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Emergency Medicine

Emergency Medicine

Emergency Medicine

Your Pathway into Emergency Medicine training in North Queensland

Entry Requirements

  • Full general medical registration at the time of application  
  • Have citizenship or permanent residency or, have approval to undertake training by date of commencement of training, including appropriate visa. 
  • Completion of PGY2 
  • Have completed the following placements:  
    • (a) a minimum of six (6) FTE months in a single1 Emergency Department in Australia and/ or New Zealand, during or after PGY2, of which each contributing placement must have a minimum duration of two (2) consecutive FTE months and be completed entirely within the date range specified by the College; and  
    • (b) a minimum of three (3) full postgraduate terms in three (3) different disciplines other than emergency medicine, at least one (1) of which must be completed during or after PGY2, where a full term is defined as a minimum of eight (8) FTE weeks of continuous clinical work. 

Refer to the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine for further information on selection and eligibility criteria

Total Training Time

Total: 5 years (full time)

Trainees have 12 years to complete the FACEM Training Program, of which:

  • Up to 3 years may be spent in Training Stage One.
  • Up to a combined total of 8 years may be spent in Training Stages Two and Three.
  • Trainees have any remaining time of the overall 12 years to complete Training Stage 4.

Please see here for details of the Training stage program 

How to Apply

Prospective trainees must first apply for selection into the FACEM Training Program and may apply in either Round 1 or Round 2 but may submit only one application per year. Once selected into FACEM Training, registrars can apply for positions through the Resident Medical Officer (RMO) campaign.  

When applying to the Queensland Health RMO Campaign, candidates can preference up to five hospitals at step 10 in the process. Before applying, candidates should always discuss employment opportunities with their preferred facilities or training programs. The hospitals within our region accepting applications are Townsville University Hospital,Mackay Base Hospital, Cairns Hospital and Mt Isa Hospital. For more information on the campaign and application process, go to the Queensland Health website. 

Application Deadline

Key dates for application submission, assessment and selection rounds are available on the Queensland Health Recruitment Campaign website for application through the RMO campaign. Once the campaign closes, only your preferenced facilities or training programs
can access your online application and attachments to assess and conduct meritorious recruitment activities. The facility or training program may contact candidates to discuss applications and employment opportunities or organise interviews.

Each specialty training college has different application dates so ensure you refer to the
individual website for information. Consider these dates in conjunction with the RMO
campaign key dates.

Please visit the ACEM website for enrolment dates each year. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect as an Emergency Medicine trainee?

As an Emergency Medicine (EM) trainee, you can expect a variety of in-depth training in the acute care of children, adolescents, and adults. You will learn how to manage the full spectrum of medical emergencies, becoming an expert in making quick decisions to provide immediate and safe care.

You will work with a variety of other health professionals to coordinate urgent care.

What is an Emergency Medicine Physician?

An Emergency Medicine (EM) Physician is responsible for the safe and effective immediate or short-term care of patients. They manage a full spectrum of physical and behavioural emergencies and are experts at identifying and treating critically ill or injured persons.

What skills are required to be a successful EM physician?

Apart from the technical skills and experience acquired in training, several skills are crucial in being a successful EM physician. Some of these skills are listed in detail below.

  • Experience in several health conditions and treatment options

EM Physicians must have a broad knowledge base of medicine because they are exposed to various unpredictable and often severe health problems every day. Their knowledge base should extend across Anatomy, Pathology, Pharmacology, and Physiology.

  • Decision making & problem-solving

To successfully manage an emergency room, EM Physicians need to make quick decisions and solve the problems presented to them by patients. With several competing issues for their attention, EM Physicians must be able to prioritise in order of urgency and coordinate care for those patients efficiently.

  • Attention to detail balanced with the ability to see the big picture

Whilst attention to detail is critical in the identification and diagnosis of medical conditions, EM Physicians must also be aware of the bigger picture and prioritise cases based on that.

  • Good leadership, with the ability to direct and coordinate other health

Great EM Physicians are excellent leaders who can direct and coordinate other health
professionals through effective communication. Exceptional leadership and direction will lead to positive health outcomes for patients.

Can I break up my training over several years?

Although trainees can break up their training across several years, it is not advised to do so.
Pausing the training for 1 year or more will mean the trainee must re-sit some assessments. Meanwhile, taking a break for 2 years or more may result in the trainee revisiting old content and material. Therefore, most trainees complete the Emergency Medicine training program in one block.

How many applicants get selected per year?

The Emergency Medicine Training Program welcomed 67 new applicants in 2022, although the number of trainees selected per year varies. As of 2023, there are 2488 specialists practising in Australia. 

What is it like living in North Queensland

There are countless reasons why North Queensland is one of the best places on the planet to work, live, and study. No matter what stage or age you are in, Northern Queensland offers a great balance between work and leisure.

Residents here find the North Queensland lifestyle relaxed and laid-back. The people are friendly and welcoming. There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as swimming, surfing, fishing, and hiking, and when the sun goes down, there are also many bars, restaurants, and cafes to enjoy.

North Queensland has the convenience of cities close by, all of which have reasonable
housing costs and expansive landscapes to explore nearby. The region combines quality
education and the chance to pursue a relaxed or adventurous lifestyle, depending on your preference. The area has a warm climate all year round, beautiful beaches and rainforests, and is home to a diverse range of cultures and lifestyles, making Northern Queensland hard to beat.

Each regional centre in North Queensland is small enough to escape the crowded nature of big city living, but they still have enough going on for you to socialise and entertain yourself. And with short commute times putting more hours back into your workday, you’ll have plenty of time to explore when offered the chance.

Networking and industry social opportunities frequently happen due to the tight-knit and
collaborative nature of the health and hospital communities here. The vision to improve the health of the communities throughout the region, unites the students, interns, junior doctors, and specialists training and working here. Together we hope to address the shortage of doctors in North Queensland.

As a trainee, you’ll have access to a wide range of hospital and health settings within our training region. All of which are of varying sizes and capabilities offering diverse caseloads and case mix. These training areas include the following health service areas: Cairns, Central West, Mackay, North West, Torres and Cape, and Townsville.


Disclaimer: The information provided on this website aims to assist medical students and doctors in training with medical career planning. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is current and accurate, all details should be verified through the relevant Specialist College.

NQRTH is an initiative of the Australian Government's Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) and is facilitated by James Cook University in partnership with public and private hospitals, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), health services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and GP clinics.

Cairns region
(07) 4226 8187

Central West region
(07) 4764 1547

Mackay region
(07) 4885 7122

North West region
(07) 4764 1547

Torres and Cape region
(07) 4095 6103

Townsville region
(07) 4781 3424