Medical Training Review Panel: thirteenth report

Appendix C: Glossary of Terms

Page last updated: April 2010

Prevocational Training

Postgraduate Year 1 (PGY1)

The year of supervised clinical training completed by graduates of an Australian Medical Council (AMC) accredited medical school. This is also known as the intern year.

Satisfactory completion is a requirement for full medical registration with the relevant medical board.

Postgraduate Year 2 (PGY2)

The year of structured supervised clinical training placements, commenced once medical practitioners have completed their internship and gained general medical registration.

Vocational Training

Vocational Training Positions and Programs


A medical graduate, including an international medical graduate, who applies in open competition for entry to a vocational training program. Due to the variation in college training programs an applicant may apply for a training post or the training program within an accredited training hospital department or other facility.

Successful Applicant

An applicant who has been offered and accepted a place in a training program.


A medical practitioner who has been accepted by a specialist medical college or by General Practice Education and Training (GPET) into a position supervised by a member of the college or training organisation for the purposes of completing the set vocational training program.

Basic Training

A period of defined training required by some specialist medical colleges to be undertaken in order to meet eligibility criteria for entering an advanced training program.

Advanced Training

A period of defined and structured education and training that, when successfully completed, will result in eligibility to apply for fellowship of a specialist medical college and to practise as a specialist. In some cases this must be preceded by completion of basic training requirements.

Completion and Successful Completion

When the trainee has successfully completed all examination and clinical requirements of the training program and is eligible to apply for fellowship and to practise as a specialist.

Year of Training

The year of training currently being undertaken by a trainee in a training program, as it relates to their progression through the program.


The trainee is no longer pursuing the completion of a training program, either when the trainee has officially withdrawn from the training program or when the college or training provider has terminated or dismissed a trainee in accordance with college regulations or employment conditions.

Trainees who have been given approved extended leave are excluded.

Rural or Remote Recognised Vocational Positions or Trainees

Vocational positions or trainees who are based in rural and remote areas.These are currently defined according to the Rural, Remote and Metropolitan Areas Classification (RRMA). A detailed explanation of this classification system can be found at:

Medical College Accreditation


The process by which a college determines whether its specified requirements for the clinical experience, infrastructure and educational support required of a hospital, other facility or training position are met.


An accreditation of a hospital, other facility or training position that has previously been accredited by the college.

Accreditation Period

The accreditation period begins when the college receives a formal request for assessment and ends when the hospital or other facility undergoing accreditation is notified of the recommendation by mail.


Appeals include review and reconsideration processes and formal appeals.

Medical College Examinations

Eligibility to Sit Exams

The trainee has fulfilled the eligibility criteria necessary to sit a college examination as prescribed by that college.

Trainees Sitting

The number of trainees presenting for an examination by a college in Australia.

Pass Rate

The proportion of all trainees sitting examinations in the specified period who passed.

College Fellows


A medical practitioner who has either completed a college training program, or has been overseas trained and exempted from assessments for admission into the college, and has been admitted to fellowship of the college.

New Fellow

A fellow who has been admitted to the specialist college in the year of data collection.

International Medical Graduates

International Medical Graduate (IMG)

A person whose primary medical qualification was not obtained from a medical school located in Australia. Also referred to as an overseas trained doctor (OTD).

Overseas Trained Specialist

A doctor whose specialist medical qualifications were acquired in a country other than Australia.

Area of Need

An Area of Need is any location or position in which there is a lack of specific medical practitioners or where there are medical positions that remain unfilled even after recruitment efforts have taken place over a period of time. These are determined by the state and territory governments and methods of defining them vary.

Most overseas trained doctors are required to work in an Area of Need when they first come to Australia, unless they hold full Australian medical registration or have completed the standard pathway for specialist assessment or for general practice/family physician assessment.

Area of Need Applicant

An applicant for a medical position with a specific category of medical registration that requires him or her to work in an Area of Need.

Non-Area of Need Applicants

An applicant for a medical position that is not an Area of Need position.

Area of Need and Non-Area of Need Assessment Period

The assessment period begins when the college receives an application, with all accompanying documentation including payment, for recognition of specialist qualifications and ends when the applicant is notified of the recommendation by mail.

Applicants may also be assessed by a variety of other parties outside of college processes, including the Australian Medical Council, Commonwealth and employers. The time taken for these is not included in data reported.

Assessment Outcome

The outcome of a college’s consideration of an application from an international medical graduate for recognition of his or her specialist qualifications or assessment of his or her skills against Area of Need position requirements.

Area of Workforce Shortage

An Area of Workforce Shortage (AOWS) is a geographic area in which the general population need for health care is not met. Population needs for health care are deemed to be unmet if a district has less access to Medicare services than the national average.