International medical students at Australian universities an important workforce resource

January 01, 0001

International medical students at Australian universities an important workforce resource

The aim of this study by researchers from Melbourne, Australia was to investigate the potential contribution of international medical students at Australian universities to the Australian medical workforce. It consisted of a prospective survey in 2006-2007 of 619 international medical students in their final 2 years of undergraduate- and graduate-entry medical courses across eight Australian universities, followed by a 2009 survey of 88 international medical graduates of the University of Melbourne (most of whom were respondents of the earlier survey), assessing the correlation between students’ intended place of internship and their actual place of internship. Of the 619 international medical students surveyed in 2006, 358 (58%) responded.

Most planned to undertake Australian internships and seek permanent-resident status, although a third were undecided about their long-term plans. Nationality was a highly significant variable. Most preferred city rather than regional or rural training locations and expressed interest in migrating to Australia. The 2009 survey of the University of Melbourne’s 2008 medical graduates showed a high correlation between students’ plans in their last two years of study and outcomes in their first postgraduate year, with 73% accepting Victorian internships for 2009.

The researchers concluded: "International medical students studying at Australian universities represent a substantial and highly acceptable medical workforce resource for Australia. Their requirement for internships needs to be considered in, and should influence, infrastructure planning."

This can be a real problem, when numbers requiring hospital training are greater than positions available.

For the full abstract, click here.

MJA 193 (5): 262-265, 6 September 2010
© The Medical Journal of Australia 2010
International medical students and migration: the missing dimension in Australian workforce planning?. Lesleyanne Hawthorne and Jan Hamilton. Correspondence to Lesleyanne Hawthorne: [email protected]

Category: PT. Professional Training. Keywords: international, medical students, migration, workforce, planning, survey, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 1 October 2010

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