What do they do?
Physicians and Paediatricians (aka specialists, specialist physicians or consultant physicians) are qualified medical doctors who have gone on to complete further training in a medical specialty.
Physicians are responsible for diagnosing, treating and managing the medical conditions of adults. Paediatricians do the same thing but work with infants, children and adolescents.
They care for difficult, serious, on-going or unusual medical problems and continue to see the patient until these problems have resolved or stabilised.
Physicians and paediatricians might work in hospitals, private practices or community medical centres, and may also focus on research or medical administration.
If you’re interested in a medical career and want to specialise but would still like variety and challenges, then you should consider these options.
- detect and diagnose medical conditions
- provide care for patients with complex illnesses
- treatment of problems affecting different body systems in a patient
- treatment of social and psychological impact of disease
- carry out a variety of medical procedures for the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients with severe and complex illnesses
- use diagnostic tests logically, safely and effectively as investigative tools
- critical analysis of test results, research reports, and drug industry information
- understand complex interactions of medications given simultaneously in the treatment of patients
- make treatment decisions to help patients
- work with surgeons to determine patient’s risk status & recommend appropriate management to minimise risks
- assist in postoperative care and ongoing medical problems or complications
- keep detailed, accurate and up to date medical records
- consult with other Doctors or departments
- think logically but also outside the box
- have a scientific approach
- be good at decision making
- strong assessment and analysis abilities
- be objective
- strong work ethic and drive to succeed as cases may be challenging
- broad scope of knowledge and the willingness to keep learning
- confidence to make decisions and advocate on behalf of patients
- work well independently but also as part of a team
- Become a registered medical doctor (see pathways in the Study Work Grow Doctor job spotlight).
- Complete at least one to three years of postgraduate residency before entering a basic (36 months of rotations) or advanced speciality training program (3-5 years full-time) with an accredited specialist college.
- Choose to study as a General Physician or General Paediatrician or further specialise into:
- Paediatrics and child health includes: clinical genetics, community child health, general paediatrics, neonatal and perinatal medicine, paediatric oncology, paediatric clinical pharmacology, paediatric emergency medicine, paediatric endocrinology, paediatric gastroenterology & hepatology, paediatric immunology & allergy, paediatric infectious diseases, paediatric intensive care medicine, paediatric medical oncology, paediatric nephrology, paediatric neurology, paediatric nuclear medicine, paediatric palliative care, paediatric rehabilitation medicine, paediatric respiratory and sleep medicine, paediatric rheumatology
- Physician includes: cardiology, clinical genetics, clinical pharmacology, endocrinology, gastroenterology & hepatology, general medicine, geriatric medicine, haematology, immunology & allergy, infectious diseases, medical oncology, nephrology, neurology, nuclear medicine, respiratory and sleep medicine, rheumatology.
- Pass clinical, practical and exit exams, and other assessments to test the full range of skills and behaviours required as a doctor, such as communication and team work.
- Undertake vocational training in a public hospital, private hospital, or a regional, rural and community health settings.
- Awarded a fellowship from the college.
- Apply for unrestricted Medicare provider number
- Apply for jobs within any medical institution to practise independently in the area of your specialty.
Average salaries include newly registered Doctors, salary is expected to increase with experience, and is dependent upon the exact role, level of training, institution and location. Neither do average salaries account for overtime pay and bonuses.
Physician / doctor, cardiologist: $120,000 range $60,000 to $400,000.
Paediatrician: $100,478 range $51,555 to $171,140
(Source: MEDIQ Financial Services)
Medical specialists $160,340 (Source: au.indeed.com)
Physician / Doctor, Paediatrics $97,591 (Source: payscale.com)
Future growth: moderate to strong (source: Joboutlook.gov.au)