Due to eh abundance of posts asking how many years this, how many years that, what do I get paid, what am I called etc kind of posts floating on this forum I think it’s a great idea to consolidate simple information into one post
This is how your career progression works (I’ll try use the Australian terminology where I can)
Medical School (4-6 years) -> intern/JHO (1 year) -> resident (SHO) (minimum 1 year) -> registrar (minimum 3 years with RNZCGP, 4 with RACGP i think, 5 most other specialties) -> (fellow) -> consultant
so what do these fancy terms mean?
Medical School – it’s all about being a student. absorb what you can, learn what you can.
Intern/JHO – your first year out. essentially you are starting primary school again (with medical school being kindergarten) – you do a variety of rotations through various specialties to get registration
Resident/SHO/PHO – lots of terms but essentially they all mean you are now a registered doctor. Again you do a variety of runs but you aren’t formally on a specialty training scheme (with the exception of the RACP I believe who starts from PGY 2 – correct me please chinaski)
Registrar– you are now moving into high school! You are the bigger kids of the block now. you are probably on a specialty training scheme so you are usually: a medical registrar, an anaesthetic registrar, a psychiatric registrar, a GP registrar or some surgical registrar (this list is by no means exhaustive). however, one can be a registrar and NOT be on a training scheme if their registrar position is non-accredited for training – i.e. a non-training registrar
Fellow – this is the position you usually take after finishing your exams at school. By this point you have finished your specialty exams (not always though – specialty dependent) or you are in your final year of training (anaesthetic fellows at ATY3 and ICU trainees are the ones I’m familiar with). You are a pseudo consultant and you are beginning to make your transition into life
Consultant – big boss, big mama, man in charge, woman in charge – this is essentially what you aspire to. You are now a qualified specialist. There is still lots of learning to be done, but you are responsible for all the people beneath you on the ladder now
Matt edit to add (because I know lg won’t mind):
Sub-specialist:It’s becoming increasingly common for sub-specialisation within your own specialty to be the norm. Sometimes this is through extra postgraduate training (e.g. an ‘interventional cardiologist) or sometimes through preference/interest e.g. a shoulder surgeon (as opposed to an orthopaedic surgeon), or a mix of the two. Just about anything is possible providing you have adequate training, practices facilities, and patient demand.
I hope this has been helpful