Combine your love of flying and medicine

March 29, 2016

Copy of unusual medical careers

The Royal Flying Doctor Service was established to provide emergency medical care and primary health care services to anyone who lives, works or travels in rural and remote Australia.

With a fleet of 63 aircraft operating from 21 bases located across the country, this is one of the largest organisations in the world offering aero-medical services. The organisation provides extensive primary health care and 24-hour emergency service to communities spread over an area of 7.3 million sq. kms. They provide medical assistance to over 290,000 people in a single year; that’s about one person every two minutes.

Because the RFDS offers comprehensive medical services, they are always in need of healthcare professionals from across different specialties. If you are looking for a career that combines your passion for flying and medicine, this is an opportunity that is worth considering.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service

Remote consultations
Remote consultations form the core of RFDS services. These are the calls that are made by health workers as well as lay persons in rural and remote areas, who require medical assistance or advice from an RFDS doctor. Most tele-health or remote consultations are conducted using satellite and mobile phones.

Primary response or front line of help
A primary response occurs when fast action is required to save a person’s life – this could be to attend to a person who has suffered a severe injury or is severely ill and needs to be evacuated by air because there are no medical facilities at their location. The RFDS provides this service 24/7 to over 80% of the Australian continent.

Patient transfers or inter-hospital transfers
In less urgent cases, the RFDS plays a key role in inter-hospital transfers. This could include transferring patients from small hospitals in rural and remote areas to larger healthcare facilities in metropolitan areas where more specialist services are available.

Oral health
A high percentage of people living in remote and rural Australia do not have access to a proper dental service. Acknowledging the vital link between oral health and overall health, the RFDS has over the years established oral health services in parts of remote and rural Australia. Often, these services are funded by private corporates.

Health promotion and education
The RFDS runs a wide range of health promotion and education programs that aim to improve the health and lifestyles of people living in remote and rural Australia.

Career options

Some of the benefits and incentives you will enjoy as an employee of RFDs include competitive salary packages supplemented by substantial remote allowances, ongoing training and professional development opportunities and a relatively flexible schedule.

The RFDS is always in need of qualified staff to fulfill their mission. Job opportunities range from doctors and nurses to dentists, allied health practitioners and healthcare information technologists, all of which provide attractive options for anyone looking to combine their love of flying and medicine.


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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.