More flexibility needed for experienced IMGs

The case of a German orthopaedic surgeon who may soon be deregistered and forced to leave the town he has served for six years has sparked renewed calls for more flexibility in IMG assessment and registration processes.

Dr Christoph Ahrens moved to Australia in 2005, after training and qualifying as a surgeon in Germany and then working as a senior consultant in England. 

He decided to move to Bega – an area of need – on the understanding that he would be able to attain his fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) after a period of supervision. 

But on arrival in the country he was told his qualifications were only partially comparable to Australian standards, and he would have sit the RACS fellowship exam. This would likely involve two years of study and moving away from Bega.

“They are asking me to go back to registrar level,” he told IMG. 

“This is a very