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Employed medical practitioner

A medical practitioner who reported that he or she worked mainly, or only, in his or her state of registration, in medicine, in the week before the survey for pay, commission, payment in kind or profit. In this report, data on employed medical practitioners include those who are:

  • practising medicine
  • involved with work that is principally concerned with the discipline of medicine (including medical research, administration, or teaching of medicine)
  • on leave for less than 3 months.

Hospital non-specialist

A medical practitioner mainly employed in a salaried position in a hospital who does not have a recognised specialist qualification and who is not in training to gain a recognised specialist qualification. It includes interns, resident medical officers, career medical officers and other salaried hospital practitioners.

Main occupation

Main occupation refers to the type of medical work undertaken by an employed medical practitioner. Occupations are divided into two main groups, with categories in each group, as follows:

Clinician: A medical practitioner who spends most of the total weekly working hours mainly engaged in clinical practice (that is, diagnosis and/or treatment including recommending preventive action to patients) is classified as a clinician. It includes:

  • Primary care practitioner
  • Hospital non-specialist
  • Specialist
  • Specialist-in-training and from 2006
  • Other: a clinical job function in medicine which is not one of the above.
  • Non-clinician: A medical practitioner who is not a clinician. It includes:
    • administrator: employed in medical administration
    • teacher/educator: teaching or training persons in medicine
    • researcher: engaged in medical research
    • public health physician: engaged in identifying disease and illness, along with their treatments and any preventive measures that affect the health of the general public
    • occupational health physician: engaged in identifying disease and illness, along with their treatments and any preventive measures arising from particular fields or industries
    • other: a job function in medicine which is not one of the above. 

Medical practitioner

A person whose primary employment role is to diagnose physical and mental illnesses, disorders and injuries and prescribe medications and treatments that promote or restore good health.

Primary care practitioner

In the AIHW Medical Labour Force Survey, primary care practitioners are defined as medical practitioners who reported that they were employed at the time of the survey, they spent most of their time working as clinicians in the week before the survey, and their main area of clinical practice was primary or general care.

Primary care practitioners who identify as such are asked to further identify themselves as a vocationally registered general practitioner, an RACGP trainee or other.


A medical practitioner with a qualification awarded by, or which equates to that awarded by, the relevant specialist professional college in Australia to treat certain conditions (defined in the questionnaire).


A medical practitioner who has been accepted by a specialist medical college into a training position supervised by a member of the college. They are self-identified on the questionnaire.

State or territory

A State or territory is the State or Territory of the main job of the medical practitioner, being the job in which they report working the most hours.