AMA (WA) welcomes new interns amidst concerns of training bottlenecks

AMA (WA) welcomes new interns amidst concerns of training bottlenecks

Wednesday 20 January 2016


The AMA (WA) has welcomed the hundreds of new doctors who joined the State’s health system this month, but remains concerned that continued cuts to services and staff will see Western Australia in the same internship crisis currently impacting the rest of the country.


“We are delighted at the addition of more than 300 Interns to our public health system, and we hope this will go a long way in alleviating the existing pressures in WA Health,” AMA (WA) President Dr Michael Gannon said today.


“However, we need to ensure our Interns have an accessible and unfettered training pathway ahead, to enable us to get the specialists and General Practitioners this State so desperately needs.


Dr Gannon pointed to existing bottlenecks in the training pipeline and urged governments on both state and federal levels to guarantee adequate training positions for new doctors to arm themselves with essential clinical experience.


“It doesn’t help when a handful of players, politicians and bureaucrats erroneously decide that the best way to help solve WA’s supposed doctor shortage is to build a new medical school.


“This will only exacerbate the crisis of insufficient training positions for junior doctors, and the maldistribution of services we see across WA.


“We must also ensure that senior clinicians who can train, supervise and guide our Interns, are not ripped out of the system as a consequence of the government’s financial mismanagement,” Dr Gannon said.


Dr Michael Page, Co-Chair of the AMA (WA)’s Doctors in Training Committee also welcomed WA’s newest Interns to the next phase of real-world clinical medicine.


“With the transition comes increased responsibility, longer hours at work and immense pressure. Balance becomes difficult, and downtime for recuperation and reflection is hard to find,” Dr Page said.


“However, the AMA (WA) and its Doctors in Training Committee is here to help Interns through this initial and very significant chapter of their medical careers.


“We advise Interns to maintain interests outside medicine, make time for friends and family, and pursue healthy lifestyle habits.


“If they see unsafe work practices, be it due to inadequate supervision, gruelling rosters, workplace bullying or harassment, we strongly encourage them to call it out.


“We urge them to take care of themselves, and their colleagues, because if doctors burn out, who will look after their patients?” Dr Page said.

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"It is my hope that we can tackle the challenges our profession faces, united as one. If we dislike our working hours, our pay, gender inequality or low training opportunities, we can change these together. As a nurse in my previous life, I know that when a profession stands as one, people listen."
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