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The cost of teaching an intern in New South Wales

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In Australia, the first year after medical graduation is called the intern year, a transition between formal medical school education and subsequent vocational training. Its successful completion is a requirement for medical registration.

In New South Wales, the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI), a statutory health corporation, is responsible for setting and monitoring standards for internship and postgraduate training. HETI allocates interns to one of 15 prevocational training networks. Each network provides a mixture of rotations at metropolitan, rural, and regional hospitals to ensure wide clinical experience. Intern training is supervised by Directors of Prevocational Education and Training (DPETs).

Teaching received by interns can be regarded as formal or informal. Formal teaching is organised by the DPET in each hospital, who is assisted by Junior Medical Officer (JMO) managers in each network. It consists of timetabled teaching sessions in protected time, delivered as lectures, tutorials or practical sessions. This requires infrastructure and financial support. Some of this is provided at HETI, such as training grants and the committees and staff required for statewide governance of intern teaching. Some is provided where the interns work,…