Surgeon

Discover related courses

Undergraduate CSU-HMS-DEG

Bachelor of Health and Medical Science

Postgraduate UOQ-SPM-GCE

Graduate Certificate in Sports Medicine

Postgraduate SCU-LMD-MAS

Master of Lifestyle Medicine

Step up your career with these resources

How to negotiate a higher salary

Not sure what to say when negotiating your salary? Follow these tips from career strategist Kelly Magowan next time you need to make your case with an employer.

Is a career in project management right for you?

Do you get a kick out of thinking big and getting things done? You could make a great project manager. 

Are microcredentials worth it?

You can study a microcredential in just about any industry, from healthcare and education to business and marketing. Here’s why these skills-based short courses are worth your time.

5 qualities that make you a leader vs a manager

While managers dole out tasks, leaders take things a step further by inspiring everyone around them. Discover how you can become this kind of leader, no matter where you work.  

We're here to guide you there

Our student advisors can assist you with enrolment, help you plan your studies, and answer questions about how studying through Open Universities Australia can get you from where you are today, to where you want to be tomorrow.

13 OPEN (13 67 36)

Message, chat or SMS

Talk to a student advisor

We'll be in touch to answer your questions.

Student advisor Jason Student advisor Maria Student advisor Peter

Usually replies in 30 mins