Basic Physician Training

Monday, 6 April, 2020 The Course

What is it all about?

Basic Physician Training is the gateway to becoming a medical specialist. Basic Physician Training is a minimum three-year program managed by the Royal Australasian College of Physician (RACP).

It is a mandatory step in the career progression of all doctors wanting to pursue registration as a specialist in medical fields. This does not include other specialist pathways such as Surgery, Emergency and Critical Care, Psychiatry, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, etc.

Once your Basic Physician Training is complete and you have passed both the written and clinical examinations, you can apply for Advanced Training in your chosen specialist field. From this point, pathways, durations and examinations vary depending on your specialty.


What are the requirements?

To apply for Basic Physician Training, you must have general registration with the Medical Board and therefore successfully completed your intern year.

There are no other specific requirements you require before approaching your hospital’s Director of Physician Education (DPE). This allocated person is required to approve your application for Basic Physician Training, so it is best to approach this person and discuss your application prior to submission.


How do I apply?

Ensure you have completed your Intern year and have successfully passed all requirements and have been approved for general registration with the Medical Board of Australia or New Zealand.

Contact the DPE at the hospital you will be working for the proposed first year of Basic Physician Training.

If your DPE permits, you can apply through the RACP website.


What are the requirements of Basic Physician Training?

The vast majority of your education occurs at work. You will be required to find a Supervisor at work to monitor your progress. Your supervisor must hold FRACP and be registered with the College. You meet with your Supervisor on a regular basis to discuss your ongoing education, completion of assessments and future plans. Supervisor reports are completed on at least a 6-monthly basis and form part of your mandatory assessment.

The annual requirements for Basic Physician Training change on a regular basis. It remains the responsibility of the Basic Physician Trainee (BPT) to ensure they satisfy all of the assessment criteria each year in order to progress through their three years of training.

Written and Clinical examinations are required in order to complete Basic Physician Training.


When Should I Apply?

When you are certain that Basic Physician Training is right for you and you have general registration with Medical Board.

The first year of Basic Physician Training contains work based assessments and Supervisor Reports, with no formal examinations occurring until Year 3. If you are sure that you want to proceed with Basic Physician Training and have completed your intern year with general medical board registration, then it is usually best to apply and proceed further as a BPT without waiting another year.

Generally, applications to for the forthcoming BPT year should be submitted by the end of January

Annual fees for Basic Physician Training are in excess of $3,000. If you are unsure of your career pathway, it can be a costly mistake to apply prematurely.


What do the examinations involve?

BPTs become eligible to sit the Written Examination early in their third year of Basic Physician Training.

The Written Examination is notoriously difficult. Most people recommend 12-months of dedicated study in addition to work-based experience. Pass marks are based on your overall percentile performance against other candidates. It is currently multi-choice question (MCQ) only.

The RACP provide a long list of all areas of expected knowledge in their curricula. However, there are no specific resources provided to you in order to assist with studying.


Top Physician is the only comprehensive, peer-reviewed, online resource to provide you with the essential study requirements. In addition, there are links to important clinical trials, thousands of practice MCQs, formal practice exams, alternative resources and interactive forums.



All advice is general. Top Physician holds no affiliation with The Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Top Physician assumes no responsibility for any individual outcomes relating to this generalised content.