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Set yourself up for success in your medical career by interning in northern Queensland.


Years of hard work and perseverance in medical school have brought you to this point. Embarking on your internship, with a whole new level of responsibility, can be an exciting and daunting prospect. It is where you put your skills into practice and begin a career-long journey of growth and development.

If you are looking for an intern experience that balances hands-on training opportunities with supportive supervisors, consider northern Queensland’s hospitals for your intern location.

Across Cairns, Mackay, Mount Isa and Townsville, there are over 180 intern positions available for the 2025 recruitment intake. Each region offers its own set of benefits and opportunities, including a range of specialty rotations and rural outreach clinic experience.

NQRTH is here to help you as you consider your options for your intern year and make your selection and application. In addition to the below information, you can find out more about the recruitment process in one of our webinars.


Queensland Health uses a centralised eRecruitment system, meaning you do not need to make multiple applications to different Hospitals and Health Services. The information required in your application includes contact details, medical school details and other related education and qualifications, two referees, a CV and supporting documentation such as proof of identification and a criminal history consent form and VPD evidence.

You can apply for and accept a position in multiple states; however, if you do, you will be picked up in the national audit and asked to decide which offer you wish to accept.

>  View the Queensland Health Intern Application Guide

Process overview:
  1. Check your eligibility and prepare supporting documentation
  2. Submit your application via the online portal
  3. Offers released to Group A candidates: 17 July 2024
  4. Offers released to all Group B-D candidates: 22 to 30 July 2024 (successful applicants will be contacted) and on 31 July 2024 all offers will be released through the online application system
  5. Accept your offer
  6. Your employing facility will contact you to commence pre-employment and onboarding activities.
  7. Commence employment with Queensland Health

Group A: Guaranteed offer graduates
Medical graduates ensured offer of an intern position in Queensland for their immediate postgraduate year.

Allocation to intern positions may be automatic or via random ballot, based on hospital preferences nominated in the intern application form.

Groups B, C, D: Not guaranteed offer graduates

Intern offers to medical graduates are determined via individual merit selection processes conducted by each participating Hospital

Applicants who meet the criteria for Groups B, C or D are eligible to participate in a merit-based selection process.

Intern Recruitment Campaign Key Dates 
  • Queensland Rural Generalist Pathway: Applications close
    18 March 2024
  • General Intern Campaign: Applications open 
    6 May 2024
  • General Intern Campaign: Applications close
    6 June 2024

The intern application form allows for only two referees. Queensland Health requires referees to complete the referee form sent to them via email and complete the form via the email link. No verbal referees can be provided.

Referees do not have to be in a particular position, and you can provide an overseas doctor as a referee. It's recommended to have two clinical referees.

The referees must be able to comment on the dot points in the application guide, under the referee reports section.

>  For more information about the application process, go to Queensland Health

Intern Hospital Locations

Below are the number of intern positions available at each of the intern employing hospitals. The numbers may fluctuate slightly between now and the start of next year's intake date.

The total includes Queensland Rural Generalist pathway positions

  • Cairns Hospital: 60 total intern positions
  • Mackay Base Hospital: 38 total intern positions
  • Mount Isa Hospital: 5 rural generalist intern positions
  • Townsville University Hospital: 80 total intern positions

Hospital contact information

Find out more about our region

Hospital Intern Rotations

Cairns Hospital:
  • Emergency Medicine
  • General Medicine
  • Acute Geriatrics
  • Cardiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • General Orthopaedics
  • General Surgery
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Renal Medicine
  • Thoracic Medicine
Offsite Facilities
  • Royal Flying Doctors (RFDS)
  • Babinda Multi-purpose Health Service (GP)
  • Atherton Hospital (Rural)
  • Mareeba Hospital (Rural)
  • Sexual Health
Mackay Hospital:
Core Emergency Medicine
  • Mackay Base Hospital Emergency
  • Proserpine Emergency
Core Medicine
  • Mackay Base Hospital medicine
  • Cardiology
  • Mater medicine
Core Surgery
  • Mackay Base Hospital Surgery
  • Mackay Base Hospital Orthopaedics
  • Mater Surgery
Elective Rotations
  • Child and Adolescent Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Anaesthetics
  • Mental Health Unit
  • Private Practice – Southside Medical
  • Bowen Rural
  • Proserpine Rural
Townsville Hospital:
Core Emergency
Core Surgical
  • General surgery
  • Orthopaedics
  • Gynaecology
  • Urology
  • Vascular
  • Neurosurgery
  • Colorectal
Core Medicine
  • General medicine
  • Renal
  • Gastroenterology
  • Gerontology, acute care of the elderly
Electives in

  • Anaesthetics
  • Cardiology
  • Community paediatrics
  • Country practice –work and live in Ingham, Charters Towers, Palm Island
  • Endocrinology
  • Gerontology
  • Haematology
  • Infectious diseases
  • Medical oncology
  • Mental health
  • Neurology
  • O&G
  • Paediatrics
  • Palliative care
  • Radiology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Rheumatology
  • Rural GP in Ingham
  • Sexual health

Salary, Allowances and Overtime

Interns’ employment conditions are covered under the Medical Officers’ (Queensland Health) certified agreement (No. 5) 2018 (known as MOCA5).

This agreement covers:

  • Wages and salary
  • Industrial relations
  • Other employment conditions such as hours of work, allowances and overtime.

The hospitals in our region offer a range of attractive incentives such as rurality allowance, relocation support, and accommodation. Contact the hospital directly to find out how they can support you.

Visit our region section to see additional information outlining incentives offered by each Hospital and Health Service in our region.


Lifestyle as an intern in northern Queensland

The hospitals and health services in our region endeavour to make your intern year a positive, memorable experience that sets you up for success to further your career.

Outside the hospital, you’ll have the opportunity for plenty of adventures. From the idyllic Whitsundays Islands and reef of the Far North to the rugged outback in the Northwest, you’ll discover just how beautiful northern Queensland truly is.

Explore the Living section of each of our region pages to find out more about lifestyle and attractions: 

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