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Do interns feel prepared for their internships?

23 Aug 2018

A survey designed to find out how well interns felt medical school prepared them for their internship and how medical schools could improve how they prepare graduates for internship will be sent to all interns in Australia in August 2018.

The survey will be online, voluntary and anonymous. De-identified and aggregated results data will be published and shared with medical schools and standards organisations, to shape future medical training improvements. Privacy and confidentiality are guaranteed.

The survey is a joint effort between the Australian Medical Council and the Medical Board of Australia, which set standards for medical school programs and the intern year. This is the second year we have run the survey.

A core aim of medical student training is to make sure that medical graduates are prepared to start work safely as junior doctors working under supervision.

‘We want to hear directly from interns about their experiences and find out how well they think their medical training prepared them for their internship,’ said MBA Chair, Dr Joanna Flynn AM.

‘There is a big jump in expectations from student placement to working as an intern and being responsible for patient care. By understanding the issues interns face, we can help the agencies who influence medical training to better prepare graduates for the workplace,’ she said.

AMC President, Associate Professor Jillian Sewell AM, said while medical graduates enter internship well qualified by their education and training, there are challenges in the transition from student to intern.

‘When they start their internship, interns take on clinical responsibility, need to adapt to the culture and expectations of the workplace, learn to work in teams, manage the pace of work and handle sometimes stressful, demanding situations,” she said.

The survey results will help the Board and the AMC address difficulties in the transition from medical school to internship, close potential gaps in training and avoid duplication between intern and medical school training.

About the survey

The survey:

  • is online, voluntary and anonymous – de-identified and aggregated data will be shared with medical schools and standards organisations, to shape future training improvements
  • is a joint effort of the Australian Medical Council and the Medical Board of Australia, supported by AHPRA with safeguards to protect privacy and confidentiality
  • has received ethics approval from the Australian National University Human Research Ethics Committee
  • will be emailed to all interns in Australia in August 2018 and open for three weeks. AHPRA will send the emails on behalf of the Board and the AMC will analyse the data
  • will take about 10 minutes to complete, and
  • is designed to help the agencies that influence medical training better prepare graduates for their internship  
  • will close on Monday 17 September 2018.

Confidentiality safeguards

  • AHPRA is sending the emails because it has the electronic contact details for interns and to satisfy privacy and confidentiality regulations, it cannot provide these to the AMC.
  • The first email will tell interns about the survey and why it is being done, followed by an email with a link to the survey.
  • The link will stop working when the intern has completed the survey, but if they can’t complete the survey in one session, they will be able to return and finish it later.
  • Responses are untraceable by the Medical Board, AHPRA or the AMC.
  • The unique survey link is randomly generated and unconnected to identifying information held by AHPRA or the MBA.
  • The AMC is analysing the data.

Survey results

  • De-identified, aggregated data will be published on the AMC and the MBA websites.
  • Interns will be notified when the results are published.
  • The AMC will share de-identified survey data with medical schools for benchmarking purposes.
  • The AMC will share de-identified results data with jurisdictions and post-graduate medical councils to allow them to benchmark local results against collated state and territory data.
  • Survey outcomes will inform the review of the standards for medical school programs and for the internship.

For further details please email: [email protected].

Page reviewed 23/08/2018