applying for medical internship

Medical Internship 2019 Guide. With 5 Tips For Applying.

It's that time of the year again. The time when each of the States and Territories in Australia open up the process of applications for medical internships for the following year. For four years I was responsible for running the largest Intern application system in Australia for 4 years. The NSW Intern application system. So I'd like to share with this year's medical graduates some of the wisdom I gained from that experience.

(Disclaimer: all information here has been sourced in good faith but things do change so you should always do your own due diligence in such matters, we are providing this information to aid you in your application but take no responsibility for any outcomes)

Intern applications and allocations are coordinated across Australia so that every State and Territory opens and closes their systems at the same time and makes offers at the same times. The key things that all medical graduates should consider in preparing their medical internship application for 2019 are as follows:

  • Applications open on 8th May 2019.
  • Applications close on 7th June 2019.
  • Make sure that you have an Intern Placement Number otherwise you won't be able to apply.
  • You should research the application requirements now as there may be some “surprises”. As soon as the application system opens, register or log in and ensure that you have everything you need to complete your application.
  • Understand where you sit in the priority list for any State or Territory you are applying to.
  • If you will need to attend an interview. Make sure you have gotten leave from your medical school requirements to attend.
  • Give yourself time to request referees, put together a CV and find other documents that you may need.
  • First offers come out from 15th July 2019. So make sure that you have regular access to your email as your time for accepting offers can be quite short.

Tip #1. Your Medical Intern Placement Number.

 The IPN is a unique nine digit number which has been generated by AHPRA and has been provided to medical schools for distribution to all 2019 final year medical students. The number is used as part of the national audit process (which ensures that intern positions across the country are made available to as many applicants as possible) as well as to streamline registration.

This number is not the same number as your AHPRA registration number or student number. If you have not received you IPN you should check with your school

Tip #2. Other Things You Will Likely Need. 

The majority of States and Territories require you to upload an academic transcript as proof that you are indeed a medical student. 

They will also request evidence that you satisfactorily meet the AHPRA English Language requirements. This may seem a bit ridiculous given that you have been attending medical school in English for the last 4 or 5 years. But it is the law. So check whether you may need to submit an up to date English test result or some other form of documentary evidence such as a high school certificate.

Most States and Territories will also request a CV or Resume. For tips on your CV or Resume see our ultimate guide to CVs or watch the video below.

Some States and Territories have a CV template that they suggest that you use to fill in your information. In the case of Victoria you are required to use this template. Its probably fairly harmless to use the template for the other States and Territories. But if you are thinking about your future career, then nows a good time to be designing your own CV. The risk of using the template is that you don't stand out from other candidates.

You will need to also provide proof of your identity, citizenship, residency or visa. And if you have had a name change along the way you will probably also need to provide some documentation in relation to this.

Why All This Information?

The State and Territory bodies who administer the Intern application process have a responsibility to ensure that you are eligible to apply for provisional registration at the end of the year in order to work as an Intern.  They collect this information to check that everything is in oder so that you are indeed eligible to apply. Employers can get rightly annoyed when told that someone who has been allocated to work with them as an Intern will have a several month delay whilst they resit an English language test.

However, its your responsibility to ensure that you are eligible for registration. So you should also be checking these things yourself. 

It's hard to fathom given the amount of communication from health departments, medical schools and student colleagues. But every year there are a handful of medical students who forget to apply for their internship. This means having to wait another year. Don't let that be you.

Dr Anthony Llewellyn | Career Doctor Tweet

Tip #3. Research and Apply Early.

It's hard to fathom given the amount of communication from health departments, medical schools and student colleagues. But every year there are a handful of medical students who forget to apply for their internship. This means having to wait another year. Don't let that be you.

There are even more students who leave their application to the last minute. Only to find that they are missing a vital document. For example, this could be evidence you need to substantiate that English is your first language, such as a high school certificate. Or perhaps your last name has changed whilst you have been in medical school? Or maybe you need to submit a CV with your application?

As soon as the application page opens for each State and Territory you are going to apply to make sure your register. And then go as far through the process of applying as possible so you can see if there is some sort of document you need to obtain.

Tip #4. Know Where You Sit In The Priority List.

Its important to know where you sit in the priority list. Each State and Territory has a slightly different order but in essence it goes something like this:
  1. If you are an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident and went to Medical School in that State or Territory you are top of the list.
  2. If you are an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident and went to Medical School in another State or Territory or New Zealand you are probably second.
  3. If you are an International student who studied Medicine in Australia you are probably next.

Priorities Within Priorities.

Some States and Territories also have priority pathways to ensure that groups such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and doctors who wish to work rurally or regionally can obtain their preferred placement early.

So if you are an International student and like the idea of working rurally its probably a good idea to consider a rural pathway as it will likely boost your chances of gaining an Intern position earlier in the process.

Internships in Australia

Intern Positions ≅ 310

 

Annual Salary = $78,749

 

In Western Australia Intern Applications are coordinated by the Postgraduate Medical Council of Western Australia (PMCWA).

 

Application Link

1 of 9

Intern Positions ≅ 50

 

Annual Salary = $71,350

 

In the Northern Territory Internship is organised by the Northern Territory Prevocational Medical Education Assurances Service

 

Application Link

2 of 9

Intern Positions ≅ 260

 

Annual Salary = $73,370

 

Intern Positions in South Australia are administered via SA Health Careers

 

Application Link

3 of 9

Intern Positions ≅ 840

 

Annual Salary = $73,306

 

Intern Positions in Queensland are administered via Queensland Health.

 

Intern Application Landing Page

4 of 9

Intern Positions ≅ 1,000+

 

Annual Salary = $67,950

 

Intern Positions in New South Wales are administered via HETI.

 

Application Portal.

5 of 9

Intern Positions ≅ 95

 

Annual Salary = $68,094

 

Intern Positions in ACT are administered by ACT Health.

 

Information Page

6 of 9

Intern Positions ≅ 820

 


Annual Salary = $74,639

 

Intern Positions in Victoria are managed by the Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria

 

Victoria Computer Match Program

7 of 9

Intern Positions ≅ 90

 

Annual Salary = $68,936

 

Intern Positions in Tasmania are administered by the Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Information Page

8 of 9

Intern Positions up to 115

Annual Salary = uncelar

 

The Commonwealth provides an additional Internship program for international students who study at Australian medical schools.

*Any excess posts may be applied for by other IMGs in Australia

 

Information Page.

9 of 9

Western Australia.

Annual Salary = $78,749

 

Estimated Numbers = 310

 

In WA all interns are employed by a Primary Employing Health Service (PEHS). 

There are 4 PEHSs and each PEHS is a major tertiary hospital in WA which have been accredited to directly employ interns and provide a high quality intern training program.

Each PEHS holds an information night.

You can also choose to work as a rural intern by applying to work through Western Australia Country Health Service.

The process is coordinated by the Postgraduate Medical Council of Western Australia but you apply through the WA Jobs site and selection occurs through panels representing each of the PEHSs.

As part of your application you need to provide a cover letter and CV and will require a range of other documents as well as to nominate 3 referees.

If successful you will receive a contract for 3 years.

Application Link

Application Guide 

Northern Territory.

Annual Salary = $71,350

Estimated Number = 50 

The NT Prevocational Medical Assurance Services (PMAS) conducts a central review of eligible applicants and all intern positions are allocated within the two  NT Health Services:

  • Top End Health Service (TEHS) – Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH)

  • Central Australia Health Service (CAHS) – Alice Springs Hospital (ASH)

Eligible applicants are allocated intern positions in line with the Northern Territory category groups. Within the relevant category groups applicants are allocated to their highest possible Health Service preference, pending availability of a position.

Overall the intern allocation process is based on an applicant's category group, Health Service preference and the number of positions available in each health service.

The two NT Health Services are responsible for selecting applicants and making their offers of employment, applicants are advised via email.  The Health Service responsible for making the offer of employment will after receiving an acceptance from an applicant arrange an employment contract for an Internship position within their health service to be provided prior to commencing internship.

NTPMAS Site

NT Department of Health Intern Recruitment Link (includes information on Categories)

South Australia.

Annual Salary = $73,370

 

Estimated Number = 260

 

SA Health Careers conducts the annual Intern application process in South Australia.

There are 3 Adelaide based Local Health Networks and one small Country Health Network (based at Mt Gambier & Whyalla) to which you can apply for the priority Rural Intern pathway.

The Rural Intern Pathway is a strength based recruitment process for applicants who are interested in undertaking their internship (and potentially subsequent years) in rural hospitals within Country Health SA (CHSA). Rural intern positions provide broad opportunities in unique settings and are best suited for medical graduates with a history of living or working in a rural areas or a desire to commence a career in the country. 

Intern Allocation Priorities:

  • Category 1 Australian Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents and New Zealand Citizens

1.1: Medical graduates from a South Australian university who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI)
1.2: Medical graduates from a South Australian university – Commonwealth-supported (HECS-HELP) or SA Bonded Medical Scholarship Scheme (SABMSS)
1.3: Medical graduates from a South Australian university – full-fee paying

  • Category 2 Australian Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents and New Zealand Citizens

2.1: Medical graduates from an interstate or New Zealand university who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (ATSI)
2.2: Medical graduates from an interstate or New Zealand university who completed Year 12 in South Australia
2.3: Medical graduates from an interstate or New Zealand university
2.4: Medical graduates from an overseas university who completed Year 12 in South Australia
2.5: Medical graduates from an overseas university 

  • Category 3 Australian Temporary Residents and New Zealand Permanent Residents

3.1: Medical Students from a South Australian University 

  • Category 4 Australian Temporary Residents and New Zealand Permanent Residents

4.1: Medical graduates from an interstate or New Zealand University 

  • Category 5 Australian Temporary Residents and New Zealand Permanent Residents

5.1: Medical graduates who have spent two or more semesters in an overseas campus of an Australian or New Zealand University (eg Monash Sunway campus, UQ New Orleans campus)
5.2: Medical graduates of an overseas university

South Australia is one of few States that specifically permits medical graduates from other countries to apply for internship positions. But they are at the very bottom of the priority list.

If you are not a South Australian medical student, in order to apply for internship in South Australia you will need to provide a certificate confirming that you have completed the SA Health online electronic medical record (Sunrise EMR & PAS) training. 

SA Health Careers Link

SA Intern Application Job Pack (with priority categories

Queensland.

Annual Salary = $73,306
 

Estimated Numbers = 840

 

Queensland Health conducts the annual intern allocation process in Queensland.

Interns can be allocated to one of 19 hospitals.

An interesting aspect of the Queensland application portal is that you can see a live indication of where other applicants have preferenced other hospitals. This is presumably designed to encourage medical students to consider other hospitals and get the student group itself to work out the allocation.

I have no indication whether its a useful process or not. If you know anything about this. Leave a comment below.

 

Intern Allocation Priorities:

Group A
Medical graduates of Queensland universities who are Australia/New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents; and

  • are seeking an internship commencing in the year immediately following graduation; OR 
  • received Review Committee approval from a previous campaign to defer commencement of internship

Group B
Medical graduates of Australian (interstate) or New Zealand universities who are Australian/New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents;
OR
Medical graduates of Queensland universities who are Australian/New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents who do not meet the criteria outlined in Group A

Group C
Medical graduates of Australian (Queensland or interstate) or New Zealand universities who are NOT Australian / New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents who: 

  • currently hold a visa that allows them to work in Australia; OR
  • will need to obtain a visa to work in Australia

Group D
Medical graduates of Australian University campuses outside of Australia accredited by the Australian Medical Council.
OR
Medical graduates of international universities who have not completed an internship in Australia or another country and have either: 

  • obtained the AMC Certificate (and are eligible for provisional registration)
  • successfully completed the AMC MCQ (multiple choice questionnaire) (and are eligible for limited registration)

The Queensland Rural Generalist Pathway (QRGP) offers graduating medical students the opportunity to explore a wide variety of clinical training and develop the advanced skill set required to support the health needs of rural communities. It's a priority pathway that you can opt for first.

If you are not interested in the Rural Generalist pathway then you need to work out which category you are in.

Intern Application Info Page.

How To Apply.

Application Portal.

New South Wales.

Annual Salary = $67,950
 

Estimated Numbers = 1000

 

The Health Education & Training Institute runs the countries largest Intern application process. Offering over 1,000 internships.

Interns can be allocated to one of 15 networks of hospitals. The offer is for a 2-year contract to cover both internship and residency.

You have the option of applying through one of 4 pathways:

  • Aboriginal Recruitment Pathway
  • Rural Preferential Pathway
  • Regional Allocation Pathway
  • Optimised (or Main) Pathway
Only applicants who go through the Rural Preferential Pathway need to submit a CV and attend an interview.  All other pathways are based on applications only.

 

Intern Placement Priorities:

 

Priority 1 – Medical graduates of NSW universities who are Australian/New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents (Commonwealth Supported Place and Domestic Full Fee paying). 

This priority category is guaranteed an intern position in NSW. 

Priority 2 – Medical graduates of interstate or New Zealand universities who completed Year 12 studies in NSW who are Australian/New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents (Commonwealth Supported Place, Domestic Full Fee paying or NZ equivalent). 

Priority 3 – Medical graduates of interstate or New Zealand universities who completed Year 12 studies outside of NSW who are Australian/New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents (Commonwealth Supported Place, Domestic Full Fee paying or NZ equivalent). 

Priority 4 – Medical graduates of NSW universities who are not Australian/New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents and who hold a visa that allows them to work or are able to obtain a visa to work.

Priority 5 – Medical graduates of interstate or New Zealand universities who are not Australian/New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents and who hold a visa that allows them to work or are able to obtain a visa to work in Australia. 

Priority 6 – Medical graduates of Australian Medical Council accredited universities with campuses that are located outside of Australia or New Zealand who are not Australian/New Zealand citizens or Australian permanent residents and who hold a visa that allows them to work or are able to obtain a visa to work in Australia.

 

HETI Medical Graduate Recruitment Page.

HETI Prevocational Training Application Program Portal.

Australian Capital Territory.

Annual Salary = $68,094

 

Estimated Numbers = 95

(6 of these positions are normally guaranteed to NSW medical students)

 

If you want to apply for an internship positions in the Australian Capital Territory you do so via the ACT Health Recruitment page.

Most of your time is spent at the Canberra Hospital. But ACT is interesting as it is one of the few chances you may have as an Intern to work in 2 separate States and Territories. Rotations may include secondments to Calvary Public Hospital, Goulburn Base Hospital and South East Regional Hospital (SERH) at Bega. 

Other details are limited at this stage. 

Recruitment Page.

Victoria.

Annual Salary = $74,639

 

Estimated numbers = 820

 

Internship in Victoria works around a computer matching system which is administered by the Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria.

Once you have submitted all your details and preferences the match informs the various hospitals and health networks who then conduct a selection process.  Some but not all hospitals and networks perform interviews.  Your selection may just be based on where you sit in the priority list plus your CV and referee reports.

Interns can be allocated to one of 22 hospitals and networks. This includes a small number of community based internships where the focus is more on community based models of care, including working in primary care and smaller hospitals.

For Victoria you will need to submit a CV. This MUST BE on the quite unattractive PMCV Standardised CV Template. You don't have to put a photo on your CV. And I would not recommend doing so.

Intern Placement Priorities:

Priority Group 1 – Australian permanent residents or citizens and New Zealand citizens graduating from a Victorian medical schools including CSP and domestic full fee paying students (i.e. graduates of University of Melbourne, Monash University, Deakin University and University of Notre Dame: Melbourne & Ballarat Clinical Schools).

Priority Group 2 – Australian temporary resident graduates of Victorian medical schools  Interstate Special Consideration candidates (approved by DHHS)

 Priority Group 3 – Australian permanent resident graduates of interstate or New Zealand universities (including previous residents of Victoria); Australian temporary resident graduates of interstate universities; New Zealand temporary resident graduates of New Zealand universities; and Graduates from an overseas campus of an Australian/New Zealand University accredited by the Australian Medical Council (e.g. Monash University – Sunway Campus, Malaysia)

PMCV Computer Match.

Candidates Guide.

Tasmania.

Annual Salary = $68,936
 

Estimated Number  = 90.

Internships are coordinated in Tasmania via the Department of Health and Human Services.

 

All applicants are required to apply online. As part of your application you are asked to preference all of the 3 available sites:

  • Hobart
  • Launceston
  • North West Region

Candidates need to attach a CV/Resume and any other relevant information to their application and must arrange completion of two electronic referee reports:

One (1) referee that is employed in a clinical role (Clinical Academic) with the University where you are studying/or studied medicine and is aware of your studies in the past 12-24 months; AND

One (1) that is – a senior clinician (>4 years' experience post general registration) who has observed you (you have worked with) during your clinical placements in the past 12-24 months, and can comment on your suitability for hospital-based practice.

Intern Placement Priorities:

The Tasmanian Health Service currently gives priority, in order, to:

  1. Australian permanent resident Tasmanian-trained Australian Government supported and full-fee paying medical graduates.
  2. Australian temporary resident Tasmanian-trained full-fee paying medical graduates.
  3. Australian permanent resident interstate-trained Australian Government supported and full-fee paying medical graduates.
  4. Australian temporary resident interstate-trained full-fee paying medical graduates.
  5. Medical graduates of an Australian Medical Council accredited overseas University.

Selection occurs via face-to-face interviews. Following interview successful applicants will be placed in an order of merit with applicant performance at interview accounting for 70% of the overall score, and each referee report accounting for 15% of the overall score.  Vacant positions are offered in order of merit and the Tasmanian Health Service Priority Placement Framework.

 

Intern Information Page.

 

Tip #5. Commonwealth Program.

Annual Salary = uncertain. 
Likely to be based on the Award for the State that you are working in.

 

Number = up to 115.

The Commonwealth Internship Program is my final tip. 

This is because it is a program that runs separately and in addition to the State and Territory internship programs. And you may have not been informed of its existence OR thought to apply for it.

The main function for this program over the years has been to provide additional opportunities for international students studying Medicine in Australia a chance to complete their internship.  This is done by tendering to various private hospitals for additional intern positions.

The program has been retitled this year as the Junior Doctor Training Program Private Hospital Stream and there will be a total of up to 115 positions on offer.

Normally there is not as much information about the program available until a mad flurry at the end of the year.  And 2019 seems to be no different. They are still sorting out which hospitals will provide internships.  After which there will probably be some information about how to apply.

For now we know that the eligibility requirements are that you must either be an international full fee paying medical graduate from an onshore Australian medical school. This is Priority One. If not all positions are filled by priority one medical graduates then the private hospitals may then recruit other medical graduates who are eligible for provisional registration. This is the Priority Two catrgory.

Eligibility Requirements for Intern (PGY 1) Junior Doctor Training Places under the Junior Doctor Training Program Private Hospital Stream
Under the PHS, participating private hospitals must prioritise international full fee paying medical graduates from onshore Australian medical schools (Priority One). Should these places not be filled, private hospitals may then recruit other medical graduates eligible for provisional registration (Priority Two).

This means that the Commonwealth Scheme provides one of the few opportunities for IMGs who are applying via the standard pathway process to gain an internship position in Australia.

To do so you will need to have met the Medical Board of Australia provisional registration requirements as a medical practitioner. And also have met the English language proficiency requirements for registration purposes. And commit to obtaining an appropriate visa to work in Australia during the internship year.

Private Hospitals participating in delivering the Private Hospital Stream in 2019 are:

  • Mater Health Services North Queensland Limited
  • Mercy Health and Aged Care Central QLD
  • MQ Health (Macquarie University Hospital)
  • St John of God Health Care Inc.
  • St Vincent’s Private Hospital Limited
  • St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney
  • Ramsay Health Care
  • Greenslopes Private Hospital
  • Joondalup Hospital

How To Decide?

There are lots of considerations when it comes to putting in your Intern application. Everyones a bit different. Some graduates feel like they would like to be close to home and family whilst going through their transition to Intern. Others see it as a chance to get away and explore a new place and location. And then others focus on the long term career prospects of certain locations.

I think this last consideration is a little overrated for most. You can generally experience a wide range of medicine in your first couple of years of medicine after graduation and there is scant evidence that this affects your prospects of applying for specialty training posts.

That being said if you have an interest in anything other than Medicine, Surgery or Emergency Medicine as a future career you should probably investigate whether this particular specialty is offered at the hospitals or networks to which you apply.

Unfortunately the internship model in Australia is quite antiquated and we have used experience as a proxy for competency. The result has been the mandating of the 3 core terms for internship of Medicine, Surgery and Emergency Medicine. There is really no solid educational basis for this approach and one of the unfortunate outcomes is that all the other specialties get squeezed out and few interns get to experience psychiatry, general practice, obstetrics, paediatrics, pathology etc… which ultimately does have an effect on recruitment to these specialties.

So basic message is this. If you are really dead set keen on doing radiology as a career you should try to track down the very few locations that might offer this rotation to either interns or residents.

Each year the Australian Medical Students' Association produce a very useful Intern Guide with lots of information about the composition of intern training networks across the country. We are currently waiting on the 2019 version. But here's a link to the 2018 version.

Related Questions

Question: What If I Have Special Circumstances Which Make It Hard For Me To Work In Certain Places?

 

Answer. All States and Territories Have processes for considering special circumstances. Some of the types of circumstances that are generally approved are: where you may have certain health conditions that mean you need to be close to certain hospitals or specialists; where you have dependents, such as young children, and are unable to relocate due to care arrangements; and where you and your partner want to work as doctors in the same location.

Generally requests to stay in certain locations, for reasons such as work commitments of partners or needs of school aged children are not granted.

Question: I Have Received My Intern Offer. But I Would Like to Defer It. Is This Possible?

 

Answer. This will partly depend on how long you wish to defer for. 

If you just wish to defer for a a few months. Once you have your offer and are in discussions with your new employer make enquiries. It may be possible to negotiate a later start with your employer. Most employers will generally prefer that you start on time, so that you are not out of sync with your colleagues. But there might be some advantage for the employer in you attending orientation but then starting a bit later as it will probably help them to fill out roster gaps.

 

On the other hand. If you wish to defer for a complete year. Then you will need to check the policy of the State or Territory that has provided you an Intern offer. In some cases (for example Victoria) you will be permitted to defer and your place will be held for you the following year. In most other cases you will need to reapply the following year and check whether your priority status has altered. In most cases you have the same priority status.

Also bear in mind that it is unclear how long you can defer commencing your internship. However, the Medical Board of Australia expects that once you have commenced your internship you will have completed this process within 3 years.

 

Question: I Am a Doctor With a Medical Degree From Outside Of Australia. Can I Apply For Internship?

Answer. Unless you obtained your medical degree from a New Zealand Medical School. Then the brief answer to this question is no.

I would love to stop there. And I really think you should as well. But there are rare circumstances where you may be able to obtain an internship with a medical degree from outside of Australia. But the Medical Board of Australia strongly advises against this option and so do I. For good reasons. Firstly the whole Australian medical internship system is designed to ensure that Australian medical graduates are able to undertake an internship. Not for overseas graduates. Secondly (and as a result of the first point) it is very rare to be offered the chance.

Some States and Territories will not even consider an application from an IMG for internship. Others will only do so in limited circumstances, for example, the Northern Territory will accept applications from IMGs who may have done a medical student elective or clinical observership in the Northern Territory and who have experience in rural, remote and indigenous health locations. But even then these applicants are at the bottom of the priority list for obtaining an internship. South Australia will accept applications. But again you are bottom of the list. Queensland will also accept applicants, but only if you have never worked as a doctor. And again you are bottom of the list.

A final note on this question is that the majority of IMGs who do obtain a medical internship position each year in Australia generally have Australian citizenship or permanent residency.

Question: I Have Heard That Some Graduates Miss Out On Internship. Is This True?

Answer. Whilst it is theoretically a possibility that some medical graduates miss out on Internship according to information provided by HETI for the most recent year of intern applications no-one was actually left at the end of the process without an offer.

Only Australian citizens and permanent residents are guaranteed an intern position under the COAG agreement. However, there are generally enough intern positions available for those students who have come to Australia to study medicine and the Commonwealth Private Hospital program offers additional spaces for those that may miss out.

That being said. It is also clear that many graduates choose to drop out of the application process themselves. So not everyone who applies gets an offer. The assumption is that some graduates take up similar intern opportunities in other countries upon graduation.

(Disclaimer: all information here has been sourced in good faith but things do change so you should always do your own due diligence in such matters, we are providing this information to aid you in your application but take no responsibility for any outcomes)

We'd welcome feedback from any Intern programs in relation to the accuracy of the above information.

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12 thoughts on “Medical Internship 2019 Guide. With 5 Tips For Applying.”

  1. Thanks for this amazing write-up, Anthony. You have no idea how little info there is out there for IMGs who are looking for an internship position here in Australia, like myself. Almost all doctors/forums would say that there is absolutely no chance for IMGs to even get close to an internship but I'm really glad that you laid out all the facts and a possible option (the private hospital stream). Thanks again.

  2. Kseniya Palchunova

    Dear Anthony,
    Thank you for very useful articles and videos!
    I`ve graduated from a med school in Russia in 2017 and had been working as a GP for several months. Now I am doing my Ph.D. in Clinical Sciences in Japan. I am considering to join a training program in Australia right from the internship as I haven`t got my specialty in Russia, therefore to sit AMC exams. So my question is: does Ph.D. give me as a prospective candidate any advantage to get an internship or it is only seen as a gap in clinical practice? I would like to know my chances before starting the whole preparation/exams journey. Thank you in advance!
    Kind regards

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Thanks Kseniya, A PhD won't be of any advantage and will (because of the gap) probably be a disadvantage. As I've indicated in this article the chances of IMGs obtaining an internship in Australia are extremely low to nil. I'd recommend trying to complete your internship in Russia first.

  3. Hi Anthony
    Are there penalties if an IMG has to leave the internship to return to their home country?
    Regards, Sal

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi, Sal, I presume you are talking about an international student who does their medical school in Australia. As I've highlighted its very rare for an IMG to gain an internship. In any case, the Medical Board rule is once you have commenced your internship in Australia you have 3 years to complete it. If you had to leave early you would be best served to discuss this with your employer first and see if you can get a leave of absence.

  4. Hi Anthony,
    I graduated my medical school in 2015, currently doing a postgraduate course in obstetrics and gynecology. I haven’t done my internship yet. Please what is the possibility for be being an intern in Australia, after sitting for the exams and hopefully passing it.
    Thank you.

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Nanret your best chance of working as a doctor in Australia is to obtain your full registration in your country first.

  5. you said “your best chance of working as a doctor in Australia is to obtain full registration in your country first”. is the process different for doctors who are fully registered in their country and done their internship there?

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      It's confusing to explain why the Medical Board requires evidence of an internship or equivalent but then, in the case of the standard pathway, requires you to complete a provisional registration year that is similar to an internship experience in Australia. And actually, it just doesn't make sense. But that's the requirement and in all cases, you should obtain full registration in your own country first to avoid complications.

  6. This was very interesting but I am so surprised that it isn’t merit based. You could be the very best med graduate in the whole of, say, WA or ACT but still be low priority for an internship in a Vic or NSW hospital that may have particular areas of expertise of interest to you as an elite med grad, yet the place would be offered in priority to an “average” Vic or NSW uni grad who may have less to contribute to an elite medical program in the long term? Doesn’t really reward excellence or ensure the best candidates are placed in internships at hospitals where their excellence could ultimately be best utilised? Just seems a bit short sighted.

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Jo I would perhaps agree with you if there was a better way of assessing the quality of medical graduates other than their academic results which is a very narrow indicator of whether doctors will or will not make good contributions at the intern level. Another thing to consider is for those States which do have merit based processes, for e.g. Victoria, there are a lot of resources applied in interviewing medical graduates, which to me doesn't make a lot of sense for two reasons.

      The first is that most people who apply are either guaranteed or do end up being given an internship. So its a whole lot of effort to in the end select most people who apply any way.

      The second is that I actually believe that all hospitals should benefit from having a mix of capability amongst their internship numbers. If the most highly sought after hospitals receive all the best interns this can then lead to a situation where other more poorly resourced hospitals receive a higher number of interns who may need extra support in their intern year. This strains limited resources and arguably contributes to problems of patient safety.

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