Medical Board of Australia - Do interns feel prepared for their internships?

Do interns feel prepared for their internships?

Do interns feel ready for practice when they graduate from medical school? What can we all do better to smooth the transition from university to internship for young doctors?

2019 intern survey open 16 – 31 May

The Australian Medical Council (AMC) and the Medical Board of Australia (the Board) will survey interns this May to assess how well medical school prepares graduates for their internship.

On 16 May interns will be sent an email link to the survey, which closes on 31 May 2019.

2019 is the third year we have run the survey. The survey will be online, voluntary and anonymous. De-identified and aggregated results data and comparisons with previous years will be published and shared with medical schools and standards organisations, to shape future medical training.

Results of 2018 intern survey

We have recently published the de-identified and aggregated results of the 2018 survey on the Board’s website. About 20 per cent of interns participated in the survey, and results were similar to 2017.

Participating interns told us that medical school had prepared them to undertake the role and responsibilities of an intern:

  • almost 75 per cent agreed or strongly agreed
  • 11 per cent disagreed or strongly disagreed, and
  • 15 per cent remained neutral.

In general, interns told us they thought medical school had prepared them in skill areas such as:

  • core clinical skills, including taking a history and examining patients, and patient-related skills such as communication with patients and involving patients in decisions
  • other skills such as preventing cross-infection, ensuring patient safety, IV cannulation, knowing one’s own limitations, participation in multi-disciplinary teams, communication with colleagues and acting in a professional manner.

Areas in which interns did not feel as well prepared included:

  • prescribing medications and IV fluids, nutritional care, use of data technology, quality improvement, error reporting, coping with uncertainty, and undertaking a teaching role
  • seeking support for psychological distress and bullying and harassment.

To get feedback from supervisors, focus groups were held in Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Sydney and Bega. Supervisors were asked to complete a subset of questions from the main survey and given the opportunity to discuss their impressions of intern preparedness. Like interns, supervisors considered that medical school prepared students for internship, both in terms of overall preparedness and clinical preparedness.

The de-identified results of the survey have been sent to medical schools and other stakeholders involved in medical education to share feedback about how well graduates feel they are prepared for their internship.

The Board and the AMC thank all interns and supervisors who took part.

If you have any questions about the survey you can contact the AMC by email at

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