What other medical specialties can I do?

Have you struggled to find a specialty that fits your personality in medical school? Or not particularly enjoyed any rotation as an intern or resident?

The options we’re taught about are often limited to: surgical, medical, O&G, paediatrics, psychiatry and GP.

But is there anything else?

Yes. There is!

Lesser known clinical specialties

Occupational and environmental medicine

Duration: 3.5 years full-time equivalent.

The Australasian Faculty of Occupational & Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) is a Faculty of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). The aim of AFOEM is to create recognised medical specialists promoting the health and wellbeing of workers, healthy workplaces and good work.

Requirements to start:

  • 2 years post-graduate experience as intern/resident
  • General registration
  • Applied for or completed an appropriate postgraduate course at diploma level or higher in occupational and environmental health or a related field 
  • Have an accredited position of employment that requires on average a minimum of 20 hours of occupational and environmental medicine practice per week
  • Have reached an agreement with an occupational and environmental medicine Fellow to be your Educational Supervisor and have this approved by your regional Training Program Director

For more info click here.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Pain medicine

Duration: 2 years full-time equivalent.

Training in pain medicine is a post-specialisation program that requires applicants to have either completed or be training towards a primary specialist qualification.

Accredited training positions.

Click here for more info.

Addiction medicine

Duration: 3 years full-time equivalent.

In Advanced Training in Addiction Medicine, you’ll explore in-depth specialty training in the comprehensive care of people with a wide range of addiction disorders.

There are 2 pathways of entry into Advanced Training in Addiction Medicine:

  • RACP Basic Training
  • Already a fellow

You must also hold a current medical registration and have an appointment to an appropriate Advanced Training position at a suitable training site.

For more info click here.

Rehab medicine

Duration: 4 years full-time equivalent.

Rehabilitation Medicine is the diagnosis, assessment and management of an individual with a disability due to illness or injury. Rehabilitation physicians work with people with a disability to help them achieve an optimal level of performance and improve their quality of life.


  • Hold a current medical registration
  • Have completed 2 full years (or full-time equivalent) of postgraduate supervised training in general medical and surgical areas within the last 5 years
  • Have been appointed to an appropriate Advanced Training position.

For more info click here.

Sport and Exercise Medicine

Duration: 4 years full-time equivalent.

Sport and Exercise Medicine provides for safe and effective sporting performance at all levels. Alongside this is the increasing recognition of the importance of exercise in the prevention and treatment of common and often serious medical conditions.

Requirements for admission into the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ACSEP):

  • Current, unconditional, medical registration in Australia or New Zealand
  • Completed PGY1 & PGY2, and at a minimum commencement of PGY3 on application (need to finish PGY3 before starting training)
  • Successful completion of the ACSEP Entrance Examination
  • Permanent Resident or Citizenship of Australia or New Zealand
  • Once the exam has been passed, submit the application form and your CV
    • Looking at experience in sports medicine
    • Rural background
    • Medical coverage of a number of sporting events in a variety of sports
  • You will then be selected for interviews

Click here for more info on the selection process and overall process.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Non-clinical specialties

Medical administration

Duration: 3 years full-time equivalent.

Completion of the training program enables medical practitioners to use their clinical training and experience together with their specialist medical management expertise to lead and influence the health service delivery.


  • CV – use RACMA template
  • 3 referees
  • General registration
  • 3 years clinical experience
  • A letter of support from your organisation needs to be supplied if you have not achieved the minimum three years clinical experience at time of application, but you are able to do so by the beginning of the academic year

For more info click here.

For a podcast about Dr Jemma Hogan’s experience as a RACMA trainee, go here.


Duration: 5 years full-time.

As per the RCPA website: “Pathology is the study of disease, or any condition that limits the quality, length or enjoyment of life. From the time a new life is created to the time it ends, pathology is involved. Pathology touches every facet of medicine and therefore society.”


  • General registration
  • Minimum 2 years post graduate experience as intern/resident
  • Employed in accredited laboratory before seeking registration with the College (laboratories are accredited for training in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia)

For more info click here.

For a podcast about Dr Cachia’s switch from Critical Care trainee to Pathology trainee go here.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Public health medicine

Duration: 3 years full-time.

In public health training, you’ll explore in-depth specialty training in the health and care of populations, including health promotion, prevention of disease and illness, assessment of a community’s health needs, provision of health services to communities and research.


  • full general medical registration with the Medical Board of Australia
  • medical registration with general scope of practice with the Medical Council of New Zealand and a current practising certificate
  • 3 years of postgraduate clinical experience comprised of:
    • an internship year containing regular face-to-face clinical patient contact
    • at least 1-year full-time equivalent clinical experience in a well-structured position in addition to an internship, with appropriate supervision with regular face-to-face patient contact
    • a further clinical year or 1 year in a health-related field
  • Up to 12 months of a Master’s degree (or equivalent) will be considered if it includes a formal work placement.
  • You must have completed a Master of Public Health (MPH) (or equivalent) that satisfies the 5 Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) compulsory core discipline areas:
    • Epidemiology
    • Biostatistics
    • Health Protection (includes Environmental Health and/or Communicable Disease Prevention and Control)
    • Health Promotion
    • Health Policy, Planning or Management
  • Applicants must have secured an approved training position at an accredited setting before commencing training

For more info click here.

Listen to our podcast episode with Dr Jessica Wells, a public health physician, who shares more information on her journey into public health and how you can get started in that path.


Duration: 5 years full-time.

(Note radiology can be clinical as well, depending on your path).

A radiologist is a specialist medical doctor who has had postgraduate training in performing and interpreting diagnostic imaging tests, and carrying out interventional procedures or treatments, using X-ray, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging equipment.

In Australia, hospitals advertise clinical radiology training positions, and candidates apply directly to the hospital. RANZCR is not involved in the employment process.


  • General registration
  • 2 years post-graduate experience as an intern/resident
  • Have been accepted into an accredited training position
  • Submit a training program application to the College within two weeks of starting your training.

For more info click here.

Photo by Cara Shelton on Unsplash

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