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For doctors in training, the changes keep coming

- Featured Image

Welcome to the final Council of Doctors in Training Australian Medicine column for 2014.

It feels like just yesterday that I was elected Chair at the end of 2013 — how time has flown.

This column will be my last in this role, as I step down at the end of the year to devote greater time to prevocational and vocational training.

During 2014, the AMA has made huge progress on issues important to DiTs, gained through the hard work of numerous AMACDT representatives, interested DiTs and our dedicated AMA staff.

Most recently, the launch of the AMA-MIIAA Clinical Images and the Use of Personal Mobile Devices: A Guide for Doctors and Medical Students has been well received by the profession and health services alike. The guide was developed during the past 18 months through collaboration between AMACDT, the AMA Council of Salaried Doctors and the Medical Indemnity Insurers Association of Australia. 

This year, the AMACDT has led development of new AMA policy on Regional Training Networks, adding a practical and positive element to the AMA’s advocacy regarding maldistribution of the medical workforce, and on Entry Requirements for Vocational Training, to reduce inefficiencies during preparation for training programs.

Under AMACDT’s leadership, a profession roundtable was convened in June to develop and promote a Mental Health Action Plan to address the significant findings of the 2013 beyondblue report on the mental health of doctors and medical students.

AMACDT has been thrown significant challenges through 2014, including a complete redesign of general practice training in the Federal Budget, university fee deregulation proposals and workforce agency closures – and let’s not forget the recently-commenced Review of Medical Internships, commissioned by Health Department Directors-General.

This year, AMACDT has also been a driving force in challenging governments and training providers to better plan for, and act on, looming workforce crises. We also challenged the profession to improve the integration of both global health and clinical academia into prevocational and vocational training.

I’m very proud of the work that the Council has achieved this year, and there’s plenty more to come.

The next few months will see release of the results of the 2014 Specialist Trainee and GP Registrar Surveys, and much ongoing work on more effective prevocational coordination and data management.

The Review of Medical Internships will also be soon consulting and reporting.

Advocacy on each of these issues requires effective engagement with DiTs, just like you, so I implore you to engage with your local AMA representatives and make your voice heard.

Under the leadership of Dr Danika Thiemt, incoming Chair and an Emergency Department trainee from Melbourne, and Dr Julian Grabek, a haematology trainee continuing as Deputy-Chair, CDT is in safe and energetic hands.

Many thanks to the countless Doctors-in-Training who have contributed to the work of the Council during 2014, and to the hard working staff at State and Federal AMA branches.

Dr James Churchill

Chair, Council of Doctors-in-Training