According to the latest results from the AHPRA and Medical Board 2020 Medical Training Survey (MTS), young Australian medical trainees rated the quality of their training favorably but voiced concerns about persistent issues involving workplace bullying and harassment. The study had a very strong response rate (57.1%), with nearly 22,000 young practitioners completing the survey, a significant increase from the 26.8% observed in 2019. Those surveyed included interns, prevocational trainees, specialist non-GP trainees, specialist GP trainees and international medical graduates (IMGs).
Current training setting conditions
87% of trainees rated the quality of their clinical supervision very highly and 81% stated they would recommend their current training position to other doctors. These data were supported by the 83% of IMGs who confirmed their strong satisfaction with their training.
On the other hand, 66% of all trainees disclosed working more than 40 hours per week, with an average of 45.6 hours/week. Of these, only 50% of trainees reported being paid for the unrostered overtime. 16% of those who worked unrostered overtime believed this had a negative impact on their training, while 16% considered that it provided them with additional training opportunities.
Impact of COVID-19 on training
The top five reported disruptions were:
- Disrupted routine teaching (60%)
- Reduced the number of training opportunities (43%)
- Created uncertainty for the remainder of training year (43%)
- Provided innovative ways to learn (37%)
- Disrupted preparation time for examinations and assessments (34%)
Overall, nearly half of the respondents agreed that COVID-19 had had a mix of positive and negative effects on their training. However, a significant percentage believed the impact had been more negative than positive.
Bullying, harassment, or discrimination
Despite the strongly positive light under which the quality of clinical supervision, orientation and training experience were rated, the answers to the quality of culture in medicine painted a rather appalling picture. As stated by the Chair of the Medical Board, Dr Anne Tonkin, in response to the data, “there is serious work for agencies across the health sector to do to improve the culture of medicine”.
A total of 34% of respondents reported they had either experienced and/or witnessed bullying, harassment and/or discrimination. When enquiring who was responsible, the data showed that either a senior medical staff, medical colleague, patients, nurse or midwife were the most common responses.
How MIPS supports medical trainees
An objective of the MIPS Constitution is to “promote honourable and discourage irregular practice” and supporting and protecting the character and interests of its members. In this context, MIPS through its Risk Education OnDemand facility provides a library of relevant risk educational resources to assist members.
MIPS takes an active role in helping practitioners better manage their day-to-day working life, helping to avoid adverse outcomes to a patient or, in the event they occur, help mitigate those outcomes. We do this by working with teaching hospitals and education providers to complement their healthcare education programs.
MIPS also advises junior doctors to keep abreast of new relevant industry educational opportunities aimed at assisting them in protecting their physical and mental wellbeing while fostering positive, resilient and strong relationships with their peers.
Relevant MIPS Resources
- Countering the negative impact of bullying and harassment
- Major professional and personal risks for junior practitioners
- Mental Health & Wellbeing
- Health practitioner’s mental health – an MDO’s perspective
- AHPRA self-reporting requirements
- Your wellbeing career and patient safety
- My job/my career – how to deal with challenges
- Maintaining Your Professional Profile
- Managing Bullying and Harassment
- Colleagues in difficulty
- COVID-19: Protecting your assets - The personal and financial impact on your wellbeing
- The good, the bad, the ugly & your wellbeing
Any queries, contact MIPS
This information is not intended to be legal advice and as such should not be relied on as a substitute. You may need to consider seeking legal or other professional advice about your individual circumstances as appropriate. Should you wish to obtain further information about products offered by MIPS, you can call us on 1800 061 113 or you can review our Member Handbook Combined PDS and FSG. You may need to consider seeking legal or other professional advice about your individual circumstances as appropriate. Information is current as at the date published.