Musculoskeletal Medicine Pathways to Training in Australia

Musculoskeletal Medicine (MSM) is not a recognised speciality in Australia.  Interested doctors can still undertake the University of Otago distance taught Diploma and Masters programmes in Musculoskeletal and Pain Medicine

The Australian Association of Musculoskeletal Medicine (AAMM) is the organisation for collegial support, conferences and information for General Practitioners and others with a Special Interest in MSM and offers a Certificate in Musculoskeletal Medicine

There are many ways to practise varieties of Musculoskeletal/Pain Medicine in Australia, such as via Sports Medicine, General Practice, Rehabilitation Medicine and the Faculty of Pain Medicine. You will need to choose your best pathway.

Rehabilitation Medicine Pathway Information

There is an under-recognised but accepted way to develop such expertise, and unlike all other options, this comes with an attendant Consultant (not just Specialist) rate of remuneration. That is via Rehabilitation Medicine Fellowship training.

It is possible to customise a training program orientated towards Musculoskeletal and Pain Medicine in the four years of training. Although it is under the RACP, the programme is independently managed via the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and offers a pathway in from other branches of medicine.

For more information on this please contact:

Dr Geoffrey Speldewinde; Canberra, Australia

+61 2 62826240;

International Medical Graduates (IMG)

The qualifications of Certificate of Attainment in Musculoskeletal Medicine and Fellowship of NZCMM is unique to New Zealand. The Medical Council of New Zealand, but not the Australian Medical Council, recognises the Fellowship for purposes of vocational (specialist) registration in Musculoskeletal Medicine.

The following refers to applying for vocational registration  in Musculoskeletal Medicine from outside New Zealand and without NZ qualifications.

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) seeking to train or work in Musculoskeletal Medicine in New Zealand are obliged to follow the process set by the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ).

If an IMG with an overseas post graduate medical qualification in a field rich in Musculoskeletal Medicine ( such as non-operative Orthopaedics,  Physiatry, Regenerative  Medicine or Rehabilitation) applies for vocational registration with MCNZ, the Council may ask NZCMM for advice about the IMG’s qualifications, training and experience (QTE) and whether this is at the level of a New Zealand trained specialist in musculoskeletal medicine. MCNZ will consider NZCMM advice and decide if the IMG is suitable for the provisional vocational registration pathway. An IMG who wishes to appeal the outcome of an application should do so through MCNZ appeal processes.

On receipt of the request for advice by MCNZ, an NZCMM  assessment panel considers the IMG’s application, by means of a paper-based assessment.  The panel compares the applicant’s supporting documents with the prescribed NZCMM Fellowship programme outcomes, using an IMG assessment template. The panel will consider references and referee reports. Each component of the template is graded for relative equivalence to a New Zealand trained specialist in musculoskeletal medicine, followed by an overall assessment of equivalence. NZCMM then considers and proposes pathway requirements for the applicant  to the MCNZ.  The panel may also require a formal interview to provide further information on clinical expertise, and will assess other domains, including communication and professionalism.

Once a decision has been made by MCNZ to provide provisional registration in the vocational scope of Musculoskeletal Medicine . a period of supervised practice will take place according to a decision by NZCMM and working with MCNZ.