Working as a Doctor in Rural Australia

Expanse of the rural Australian outback on a sunny day

Where might you have to manage a bite from a bilby or wait for camels to be cleared from the runway before your plane can take off? Working as a rural doctor in remote Australia is where.

The majority of Australians live in cities but around a third of Australia’s population live in regional, rural and remote areas.

They include indigenous people, farming families and a growing number of internationally displaced people who are building new lives for themselves in Australia.


Australia is a vast country. Regional, rural, remote and very remote areas are so defined in terms of road distance from services or by urban centre population.

There is little difference in the composition of households between areas however in very remote areas there is a higher proportion of multi-family households.

People living in rural areas tend to have higher levels of illness and disease risk factors than those in major cities, however rural Australians have higher rates of participation in volunteer work and report feeling safe in their community.

The social cohesiveness of rural communities is often highlighted by regional doctors as one of the most positive aspects of living and working in country areas.

Rural communities may be within reach of a ‘supertown’ which provide an alternative to living in a crowded cities while also providing the health, education and other services people require but many smaller towns also have coffee shops and supermarkets, and cultural opportunities.

Working as a remote doctor provides great exposure to Australian culture, and you may have the opportunity to work with the renowned Royal Flying Doctor Service as well as experience some amazing scenery and lower costs of living.

Consults may be conducted in a clinic, on a front porch or even sitting on a rock in the middle of red sand. So if you fancy a more unusual placement, and you like being part of a close-knit community, working as a rural doctor in Australia might be right for you.

Rural doctors already working in regional and remote areas report enjoying close relationships with patients and staff. They also appreciate the opportunity to experience cases they wouldn’t typically see in metropolitan areas.

Remote and regional doctors report less time spent doing paperwork and more time doing clinical work. Not having immediate access to appropriate resources can require creativity, as a consequence many rural doctors believe that working in remote areas is an advantage to their overall career and leads to increased confidence in their abilities.

Healthstaff Recruitment has remote doctor jobs available so feel free to browse our job vacancies today.