Here we are http://www.amsa.org.au/internship-crisis#Advice%20for%20international%20students !! Australia is now in crisis due to overproduction of doctors and shortage of internship post. Australia has for long been dependent on foreign trained doctors. To reduce their dependence, they doubled their number of medical schools over the last 10 years. Unfortunately, due to some poor planning they are now in crisis. We will be seeing the same scenario in another 3-4 years time in Malaysia. Can anyone deny that, now? Currently, we have more medical schools than Australia for almost the same number of population. In fact, they are targeting 3200 graduates next year (2013) when we have already achieved almost 4000 graduates last year ( 2011). They are only expected to reach 4000 graduates in 2015! Also remember few other issues:
1)Australians don’t go overseas to do medicine unlike Malaysians where almost 40% of our medical graduates still come from overseas;
2) They have a strict control of the quality of medical schools unlike bolehland
3) Almost close to 20% of their medical students are international students where as almost 95% of students in our 36 medical colleges in Malaysia are Malaysians
The article below by the Australian Medical Student’s Association is a good read. As you can see, international students most likely will NOT get an internship post next year. Monash Malaysia will definitely be in trouble as many students who enter Monash Malaysia, do so to be able to go to Australia to work/migrate, especially all their international students. With this new rule, Monash Malaysia may not be able to attract international students anymore as well as some Malaysians. Why should they pay such a huge amount of money when they can’t go to Australia to work/migrate? Monash Malaysia has been specifically mentioned in this article below. They have been downgraded from category 2 to 3 where they need to compete with interstate graduates.
I have told people many times that if your intention is to migrate to another country, DON”T DO medicine! A lot of my friends who are not doctors have easily migrated to Australia, New Zealand and even Canada. Unfortunately, as a doctor it is almost impossible to migrate to any developed countries now due to degree recognition issues, immigration laws and lack of post.
Interestingly, one of the suggestion that they have included is :
“Consider alternative employment next year. Medical graduates are able to make valuable contributions to society through a range of employment options beyond working as a medical professional”
Come 2015/16, we will be talking about the same issue in this Bolehland! Probably the students association of MMA can do the same thing as what the AMSA is doing. Unfortunately, our students themselves do not know what is happening in this country, thanks to our “katak bawah tempurung” education system and “brain washing” main stream media.
National Internship Crisis Updates
The National Internship Crisis page is designed as a central repository of information regarding availability of internships for 2013.
Despite a shortage of doctors in many rural Australian communities, this year it is predicted that over 350 medical graduates from Australian medical schools will be unable to obtain an internship in Australia and therefore be unable to work as doctors in underserved Australian communities. An internship is a compulsory year of training, following graduation, which is necessary for full registration and further training.
AMSA has been advocating for numbers for the number of available internships to increase so that all graduating medical students in Australia have access to an internship. AMSA’s advocacy has significantly contributed to the increased availability internships to accommodate the rapid increase in the numbers of medical graduates from 1660 in 2000 to approximately 3028 in 2011.
However, in 2012 the number of medical graduates is expected to increase by a further 486. Inadequate action has been taken to accommodate the oversupply of medical graduates and, based on current information, it is now expected that 244 international medical students will miss out on an internship.
The first round of internship offers was made to final-year medical students on Monday 23rd of July. Many states have made first round offers only to domestic graduates of that state. The second round of offers will be made on Wednesday 8th of August.
The latest updates
AMSA has received updated data from the Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Colleges (CPMEC) indicating that this year, 3236 Australian-trained medical graduates have applied for internship positions in 2013. This figure comprises 2828 permanent resident (domestic) and 498 temporary resident (international) graduates.
According to the latest available data, contained in the table below, only 3082 internships will be offered nationally.
The national shortfall of internships currently stands at 244 places.
Governments must act now to increase the number of internships, such that graduates can continue their training and serve Australia’s health needs.
|Total: 3 082||100*||918||43||665||271||98**||702||285|
*ACT Health has committed to place all graduates of ANU, but there has been no committed to fund positions for graduates of any other university.
** Tasmanian Department of Health & Human Services has committed to place all domestic graduates of the University of Tasmania, should they not take up an offer interstate, but there has been no commitment to fund these positions for any other graduates.
Statements from the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council
The Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) is formed by the Director General, Chief Executive or equivalent of each State and Territory Department of Health. AHMAC is a top-level decision-making body on health system issues. AHMAC is heavily involved with Health Workforce Australia and the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.
On the 23rd of July, following a number of meetings, AHMAC released a statement, authorised for distribution by AMSA, available here.
On the 18th of June, the following statement was released by AHMAC:
“The Australian Health Ministers’Advisory Council (AHMAC) has considered the issue of provision of internships to the graduates of Australian medical schools.
It is aware of concerns expressed by the Australian Medical Students Association (AMSA) in relation to the issue of international full fee paying students of Australian medical schools being able to secure an internship.
AHMAC has commissioned urgent work to quantify the extent of any potential shortfall in internships for international full fee paying students and options to address any concerns.
AHMAC is also aware of a change in the Victorian intern selection policy. AHMAC has asked that the impact of this change on the availability and provision of internships across Australia be assessed. It should be noted that the selection of applicants for internships, including selection criteria is the responsibility of each jurisdiction.
Once this work is finalised over the next couple of weeks the outcome will be communicated to medical schools and students applying for internships.”
What is AMSA doing about it?
- AMSA has sent its petition, containing almost 6500 signatures, to Australian Health Ministers asking them to commit to providing internships for all medical graduates. The petition is available here.
- AMSA is in frequent contact with each Postgraduate Medical Council, the Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils, Medical Deans Australia & New Zealand and Health Workforce Australia, to advocate for coordinated action to expand the number of internships available to medical graduates of Australian medical schools.
- The AMA has received a response from Federal Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek, regarding issues of medical training, in which the Minister acknowledged the issue of providing sufficient numbers of quality internships for graduates of Australian medical schools.
- AMSA International Students’ Network has release a guide to applying for internship in the USA, read it here.
- Together with Medical Students’ Councils and MedSocs, AMSA has written to all State Health Ministers to advocate for resources to be made available to fund an internship for every medical graduate in Australia
- AMSA has called State Health Departments to advocate for an internship to be made available for every medical graduate in Australia
- AMSA has written to Health Workforce Australia and the Federal Health Minister to encourage them to take action to increase the number of available internships
Meetings and selected AMSA media appearances
- 08.08.2012 Media Release: Internship places still lacking as second round offers released
- 30.07.2012 MJA InSight publishes opinion piece by AMSA President, ‘Internship uncertainty‘
- 23.07.2012 AMSA President interviewed on ABC News 24 television, ‘Medical graduates missing out‘
- 23.07.2012 AMSA President interviewed on ABC World Today, ‘Lack of hospital internships threaten future doctor numbers‘
- 23.07.2012 AMA President interviewed on ABC AM, ‘Not enough internships for medical graduates‘
- 23.07.2012 Media Release: Medical students face internship uncertainty
- 05.07.2012 AMSA President quoted in ‘Med student glut a problem for hospitals‘, The West Australian (page 8)
- 05.07.2012 Media Release: Students gather to address medical education threats
- 05.07.2012 AMSA President holds press conference at National Convention, prior to annual ‘Big Issues’ session
- 27.06.2012 AMSA President quoted in ‘No doctors in the house‘, The Age (page 13)
- 26.06.2012 AMSA President quoted in ‘Medical students languish in critical condition‘, The Age (page 13)
- 26.06.2012 Opinion pieces on the internship crisis: ‘Sick system infects doctor training‘, The Age, and ‘Education system turns its back on young doctors‘, The Australian
- 20.06.2012 AMSA President quoted in ‘Job fears for 500 medical graduates‘, The Age (front page)
- 20.06.2012 AMSA interviewed on SBS News Radio, 3AW, 3MP, ABC and SEN including prime time breakfast and drive time national radio!
- 19.06.2012 AMSA President quoted in ‘Urgent review of intern places: Minister‘, Australian Doctor
- 18.06.2012 AMSA President and AMA NSW meet with NSW Ministry of Health and NSW HETI
- 18.06.2012 AMSA President quoted in ‘Overseas students given internship priority‘, Australian Doctor
- 15.06.2012 AMSA petition quoted in ‘Call to govt to find 500 internships‘, Medical Observer
- 08.06.2012 AMSA President quoted in ‘Fears of medical intern shortage‘, Townsville Bulletin
- 06.06.2012 AMSA President raises issue at Health Workforce Australia innovation workshop
- 05.06.2012 AMSA President quoted in ‘Shortage of intern places hits crisis point‘, Australian Doctor
- 04.06.2012 MJA InSight publishes opinion piece by AMSA President, ‘An Intern Crisis‘
- 01.06.2012 AMSA interviewed on ABC PM ‘Medical students worried about a shortage of internships‘
- 30.05.2012 NSW students quoted in ‘Anger as medical graduates miss out on internships‘, Sydney Morning Herald
- 29.05.2012 AMSA President quoted in ‘Medical internships fall short’, The Australian (page 8)
- 29.05.2012 Interview with ABC Radio on highlighting shortage of internships and need for action on internships to ensure underserved communities have doctors
- 29.05.2012 Interview with NT News on how these shortages with impact on the NT
- 28.05.2012 Media Release: Needy communities robbed of health services – no intern places for more than 300 medical graduates
- 26.05.2012 Media Release: Key players recognise critical issues in medical training, AMSA
- 15.05.2012 Media Release: Internships before new medical schools, says AMSA
- 05.05.2012 AMSA President quoted and pictured in ‘Troubling prognosis for medics’, The Australian (page 8)
- 04.05.2012 CPMEC meeting: sought up to date information on expected numbers of available 2013 internships and urged action to address the shortage
- 30.04.2012 Media Release: AMSA demands action on landmark Health Workforce 2025 report
- 27.04.2012 Media Release: AMSA calls for release of Health Workforce 2025 Report
- 19.03.2012 AMSA President quoted in ‘Med grads face no-man’s land’, Campus Review
- 23.02.2012 Medical Training Review Panel meeting where sought up date on anticipated numbers of graduating medical students
- 20.02.2012 Meeting with Advisors to Federal Education Minister highlighting concerns relating to likely shortage of internships
- 17.02.2012 Meeting with Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils (CPMEC)
- 14.01.2012 Letter to Federal Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek, highlighting concerns relating to likely shortage of internships for 2013
Who is guaranteed an internship?
- Commonwealth-Supported Place (CSP) students
- Domestic and International full-fee students are NOT guaranteed internships (learn more about the options here)
- Domestic students are generally prioritised above international students in the allocation of internships
The Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services has provided assurances that it will provide internships for the number of domestic Commonwealth Support Place students who graduate from The University of Tasmania and are unable to gain an intership elsewhere in Australia.
On the 8th of June, the Victorian Department of Health announced changes to prioritisation in the allocation of internships in Victoria. A full description of the changes can be found here. Significantly, domestic students graduating from interstate universities will now be prioritised below international full-fee graduates of Victorian medical schools and students from the Monash University Malaysia Campus.
AMSA is working with the Victorian Department of Health and other relevant stakeholders to clarify the implications of this change for the Commonwealth of Australian Governments guarantee of internships for all Commonwealth-supported students and Australian immigration legislation that protects the employment and training opportunities for Australian permanent residents.
Following AMSA’s advocacy, PMCV has been advised by the Victorian Department of Health that full fee international students who have studied at Monash Universitiy Malaysia Campus will be included in Priority Group 3, behind category 1 and 2 students (domestic and international graduates from Victorian-based medical schools) and preferenced equally to other category 3 students (domestic students who graduate from interstate medical schools) in the internship allocation. Monash Malaysia students were initially included in category 2.
Domestic full fee students
Options for international students
Unless there is dramatic change to the current projected shortages of internships most international students will not be able to complete an internship in Australia. There are several steps that students take to plan for this situation outlined here. The AMSA International Students’ Network (ISN) has also written a letter detailing Information for current and prospective international students including suggestions about applying for internships.
- Apply in multiple states. There are significant shortages of internships in the majority of Australian states, however applying to multiple states increases the chance of obtaining an internship in Australia. Because some medical graduates move interstate to complete internship, it is difficult to judge which states will accept the greatest number of non-Commonwealth Support students.
- Take action. Sign the AMSA petition in support of providing internships for all medical graduates here.
- Have a backup. Based on current numbers the majority of international students will not receive an internship in Australia. It important for international students to have a backup plan in case they are unable to gain internship in Australia.
- Apply for an internship outside of Australia. More information on applying for internship as an international medical graduate can be found here for Canada, Malaysia (Internship, Guidebook for House Officers, training hospitals), New Zealand, Singapore and USA. Make sure you comply with any additional requirements (eg. MCCEE and USMLE examinations for Canada and the USA respectively).
- Consider alternative employment next year. Medical graduates are able to make valuable contributions to society through a range of employment options beyond working as a medical professional.
- Reapply for an internship in Australia next year. Students who do not gain an internship in Australia may consider reapplying next year. Please note that the numbers of medical graduates in Australia is expected to continue to increase, from 3,512 this year to 3,623 in 2013 and 3,935 in 2015. Unless there is a major expansion in internship availability, there will continue to be significant shortages of internships over this period.
AMSA International Students’ Network webpage – contains resources for international students addressing internships and many other issues.
Why has this happened?
- Lack of workforce planning from Federal and State Governments to ensure internships and further medical training places are aligned with the number of medical graduates
- Lack of regulation from Federal Government allowing universities to determine the numbers of full-fee students with no central oversight
- Inadequate Federal Government funding for medical schools contributes to medical schools recruitment of additional full-fee students
- Medical schools recruiting numbers of international students well beyond number of available internships
- Inadequate communication from some medical schools to prospective international students about likelihood of obtaining internship
- State governments being reluctant to fund internships for number of medical graduates they cannot control
- State governments providing inadequate funding for Postgraduate Medical Councils to accredit internship positions for total number of graduates
The information contained on this page is subject to change. For more information, students should check the website of the Postgraduate Medical Council in each State and Territory. AMSA shall not be held responsible for any errors or omissions in the above information.