At Odyssey, we specialise in global medical recruitment providing aspiring physicians in all specialities and doctors in postgraduate training with medical practice opportunities worldwide. Most vacancies are in major cities but the tremendous experience which can be gained by working in smaller cities and towns should not be overlooked and Western Australia is a prime example of what the more remote areas have to offer.
The State of Western Australia
Western Australia (WA) is geographically the largest state in the country and accounts for around 30% of Australia’s land mass, but is the most sparsely populated. (The majority of Australia's over 30 million population live on the eastern coast). Perth, the state capital of Western Australia, is the most isolated city in the world. Adelaide is the closest city to Perth and it is 2,000km away. Singapore and Jakarta are closer to Perth than Perth is to Canberra. These few facts just put into perspective the sheer scale of Western Australia.
Due to the size of the state, it has different climactic regions. The southern part of the state is blessed with a mediterranean climate with hot summers and warm winters. The eastern region is desert (outback) and the north tropical and hot all year round.
Perth is actually the sunniest city in Australia and benefits from approximately nine hours of sun per day. Summer temperatures average 29C and Western Australia is a year round holiday destination. The state has around 12,500km of coastline on the Indian Ocean so there are plenty of beaches and opportunities to enjoy sailing, swimming with dolphins and whale sharks, exploring caves and camping.
Medical Services in Western Australia
There are public and private medical services in Western Australia and these cover primary, secondary and tertiary care, the latter being provided mainly in Perth. The public healthcare services are organised by region and most secondary care is provided in district general hospitals with 50 -350 beds and have 24/7 emergency departments, surgical, medical and paediatric services, obstetrics and gynaecology, psychiatry, anaesthesia, pathology and radiology services.
Hospitals are modern and well equipped, many having undergone recent refurbishment or redevelopment, and technology is advanced. Telemedicine is increasingly being adopted to better serve the more remote areas. With excellent infrastructure and travel links, the healthcare quality is excellent.
Hospitals are staffed by interns, resident medical officers, registrars and specialists. Specialists are assisted in some hospitals by senior medical officers who are experienced GPs with enhanced skills in various disciplines, commonly emergency medicine, anaesthesia, psychiatry or obstetrics. Most house officer and registrar positions are traing posts recognised and accredited for postgraduate training by the appropriate Royal College.
Reasons to pratice medicine in Western Australia
Despite its size, remoteness and sparse population, the state has strong attractions for physicians starting a medical career in Australia.
- Ease of entry: it is generally easier to secure a first position in Australia in an area with less intense competition for jobs. allowing you to get a foot in the country.
- Learning opportunities: a smaller workload than is usual in the larger cities and towns allows the new physician time to learn and adapt to a new healthcare system in a more relaxed manner with more scope for collaboration and help from colleagues. There are also opportunities to manage more complex cases at presentation.
- Rural and remote medicine skills: working in remote areas requires good general medical skills, a breadth of knowldege of many disciplines and the ability to work constructively with teams of specialists in different disciplines. Resuscitation, basic surgical and anaesthetic capabailities are useful. These are skills which cannot be acquired in busy city practices.