medical internship australia
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*We will be regularly updating this post as the various States and Territories update their processes. Where information is not currently available for the 2021 year we have used information from the previous year, i.e. 2020.

It’s that time of the year again, where the whole medical internship Australia system kicks into gear. The time when each of the States and Territories in Australia open up their process to allow 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)

As has been the case in past years the main Intern application and allocation dates are aligned across Australia so that every State and Territory opens and closes their systems at the same time and makes offers at the same times. There are some variations to this in relation to special priority categories in some States and Territories. The key things that all medical graduates should consider in preparing their medical internship application for the 2022 year in 2021 are as follows:

  • Applications open on 4th May 2021.
  • Applications close on 3rd June 2021.
  • 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 are required to attend an interview. Make sure that you have obtained leave from your medical school requirements to attend.
  • Also, consider that the interview is likely to be either via phone or video this year.
  • Give yourself time to request referees, put together a Resume, if required and find other documents that you may need.
  • The first main round offers come out from 12th July. So make sure that you have regular access to your email as your time for accepting offers can be quite short.
  • Stay in touch with your medical school. you may be worried about completing your degree on time but they are all working very hard with the other institutions to give you the best chance of completion.

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 2020 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 a video series about this.

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

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. Practice Your Video Interview Technique.

If you are one of the many students who may need to undertake an interview for your internship choices as occurs in certain situations, such as rural preferential recruitment and certain States such as Victoria. Then you should be prepared for the fact that this year your interview is unlikely to be held in person and very likely to be conducted on video.

There’s a lot more than you think to video interviewing. For a run down on this check out this recent post.

Tip #5. Know Where You Sit In The Priority List.

ts 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.

Tip #6. Know the Key Dates, including Offer Dates.

As noted above it’s crucial that you know the key dates. If you miss your application submission date (and it does happen) there is no allowance for a last minute submission. You also need to make sure you are available to accept your offer. Generally the window for offer acceptances is quite narrow (often 48 hours).

For this year the day on which the first round of offers can be made nationally is 12th July and most offers will come out on that day. Thereafter there is a series of offer windows for 2nd and 3rd and 4th rounds etc… in between which there is a mandated pause, which allows the National Intern Audit process to run. This is a system that works to ensure that vacancies are being freed up as soon as possible by highlighting medical students who may have an offer in more than one jurisdiction and ensuring that they accept one offer and decline others.

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.

More Information on Each Jurisdiction

New South Wales

Intern Positions ≅ 1,041 (including 173 rural preferential) across 15 Networks
Annual Salary = $69,649

The Health Education & Training Institute runs the country’s 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. A key advantage of the Aboriginal, Rural and Regional Allocation Pathways is that you are far more likely to be given your preferred hospital network.
 
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.

Victoria

Estimated Numbers = 820
Annual Salary = $79,138
 
Internship in Victoria works around a computer matching system which is administered by the Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria. The system had a significant overhaul in the previous year.

The Allocation & Placement Service is a mathematical process that matches the preferences of both candidates and Health Services and is designed to be “impartial and transparent”. 

Candidates create an account then register with the Intern match. The second step is to preference your preferred services. At the same time, the health services also place preferences. The matching process successful candidates to positions according to rankings.

For Victoria, you will need to submit a CV. In past years 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.

In 2020 Victorian Health services began the use of video-recorded interviews. The way these interviews work is you are usually allocated a specific time to log into the system. Once you have gone through a couple of orientation steps you are usually given a series of questions and asked to record your answers. Generally you don’t get a second go if you are not happy and the time is limited. Its vital therefore that you practice before you do your interview and ensure you have optimised your video environment.

All health services can use these recordings to rate you.

Metro hospitals can then elect to also do live interviews. Although I suspect many will not.

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.

You can elect to be prioritised for an internship by entering the Victorian Rural Preferential Allocation (VRPA) match. Where you can be allocated to one of 5 rurally based networks. This pathway involves a live interview. First-round offers for VRPA come out on 5th July, which is one week before the national first-round offer date of 12th July.

Intern Placement Priorities:

Priority Group 1 – Graduates from Victorian medical schools holding Australian or New Zealand citizenship or permanent residency, including domestic full fee paying and Commonwealth Supported Place students.

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

VRPA Priority Group 2 – Australian permanent resident graduates of interstate universities who meet the following criteria: Completed their Year 12 schooling in Victoria; or Graduates of the University of New South Wales who have undertaken their last two years of clinical placement at Albury Wodonga Health clinical school.

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 and University of Queensland Oschner campus)

PMCV Internship Information

PMCV Match Portal

Queensland

Estimated Numbers = 784 (including 65 rural generalist intern positions)
Annual Salary = $80,913
 
Queensland has possibly the most complex internal allocation system of all jurisdictions.

Queensland Health conducts the annual intern allocation process in Queensland.

Interns can be allocated to one of 20 Employment Hospitals.

There are 3 pathways for Intern Allocation in Queensland.

– The Rural Generalist Program offers an opportunity to select a rural hospital centre as part of a program that is a pathway to working as a Rural GP. Applications open (2nd March) and close extremely early (16th March) for this pathway.
– Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Intern Allocation Initiative. The purpose of the initiative is “to promote the success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical graduates in the Queensland Health workforce”. Eligible applicants can apply to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Intern Allocation Initative to be allocated to their first preferenced hospital.
– The General Intern Campaign.

An interesting aspect of the previous Queensland application portal is that you could see a live indication of where other applicants have preferenced other hospitals. This was presumably designed to encourage medical students to consider other hospitals and get the student group itself to work out the allocation. From the information this year it appears that you will not be able to see how many have applied for what hospital. Rather they have put in place an interesting “rollback” system.

The roll-back process only applies to Applicant Group A candidates who tentatively accepted their first-round offer (because they did not receive their first preference). The roll-back occurs after the ballot and first-round offers have been finalised and aims to match Applicant Group A candidates to a higher preference hospital should a vacancy become available due to another Applicant Group A candidate declining their offer.

The whole roll-back process happens in 1 day.
If an applicant is unavailable on the day of rollback they can nominate a proxy to be available via phone.
All applicants (or their proxies) participating in the roll-back process need to be:
• contactable on the day.
• ready to accept or decline the roll-back offer at the time of the telephone call from the Intern Campaign Coordinator.
Proxy details need to be emailed to the Intern Campaign Coordinator before the day.
If you or your proxy is not contactable by phone you will miss out on the offer. They apparently do not leave voicemails!
 
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

For Group A Applicants.

Candidates who nominate an ‘undersubscribed’ or equal in numbers hospital as first preference are automatically allocated to that facility.

If a hospital is oversubscribed, candidates who have chosen that hospital are randomly selected and offered their next preference until that oversubscribed hospital is at quota.

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)

Merit Selection for Groups B-D.

A merit selection processes for applicants in Groups B-D for intern positions is conducted by each individual hospital and are tailored specifically for their service. The selection methods are designed by the hospital but commonly includes shortlisting, interviews and referee checks.

In order to apply for an internship in Queensland, you will need to submit a CV, regardless of whether you are undergoing merit selection and 2 referees. Queensland Health offers “for your convenience” a CV template. If I were you I would conveniently ignore this template and organise your own resume.

2021 Queensland Intern Campaign Home Page

Application Guide

Application Portal.

*Queensland is one of a few jurisdictions that does permit International Medical Graduates to apply for positions as part of the last Applicant Group.

Western Australia

2021 Information Not Currently Available

Estimated Numbers = 310 (based on 2020)
Annual Salary = $79,479
 
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 normally holds an information night. There is no information available about these at the moment. 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 Portal

Postgraduate Medical Council of Western Australia

South Australia

Estimated Number = 285 (including 12 rural intern posts)
Annual Salary = $77,084

SA Health Careers conducts the annual Intern application process in South Australia. There are 3 Adelaide based Local Health Networks and 3 smaller country-based networks to which you can apply for the priority Rural Intern pathway. Although only two of these appear to be offering intern posts for 2022.

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 rural areas or a desire to commence a career in the country. 

Those applying for the rural intern pathway undertake an interview and offers come out a week early on 5th July.

International Medical Graduates from non-Australian medical schools can apply for the rural intern pathway so long as they have only graduated in the last 2 years and have completed the AMC Part 1.

Intern Allocation Priorities:

South Australia’s intern allocation priorities are the most complex of all jurisdictions.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants are given priority preference by being placed in the first subcategory for categories 1 and 2.

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. Please see the above information about the rural internship.

In addition to a CV and referees, in order to apply for an 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 MET Internship Guide

SA Health Careers Link

Tasmania

Only partial information available for 2021 so far.

Estimated Number  = 90 (Based upon last year).
Annual Salary = $71,932
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.

At this point, it is not clear how selection will work for 2021. In past years there has been an interview process. However, the information to date indicates that priority 1 candidates will be placed into a ballot and allocated according to preferences. This seems to indicate there will be no interview or merit-based selection at least for this group.

Recruitment Link

Northern Territory

Estimated Number = 50 (24 for Central Australia Health Service, unknown for Top End Health Service)
Annual Salary = $78,750

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) – based upon Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH)
Central Australia Health Service (CAHS) – based upon 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.

Intern Priority Categories:

Category A NT Medical Program Bonded Scheme / Return of Service Obligation (RoSO) applicants (guaranteed placement)
Category B NT Indigenous applicants who have completed medical degrees at accredited Australian and New Zealand medical schools who are:
– NT Indigenous scholarship holders
– Identified as an NT Indigenous resident
Category C
Non NT Indigenous applicants.
Category D
NT applicants (non-Indigenous) who have completed medical degrees at accredited Australian and New Zealand medical schools who are:
– NT scholarship holders
– Identified as an NT resident (may include non-bonded JCU/Flinders NTMP students)
Category E
Australian applicants (non-Indigenous / non NT residents):
– Previous experience working/studying in NT (JCU/Flinders/Other university student placements)
– Previous experience in a rural, remote and Indigenous health location/s (eg. Aboriginal Medical Services, Rural Clinical Schools, involvement in Rural Student Clubs and those applicants who come from rural, and remote locations)
Category F
International applicants on a student visa, now an Australian medical graduate who have:
– Previous experience working/studying in NT (JCU/Flinders/Other university student placements)
– Previous experience in a rural, remote and Indigenous health location/s (e.g. Aboriginal Medical Services, Rural Clinical Schools, involvement in Rural Student Clubs and those applicants who come from rural, and remote locations)
Category G
International medical degree applicants who have:
– Previous experience in NT student placements/clinical observers
– Experience in rural, remote and Indigenous health locations.

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 their internship.

NTPMAS Site

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

*NT is one of a few jurisdictions which will consider IMG applicants. Generally, you will have to have had previous experience in the NT.

Australian Capital Territory

No current information for 2021.

Below is the information for last year.

Estimated Numbers = 95
Annual Salary = $74,826
(6 of these positions are normally guaranteed to NSW medical students)
 
If you want to apply for an internship position 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. 

Priority is given to:
– Australian Graduates of ANU
– Maximum 6 graduates of NSW Universities
– Graduates of other Universities who completed Year 12 in ACT
– International Fee Paying Graduates of ANU
– Graduates of other Australian Universities
– Graduates of Australian University campuses outside of Australia

Other details are limited at this stage. 

Intern Priority List

Recruitment Page.

Commonwealth – Junior Doctor Training Program Private Hospital Stream

Intern Positions TBD

The information below is for the previous year.

Annual Salary = will depend on which State or Territory you are employed in.
 
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

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 was retitled in 2020 to the Junior Doctor Training Program Private Hospital Stream when there was 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 2020 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 have provisional registration. This is the Priority Two category. I am not sure how this priority category two helps any IMG as they must already have provisional registration. I guess it might help some IMGs already employed and on the standard pathway jump into a better training program.

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 funded to deliver the Private Hospital Stream from 2020-2022 are:
– Mater Health Services North Queensland (delivering PGY1 places)
– Mercy Health and Aged Care Central QLD – Friendly Society Hospital, Bundaberg; Mater Private Hospital, Bundaberg; Bundaberg Base Hospital, Bundaberg; – — — Mackay Base Hospital, Mackay; Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Mackay (delivering PGY1, PGY2 and PGY3 places)
– MQ Health (Macquarie University Hospital) (delivering PGY1 places)
– St John of God Ballarat Hospital – Grampians Intern Training Program (delivering PGY1 places)
– Mater Hospital Sydney (delivering PGY1 places)
– St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney (delivering PGY1 places)
– Ramsay Health Care WA (Joondalup) (delivering PGY1, PGY2 and PGY3 places)
– Greenslopes Private Hospital (delivering PGY1, PGY2 and PGY3 places)
– Calvary Health Care Riverina (delivering PGY2 places)

Link to Program details

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 continued to use experience as a proxy for competency when a large portion of the medical education world has moved on. 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. The 2020 version did not appear to eventuate. So I can only assume they are no longer compiling this. But here’s a link to the 2019 version.

Related Questions

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

    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.

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

    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 eMedical Board of Australia expects that once you have commenced your internship you will have completed this process within 3 years.

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

    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.

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

    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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