AMA Urges Participation in New Medical Training Survey


The AMA is urging all doctors in training to share the positives and negatives of their medical training experiences by taking the new national Medical Training Survey (MTS), which opens today and will run until 30 September 2019.

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said the MTS in an important opportunity for Australia’s 30,000 doctors in training to tell medical educators, employers, governments, regulators, their peers, and the next generation of medical students what to expect with medical training, and how it can be improved.

It is open from 1 August to 30 September 2019, in line with the annual registration renewal cycle for most trainees.

Dr Bartone said the survey is based on existing surveys and includes questions about supervision, access to teaching, workplace environment, and culture and wellbeing.

"The MTS will identify issues that could impact on patient safety, including environment and culture, unacceptable behaviours, and the quality of supervision", Dr Bartone said.

"The survey is anonymous, completely confidential, and accessible online. It is a safe environment to provide the necessary feedback, with the appropriate protections where the data is not sufficient enough to protect anonymity.

"Survey results will be used to improve medical training in Australia and be reported publicly, while protecting individual privacy."

Dr Bartone said that the AMA and its Council of Doctors in Training (AMACDT) has spent years pushing for the creation of a national training survey to track and compare training across the prevocational and vocational spectrum - in hospitals, primary care, and anywhere else doctors in training work.

"We have been involved with the MTS since its inception," Dr Bartone said.

"We were part of the robust discussions on the questions to be included in the survey, and we argued and gained agreement that you can’t divorce training from other components of work such as supervision and workplace culture.

"It has been a genuine team effort to develop the MTS. Doctors in training, the specialist Colleges, employers, educators, the AMA, and the Australian Medical Council (AMC) worked very closely with health practitioner regulators to develop the survey."

There will be five versions of the survey, tailored to specific groups of doctors in training:

  • prevocational trainees;
  • specialist non-GP trainees;
  • specialist GP trainees;
  • interns; and
  • International Medical Graduates (IMGs).

More than 80 per cent of questions are common across the surveys.

The website went live on 22 July 2019. It will be a one-stop shop with all the information about the MTS in one place. The MTS questions are published on the website.

It also includes videos from AMA members talking about why doctors in training should get behind the survey.

A similar survey is run in the United Kingdom, with results suggesting tangible improvements to the quality of the training experience for doctors in training. Survey results will build the first comprehensive, national picture of the strengths and weaknesses of medical training across States, Territories, and medical specialities in Australia.

Results will identify current strengths and provide a baseline for ongoing improvements.

Dr Bartone said that the AMA plans to use the results as a direct advocacy tool through the AMA’s Federal and State/Territory communications networks.

"It will allow us to identify areas that are performing poorly and advocate directly with the services responsible for the management of these areas," Dr Bartone said.

"This may be as broad as a national issue such as doctor mental health or a specific training College, or as focused as a local health service or district."

"We will be able to identify areas of positive feedback and then campaign at a national or State level for wider adoption of these successful local practices."

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