Challenge or opportunity: can regional training hospitals capitalise on the impending influx of interns?

Eley, D. S. and Morrissey, D. K. (2007) Challenge or opportunity: can regional training hospitals capitalise on the impending influx of interns?. Medical Journal of Australia, 187 3: 196-197.

Author Eley, D. S.
Morrissey, D. K.
Title Challenge or opportunity: can regional training hospitals capitalise on the impending influx of interns?
Journal name Medical Journal of Australia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0025-729X
Publication date 2007-08-06
Sub-type Letter to editor, brief commentary or brief communication
Volume 187
Issue 3
Start page 196
End page 197
Total pages 2
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Australasian Medical Publishing Co Ltd
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject C1
339999 Other Education
749999 Education and training not elsewhere classified
730209 Rural health
Abstract To the Editor: The increase in medical graduates expected over the next decade presents a huge challenge to the many stakeholders involved in providing their prevocational and vocational medical training. 1 Increased numbers will add significantly to the teaching and supervision workload for registrars and consultants, while specialist training and access to advanced training positions may be compromised. However, this predicament may also provide opportunities for innovation in the way internships are delivered. Although facing these same challenges, regional and rural hospitals could use this situation to enhance their workforce by creating opportunities for interns and junior doctors to acquire valuable experience in non-metropolitan settings. We surveyed a representative sample (n = 147; 52% of total cohort) of Year 3 Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery students at the University of Queensland about their perceptions and expectations of their impending internship and the importance of its location (ie, urban/metropolitan versus regional/rural teaching hospitals) to their future training and career plans. Most students (n = 127; 86%) reported a high degree of contemplation about their internship choice. Issues relating to career progression and support ranked highest in their expectations. Most perceived internships in urban/metropolitan hospitals as more beneficial to their future career prospects compared with regional/rural hospitals, but, interestingly, felt that they would have more patient responsibility and greater contact with and supervision by senior staff in a regional setting (Box). Regional and rural hospitals should try to harness these positive perceptions and act to address any real or perceived shortcomings in order to enhance their future workforce.2 They could look to establish partnerships with rural clinical schools3 to enhance recruitment of interns as early as Year 3. To maximise competitiveness with their urban counterparts, regional and rural hospitals need to offer innovative training and career progression pathways to junior doctors, to combat the perception that internships in urban hospitals are more beneficial to future career prospects. Partnerships between hospitals, medical schools and vocational colleges, with input from postgraduate medical councils, should provide vertical integration4 in the important period between student and doctor. Work is underway to more closely evaluate and compare the intern experience across regional/rural and urban/metropolitan hospitals, and track student experiences and career choices longitudinally. This information may benefit teaching hospitals and help identify the optimal combination of resources necessary to provide quality teaching and a clear career pathway for the expected influx of new interns.
Keyword medical education
medical students
medical career progression
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Letter to editor, brief commentary or brief communication
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
2008 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Medicine Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Mon, 06 Aug 2007, 11:21:33 EST by Erin Bowly on behalf of Rural Clinical School - South West Qld Region