Intern Crisis Myths Busted

Below are a series of infographics busting common myths of the #interncrisis. Please share them with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Email or your social media network of choice!

Myth 1: As long as I get an internship, I’ll be okay

The medical training issues in Australia are not limited to internships. Whilst MSAT are fighting on the imminent issue of the internships, this is in the broader setting of global shortages of training places for the increased number of medical graduates, which have been created to fill current and projected doctor shortages.

The issue is simple – it takes 12+ years to train a specialist in Australia (from the time of entry into medical school). This is something the Government needs to invest in NOW in order to prepare for the looming effects of the aging population. Investment in medical training requires foresight from the Government, and an appreciation that despite it not reaping immediate benefits, it is crucial for the future health of all Australians.Still not convinced? Here is some evidence of the issue beyond internship:

Myth 2: I’m a domestic student, the intern crisis doesn’t affect me

As mentioned under the first myth, the medical training crisis is already affecting domestic graduates later in their training. There are significant bottle necks in the training system, and these have not been sufficiently addressed in the face of rising graduate numbers.

Many domestic students express concern that finding internships for the international student graduates merely adds to this problem. In reality, the Health Workforce already imports a significant number of overseas trained doctors, and HWA 2025 reveals that we need all the graduates we have (including the international students). The real solution needs to come from adequate planning and investment by the State and Federal Governments on training these professionals, NOT through just refusing to employ them because the Government has been inadequately prepared for the increase in medical graduates they created. The increase is not a mistake, the Government should not treat it like one.

Myth 3: Why should Medical Students have guaranteed jobs?

Medical graduates can not register as practitioners until they complete their internship year. This year is a mutually beneficial component of training, whereby new grads are part of a medical team and complete work such as ordering tests, replacing cannulas and charting medication/fluids. This is NOT a year of one on one training, nor can the hospital function without interns. This is not the first year of clinical experience a medical graduate has either – most medical students have done at least 2 years full time in the hospital system where they are studying and completing exams whilst undertaking clinical learning.

A common public misconception is that medical graduates, like law graduates and allied health practitioners, should not be guaranteed a job upon graduation. The difference is that other professions can apply for as many private jobs as they like, in as many countries as they like. For medical graduates the Government has the monopoly of all jobs – there are no private intern jobs, and you can not work as a medical practitioner without doing your internship year – no matter how amazing your CV/university marks are.