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The medical workforce of the future

This is a republished version of an article previously published in MJA Open

Doctors training now will have a very different world of practice. They will need to understand team care, patient engagement in decision making and clinician leadership as well as the rapidly changing health system. But what an exciting environment to be entering, with all the advances in care available and expanding into the future — as long as we can afford them.

This issue of MJA Open is about the role that doctors will play in the health system of the future, where and how they might work, how we might train them and how are we going to fund them.

The health and social welfare sector is now the largest workforce in Australia (1.4 million), not to mention the 2.3 million carers (both paid and unpaid) who provide support every day for those Australians who for many reasons cannot take care of themselves. This workforce is, like the rest of the population, ageing and wanting to work in different ways. What we can do for patients has changed so much over the past 20 years that it often bears little relation to what health professionals were taught…

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