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Update: General Practitioners vs General Physicians, Pharmacy Store Services and Nuclear Medicine in Australia

October 1, 2019 0 Comments

We highlight some differences between General Practitioners and General Physicians, valuable Pharmacy Store Services and new advancements in Nuclear Medicine in Australia.

General Practitioners vs General Physicians: How do they differ? (Responsibilities, Training, Salary)

Pharmacy Store Services

Nuclear Medicine in Australia


General Practitioners vs General Physicians: How do they differ? (Responsibilities, Training, Salary)

Even though they have the same acronym, a General Practitioner and a General Physician are two different jobs. Here are some of the differences in their responsibilities, medical training and salary.

General Practitioners

Your General Practitioner (GP) may work at medical centres and general practices and in other health services and hospitals. Generally, they are the point of contact for non-emergency and preventative medical services.

GPs trained in medicine and are qualified to treat general health problems like illnesses or injuries that cannot be treated with over-the-counter medication from pharmacies. They work closely with clinical teams and other medical specialists. They have also been considered at the centre of a primary health care system, whereby they play a crucial role in helping patients who are not admitted to a hospital.

GPs can also specialise in particular medical services. They also decide whether their patients need to see other medical professionals. GPs in those cases will give patients a referral.

HealthDirect recommends to obtain a referral from their GP before seeing a specialist in order to get their Medicare rebates. If the patients need to see several medical professionals, the GP can coordinate and integrate their care.

Some of the medical services regularly provided by a GP include:

  1. Diagnosing and treating disease, pain and other medical conditions
  2. Travel medicine and vaccinations services
  3. Mental health advice
  4. Family planning advice
  5. Wound care and minor surgical procedures
  6. Prescribing of medication
  7. Writing referrals for tests or scans
  8. Referring patients to specialists.

Doctor broken heart covered with band aid

General Physician

General Physicians are medical specialists in the education, diagnosis and management of complex and chronic problems, disorders and illnesses. Sometimes also referred to as specialist or consultant physicians.

The general physician has a wide range of expertise, from acute hospital settings to ambulatory care.

Physicians can also specialise in additional areas like acute medicine, perioperative medicine, clinical pharmacology, palliative care and care for the elderly. They often work in hospitals and most general physicians also see patients in consulting rooms.

General Physicians’ broad range of expertise can set them apart in many instances. According to the Internal Medicines of Australia and New Zealand (IMSANZ), their main duties involve:

  1. Global Approach to Assessment: All diagnostic possibilities will be considered, whether the patient has one health problem or multiple.
  2. Complex Care: Physicians can be responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of problems across all body systems in a patient, even manage the social and psychological impacts that may come along.
  3. Medical Procedures: Carrying out medical procedures for patients with a variety of health problems.
  4. Diagnosis: Diagnostic testing to investigate further health problems.
  5. Treatment: Physicians have special expertise in making treatment decisions for patients with comprehensive knowledge of analysis and medications use.
  6. Pre- and Post-operative assessment: Before surgery, Physicians regularly review patients. They advise surgeons of any risks and recommend appropriate methods. They can also assist in postoperative care and ongoing medical care.

Difference in Training

GPs may undergo up to 10 years of medical education and additionally work their way to perform in medical practice and further specialisations. As explained by HealthDirect, GPs complete a basic medical degree and internship, then do additional medical training in general practice.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians summarised the pathways to becoming a General Physician. After Basic and Advanced training requirements have been met, trainees and overseas trained physicians will be recommended by the College to the relevant Education or OTP committee for approval to be admitted to Fellowship.

One of the differences in training between the two comes after completion of the medical degree and post-graduate intern year. General Practitioners can continue in General Practice and find employment in medical centres as well as continue working in Emergency medicine settings. Physicians continue their training by being employed at an accredited hospital where they will train their skills for Fellowship and additional Advance training.

For both, having a clean and active registration with the Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) is necessary.

Doctor training stethoscope and apple

Difference in Salary

As we mentioned in our previous blog, the average annual salary for a General Practitioner in Australia in 2019 can fluctuate around $129,721. However, some GPs could earn a lot more than that and daily average earnings for GP Jobs around $2000 are possible.

GP’s salary may also vary greatly depending on a number of contributing factors to their position. Type of contract, the location of the job, GP Skills & Type of work undertaken, percentage of billings are among the major factors which will affect the earning potential of General Practitioner jobs in Australia.

General Physicians salaries are in a similar pay range and can fluctuate around $116,773. The location, years of experience and the kinds of responsibilities are some of the factors influencing the Physician’s salary range.


If you are a GP with questions about your current billings and earning potential, or would like to explore other opportunities in your area, please contact one of our friendly team of consultants Today and let us tell you what GP jobs are available around Australia.


Pharmacy Store Services

As we previously mentioned, pharmacists across many parts of Australia and across the world last week celebrated World Pharmacists Day on the 25th of September.

The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), introduced the idea of one day a year dedicated to celebrating the profession and its contributions to healthcare.

Each year, pharmacists from all around Australia get together to celebrate their profession, discuss recent insights and the impacts on the future of the pharmacy industry. It can also be a great opportunity to learn from each other about being better pharmacists.

This year World Pharmacy Day 2019 theme was “Safe and effective medicines for all”. And just last week, pharmacists around Australia joined together in multiple events to celebrate.

According to a report from The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, in recent years the average number of times Australians visit a community pharmacy has been around 15-20 times a year. With Safe and effective medicines for all in mind, services pharmacies can provide have the potential of helping many. Convenience should be considered, also cost saving and the quality of care – all areas where good pharmacists can support.

Pharmacy pills spilled from bottle disposal

Issuing sick certificates

If patients are eligible for a sick certificate after their assessment with the pharmacists in charge, they will be provided with a certificate to exempt them from work or school.

This can be helpful as waiting for an appointment with a GP could take longer if the patient urgently needed one. There are also guidelines that a pharmacist needs to follow when issuing the sick certificate.

After the service has been provided, a pharmacy can charge a fee for both of their consultation and the services for the sick certificate. This fee may vary across different pharmacies based on the length of the consultation and business-related costs.

Providing vaccinations

Pharmacies across Australia have been able to provide vaccinations against the flu. Pharmacists can undergo an accredited vaccination training course in order to be qualified.

Some states have also allowed pharmacists to vaccinate for influenza and whooping cough. Examples of those would be community pharmacies across Queensland and Northern Territories. It is recommended to be aware of all the qualified services your local pharmacy offers, as effective solutions often are available.

Pharmacies are highly regarded as excellent locations to provide immunisation services. This includes their convenience of the locations, but also the time saved from seeing your GP and a lack of common waiting room areas to alleviate the potential for bacteria spreading among patients.

Health checks and risks assessment

Besides their GPs, patients can also visit their community pharmacy for a health check. Many pharmacies have fully trained pharmacists who can conduct these checks, which may include anaemia testing, bone density, blood pressure testing, breast check, bowel cancer screening, cholesterol testing, diabetes screening, to name a few.

However, it is highly recommended that patients still share the results with their GPs should there be any abnormalities or need for further testing and examinations.

Pharmacy bandage crossed

Unwanted medicines disposal

Pharmacy research has revealed that 75 percent of the respondents kept medicines in house frequently in case they needed them again in the future. But if the expired medicines were not disposed of properly, or if continued to be stored with a large amount at home, it could lead to human poisoning and environmental pollution risks that according to the survey 18% of the respondents already do not know how to do.

Pharmacists in Australia should be encouraging their communities to check their medicines and to dispose of unwanted medicines by returning them to the pharmacy at any time for free.

Last year’s Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) Project, a Federal Government-funded initiative, provided Australians with such a convenient way to dispose of household medicines.

When pharmacies collects all unwanted or out-of-date household medicines, they are placed in a secure bin for safe and environmentally friendly disposal.

What are your thoughts about these services that pharmacies can offer and their place in Australia’s healthcare system? We would love to hear from you. Let us know by scheduling a call Today with our friendly consultants Sean Kelly and Alyssa Bonfa find out more what pharmacist jobs in Australia he can discuss with you.


Nuclear Medicine in Australia

More investment has been given to the nuclear medicine field in Australia to improve the technological advancements on people’s health.

A $12.5 million investment toward the expansion of the deep tech-focused ANSTO Innovation Precinct at Lucas Heights was committed by the NSW Government this year.

An estimated 5000 extra jobs are forecast to be created as a result of this investment for ANSTO (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation). They have already been working towards cutting edge treatments for some diseases and aim to be Australia’s global leader of nuclear medicine.

The expansion of the Lucas Heights facility would also help to develop a next-generation nuclear medicine cluster and graduate centre, with 25 scholarships for graduate students.

The Minister for Innovation believed that opening a new Nuclear Medicine and Technology Hub would help with technological development and advances that would eventually influence treatments and people’s lives.

Nuclear medicine x ray radiology scan of head

ANSTO could be the new leading nuclear research facility to use ground breaking technology in developing new therapies, creating new treatments for inoperable diseases, as well as monitoring the progression of these diseases.

The state government’s $12.5 million investment over four years would:

  • Create incubator projects for nuclear medicine and technology businesses that allow access to cutting edge technology and science in Australia
  • Help to establish a graduate institute, including 25 new scholarships
  • Drive collaboration between technology businesses, researchers and the industry

According to ANSTO, a global centre of excellence for the future in next-generation nuclear medicines would lead to more clinical trials that can provide treatments currently not available in Australia. For example, one of ANSTO’s partners is already currently engaged in clinical trials of an implantable radiotherapy device – if successful there could be immediate benefits to some inoperable diseases.

Wollongong Hospital – the first in Australia to have a $1.3m digital nuclear medicine machine

Wollongong Hospital is the first medical facility in Australia this year to get the nation’s first digital gamma ray camera. The new machine will be used to scan heart disease and cancers, and replaces any outdated machines.

According to the Director of Nuclear Medicine, the machine will take less time to scan patients and at lower radiation doses. In some cases, the machine uses 75 percent less radiation than previously and these scans are also proven to be safe.

Thanks to this new machine, scans which previously took 15 minutes to complete can now take up to 5 minutes only. Patients can be able to get results faster and their treatments could start sooner.

The new machine could be used on most types of organs and could be used to assist with a wide range of diseases. Patients generally would only need to lie on the bed and the provider can look for the areas for images and diagnosis.

Radiology body scan of human nuclear medicine

What are your thoughts on the implications of nuclear medicine innovations in healthcare and the medical imaging industry in Australia ? We would love to hear from you.

Scheduling a call Today with our friendly consultant Judith Butcher and find out what Radiology jobs in Australia she can recommend to you.

Gorilla Jobs can assist you with exploring a variety of job opportunities across our large network of clients looking for qualified staff. Our experienced consultants in the Doctor, Imaging and Pharmacy divisions look forward to helping you.

Speak to one of our Senior Consultants today and find out what career and recruitment advice will help you to navigate through the positions available and which ones are most suited to your situation.

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