The Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia.
Advocacy win

Australia will recognize COMLEX-USA, AOA residency, as criteria for initial licensure

Change comes after three years of advocacy by the AOA and other leaders in the osteopathic medical profession.

Obtaining a license to practice medicine in Australia will soon be significantly easier for DOs. The country’s medical board recently agreed to include completion of COMLEX-USA exams and two years of ACGME- or AOA-accredited residency training in its eligibility criteria for licensure.

This change came after three years of advocacy by the osteopathic medical profession, beginning with the AOA’s request for Australia’s medical board to recognize COMLEX and AOA-accredited residency training. Humayun Chaudhry, DO, immediate past president of the International Association of Medical Regulatory Authorities, John R. Gimpel, DO, president and CEO of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME), and other NBOME staff also devoted time and effort to advocating for this recognition.

“This is a tremendous win for the profession,” says Amy Byerwalter, AOA associate vice president of international affairs. “This success goes beyond Australia as recognition by such a large regulatory authority will help support our efforts for recognition elsewhere.”

Following this change, DOs who have completed all three levels of the COMLEX-USA exams as well as two years of an AOA- or ACGME-accredited residency program will be eligible to apply for provisional registration in Australia. Obtaining provisional registration allows a DO to engage in supervised practice in Australia, after which they may apply to practice independently.

To facilitate this change, the Medical Board of Australia is establishing a new category in its competent authority pathway. This is the first time it has done so in 15 years. The board will post information about the new category on its competent authority pathway page soon, including guidance on how to apply.

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