Report on specialist medical colleges data for SIMG applications - Emergency Medicine

Posted 12/11/2021 by Alasdair Spinner


G’day. In this post I will look at specialist international medical graduates (SIMGs) applications and outcomes for the year 2020 to the Australian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM). It's particularly interesting to see if Covid had an impact on the number of applications to ACEM and subsequent outcomes for any SIMGs. Not all colleges’ SIMG processes were impacted by Covid whilst some were more affected by others.


When looking at these stats it's important to note data is collected by ACEM and presented by AHPRA The data is a report of ACEM’s (and other medical colleges) activities during a period - in this case Jan 1 2020 - 31 December 2020. It shows “point in time reporting” because applicants are unlikely to complete their college applications within this one reporting period. As the AHPRA says “ denominators are unable to be defined and percentages calculated. Colleges may have more assessment outcomes than applicants received for the period “ examined'' and an applicant may have a delay in sitting their college interview which means their outcome could be reported in the following year - for example. 



Interesting to see below an above average (22.6) increase in applications in 2020. The highest country of applications since 2016 has been the UK with 32 applications. South Africa the next highest with 6. Country stats are based on where the applicant was at time of application. For some reason there was a relative spurt (4) of application outcomes from the USA in 2017 but none since according to ACEM. I wonder if this was down to the election of a certain politician in the USA? 


Missing numbers below reflect “Not comparable or withdrawn” status. 



Total applications

Substantially comparable outcomes

Partially comparable outcomes























If you are thinking of applying for specialist assessment in Australia the process includes applying to the AMC to have your qualifications verified, completing the ACEM application form and attending an interview with FACEM.


To be considered for an interview in Australia (and NZ for that matter) you must have completed a specialist training program in emergency medicine which


  • Was a structured, postgraduate course of at least three years duration, with published standards comparable to that of the FACEM Training Program.

  • Contained a documented and systematic in-training assessment system, with assessments comparable to those undertaken by FACEM trainees.

  • Was accredited against published standards by an external body and was assessed for re-accreditation at regular intervals.



Following the interview you will be assessed as either substantially comparable (SC), partially comparable (PC) or not comparable.  If SC you will have to work under supervision in Australia for 12 months. If PC you’ll have to complete recommended training (up to 24 months). Naturally a SC outcome is the favoured option!


NB: you don’t need a job offer to be assessed by ACEM. In fact getting assessed by ACEM prior to being recruited makes you far more competitive in any recruitment process in Australia. 



If you would like to know more about current or upcoming jobs in Emergency Medicine or to discuss your eligibility to be successfully assessed by ACEM please get in touch with me Alasdair Spinner. You can email or call +44 7414 531 583.



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