Retrieval Registrar (Rotary wing aircraft)

Become a Retrieval Registrar with LifeFlight and develop your knowledge and skills through challenging, varied work across Australia and around the world. You’ll receive clinical supervision and ongoing education along with an attractive salary. You’ll also work in a dynamic environment that allows you to develop a broad range of skills in retrieval medicine and pre-hospital care.



Essential criteria

To be considered as a LifeFlight Doctor you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be in your final two (2) years of advanced post graduate training in a critical care discipline (emergency medicine, anaesthesia or intensive care medicine)
  • Have a minimum of 6 months experience at Registrar level in:
  • anaesthesia, and
  • emergency medicine, and
  • intensive care medicine and
  • paediatrics emergency medicine or paediatrics anaesthesia or paediatrics intensive care medicine or 12 months in mixed emergency medicine paediatrics
  • EFAST certification
  • be able to provide an up-to-date Anaesthetics log book as part of application

  • Be reasonably fit
  • Be eligible for registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority Agency (AHPRA)
  • Have Australian citizenship, residency or the ability to obtain an employment visa

To find out more about becoming a Retrieval Registrar at LifeFlight, apply online or contact us today for a confidential conversation.

What's involved

As a LifeFlight Critical Care Doctor, you'll be exposed to a broader caseload than you would in many other organisations. This includes the following and more:

  • Primary Response - assisting victims of road accidents, bushwalking, farming/industrial accidents and other trauma.
  • Inter-Facility Transfers - often referred to as 'inter-hospital transfers' these retrievals primarily assist rural and regional patients to access hospital care in larger cities. Providing stabilisation prior to transport (trauma, cardiac, medical, obstetric and paediatric).
  • Search and Rescue - assisting the search for bushwalkers and injured crew and passengers at sea.
  • International Air Ambulance Retrievals - supporting patients in the Asia-Pacific region as they are transferred to secondary/tertiary hospitals.

Working hours and rostering

Rostered hours are a mix of on-duty and on-call working hours. Your week will typically comprise of 4 shifts which include 12 hours on-duty followed by 12 hours on-call or 24 hours on-call, depending on the base location.

LifeFlight Critical Care Doctors work at a primary base and rotate to other bases on average once every four weeks. Every base has a different caseload and case mix and rotations allow you to gather the widest possible clinical exposure with other retrieval platforms and experience unique clinical settings.

All crew are also required to work according to strict fatigue management policies that comply with Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) rules.

Our locations

LifeFlight's Critical Care Doctors and medical support staff are located across nine aeromedical bases dotted throughout Queensland. You'll not only get to do some amazing work in retrieval medicine but you'll also travel around Australia and experience some of Australia's most scenic and remote countryside. Our Retrieval Registrars are based at:

  • Brisbane (Brisbane Airport and Archerfield)
  • Cairns
  • Mackay
  • Rockhampton
  • Roma
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Toowoomba
  • Townsville

Aeromedical fleet

LifeFlight Critical Care Doctors fly on board a variety of medically equipped aircraft and road vehicles. This includes: 

  • Rotary Wing: Bell 412, AW 139, BK 117 (all twin turbine aircraft)
  • Fixed Wing Jet aircraft: Learjet 45 and Challenger 604 air ambulances for both domestic and international transfers through the Asia Pacific region
  • Fixed Wing propeller aircraft: King Air B200 on board the Royal Flying Doctors Service
  • Road: Road missions with the Queensland Ambulance Service.


We help you adjust to your work as a Retrieval Registrar by providing a seven (7) day intensive training course at our state-of-the-art LifeFlight Training Academy. This includes specific operational training for rotary and fixed wing retrieval medicine and clinical skills training in emergency retrieval and pre-hospital care. This includes: 

  • Helicopter and plane operations
  • Pre-hospital care
  • Winching operations
  • Disaster management
  • International retrieval
  • Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET)
  • Emergency Breathing Systems (EBS)

This isn’t a rote learning course. Our emphasis is on safety and ensuring you become demonstrably capable in each of these key areas. This training also counts towards your Postgraduate Certificate in Aeromedical Retrieval (with James Cook University).

Ongoing support and training

At LifeFlight we have a strong belief in and commitment to education, training and development.

We provide all our doctors with ongoing training and education to ensure you continually develop as a medical practitioner. Our Critical Care Doctors will experience: 

  • Monthly teleconferences between the Clinical Director – Training and Education, clinical leads and all retrieval registrars. These feature formal presentations relating to a specific pre-hospital or retrieval topic;
  • Weekly clinical and operational mission audits to constructively review clinical management and allow powerful group learning to occur;
  • Base-specific familiarisation and orientation;
  • Hospital based registrar training for registrars towards second part exams;
  • Simulation training exercises to test and develop the technical and workplace skills needed to succeed in your role – task management, team working, situational awareness, decision making and more.

Clinical supervision and governance

Our Critical Care Consultants are provided with clinical lead supervision at each base and real-time advice on all missions. Each aircraft is equipped with cellular and satellite communication which is available for telephone consultation on-scene or while in-flight. Retrieval Registrars are expected to consult with the Clinical Coordinators (critical care specialists) after assessing the patient and at any time during a task as required.

LifeFlight has developed a strong clinical governance program centred on a regular state-wide clinical audit system. This helps to constantly improve clinical performance, resource use and communication effectiveness with the aim of producing a better outcome for those we care for.  

Non-Australian applicants


If you are an International Medical Graduate (IMG) who has obtained their primary medical degree overseas and would like to work for LifeFlight, you’ll need to gain Limited or Provisional Registration to practice medicine in Australia. You can do this by applying for one of the following assessment pathways below: 

  • The Specialist Pathway (specialist-in-training)

For overseas specialists-in-training with no more than two (2) years from completing specialist training, or overseas fully trained specialists wishing to undertake short-term training in Australia. 
An application can be made through the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine or the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists for recognition as a specialist-in-training.

  • The Specialist Pathway (specialist recognition) 

For overseas fully trained specialists seeking full comparability with the training and qualifications of a specialist trained in Australia.

  • The Competent Authority Pathway  

For overseas specialists-in-training or fully trained specialists awarded a primary medical degree through the General Medical Council (UK), Medical Council of Canada (LMCC), Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates of the United States (USMLE), the Medical Council of New Zealand (NZREX) or the Medical Council of Ireland. The Competent Authority pathway leads to general registration. 

  • The Standard Pathway

For International Medical Graduates seeking general registration who are not eligible for the Competent Authority Pathway or the Specialist Pathway.
An Australian Medical Council AMC CAT MCQ Examination is required.

For further information on Australian Medical Board registration please visit the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).


If you're interested in becoming a retrieval registrar with LifeFlight and don't hold an Australian or New Zealand passport or Australian permanent residency you must be eligible for a Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa (subclass 457). For further information on Visas please visit the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection.