Although scheduling for both Step1-MCQ and Step2-Clinical does not require a physician license in the Philippines, it is important to note that those who have clinical practice may be viewed as having more edge than those without it.
The Medical Board of Australia indicates in their website that a recent practice “does not apply to graduates applying for registration for the first time.” On the other hand, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) requires doctors to meet Recency of Practice to be eligible for registration in Australia. This conflicting statements make IMGs confused on a standard that they have to follow.
Here at AMEX Review Center, our opinion is that we advise our students to have a bit of time to get clinic or hospital duties while on their track towards their registration. We stress on the word “bit” since to satisfy the Recency of Practice standard, doctors must work for a minimum of:
4 weeks full-time clinical practice in 12 months, with a total of 152 hours; or
12 weeks full-time clinical practice in 3 years, with a total of 456 hours.
The Medical Board of Australia and AHPRA regard “full-time practice” as working 38 hours per week. It is best to pay attention, that one’s recent practice must be within the intended scope. If the plan is to land GP work, then one must have recent clinical experience encompassing GP work. If the plan is to land a hospital job, one must have recent hospital duties.
In a situation wherein a physician is unable to fulfill the aforementioned standards, AHPRA may give conditions that can be equivalent to clinical practice. These requirements can encompass provisions that can relate to as simple as completion of 1 years’ Continued Professional Development Activities (relevant to the area of practice), or certification of employment in Non-Clinical Recency of Practice such as working as a Medical Administrator, working in Medical Research or in Medical Policy, or at the end of the spectrum, to return to the Philippines and practice for the minimum number of weeks stipulated.
Please bear in mind that the path towards registration is a case-to-case basis. For detailed discussions on this topic and issues relating to the recency of practice, refer to our references: