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General & Acute Care Medicine

General & Acute Care Medicine

General & Acute Care Medicine

Your Pathway into General & Acute Care Medicine training in North Queensland

Entry Requirements

Total Training Time

Total: 6 years (full-time)

Basic Adult Medicine: 36 months (full-time)

  • 24 months (full-time) core training (including 3 months of General and Acute Care Medicine and 12 months in medical specialities)
  • Maximum of 12 months of non-core training


Advanced General and Acute Care Medicine: 36 months (full-time):

  • 24 months (full-time) core training
  • 12 months maxium (full-time) non-core training

How To Apply

Applicants will first need to complete Basic Physician training and can apply through the Queensland Basic Physician Training (Adult Medicine Network). Applications to this network must be submitted through the Resident Medical Officer (RMO) Campaign.

Advanced General and Acute Care Medicine training positions are managed centrally through the Queensland General Medicine Advanced Training Network and applicants must submit an application to the network through the Resident Medical Officer (RMO) Campaign. See the application guide for further details on how to preference the network.

Applicants must also apply to the Advanced Training in General and Acute Care Medicine program through the RACP.

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 the Townsville University Hospital, Cairns Hospital  and Mackay Base 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, 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect as a General Acute Care Medicine Trainee?

Advanced trainees in General and Acute Care Medicine specialise in diagnosing and managing complex, chronic, and multi-system disorders. The curriculum is engineered to support you in self-directed learning and reflective practice, with several different learning activities to suit a spectrum of learning and assessment preferences. All training is undertaken under supervision whilst the trainee prepares for individual practice. The program builds capabilities through practical work-based learning and assessment tools. 

What is a General Acute Care Medicine Physician?

A General Acute Care Medicine Specialist is commonly referred to as a Specialist Physician. Specialist Physicians are specially trained to diagnose internal human disorders and diseases. They are also responsible for the safe and effective administration of treatment. Acute medicine is often confused with the broader field of emergency medicine. Although both professions deal with the breadth of general physician issues in acute hospital and ambulatory care settings, the difference is that critical medicine does not involve managing emergency department cases. Instead, general acute care focuses on internal medicine diagnoses to optimise health outcomes for their patients.

What abilities are important in this speciality?

General and Acute Care Medicine training involves coordinating and safely distributing patient care across acute hospital and ambulatory settings. There are several personal attributes aside from the specialist medical knowledge that are crucial in being a successful Specialist Physician:

Good leadership and communication

Great Specialist Physicians are outstanding leaders who can direct and coordinate other specialists, allied health professionals and primary caregivers. Exceptional leadership and direction, combined with excellent written and verbal communication, will enable the practitioner to succeed. 

Decision making & problem-solving 

With several competing issues for their attention, Specialist Physicians must be able to problem-solve and administer care for their patients efficiently. Dealing with Specialist Physician issues in acute hospital and ambulatory care settings is a high-pressure role. Specialist Physicians need to make quick decisions and prioritise their patient care effectively.

Can I break up my training over several years?

Although you can break up your training, it is not advised. Pausing the training for one year or longer will mean re-sitting some assessments. Meanwhile, taking a break for longer than two years may mean some examinations and course materials will need to be re-completed or re- examined. Therefore, most trainees complete the General and Acute Cared Medicine training in one block. 

How many applicants get selected per year?

Approximately 39 new applicants were accepted to study General Acute Care Medicine in Queensland in 2021 out of 75 eligible applications received, however this will vary each year. As of 2019, 263 specialists practice in Queensland, and 974 specialists operate Australia-wide. In Queensland in 2019, there were 148 trainees.

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.

Visitors and residents 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.

Our training region ensures trainees have access to a wide range of hospital and health settings of varying sizes and capabilities offering a diverse case load 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