Medical Training Review Panel: fifteenth report

Notes on the Data and its Presentation

Page last updated: 15 March 2012

Data Sources

Data for the MTRP report were supplied by a range of organisations.

Information on undergraduate medical students was supplied by Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand Inc (MDANZ) from its Student Statistics Collection and from the Medical Schools Outcomes Database (MSOD) Project. Medical Deans is the peak representative body representing medical education and research in Australian universities. The Student Statistics collection is conducted annually at the time of enrolment. The MSOD Project is conducted by Medical Deans and was directly funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing up to June 2011. Funding is now being provided for the project through Health Workforce Australia. The MSOD data are collected longitudinally for individual students at all medical schools: on entry to medical school (since 2006), during and on exit from the medical course, and at the end of the first prevocational year.

Data on the first (internship) and second years of prevocational training have been supplied by state and territory health departments.

Vocational training data relating to doctors pursuing specialist training were provided by each of the specialist medical colleges. This year data on all the medical specialties first recognised in 2009, namely addiction medicine, palliative medicine, sexual health medicine, and sports and exercise medicine, have been included for the first time.

General Practice Education and Training Limited (GPET), as well as the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), provided data on general practice training. Given these multiple sources, efforts have been made to ensure that there is no double counting of trainees.

Administrative data were sourced from the Australian Medical Council, the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship and the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing for Chapter 5 on International supply.

Data Quality Issues

The MTRP report is dependent on the provision and collation of comprehensive information from all contributors. Data templates and specifications defining each data element and the periods covered have now been developed for all areas of the report. These were further refined with the assistance of members of the Data Subcommittee for this year’s collection. The specifications used in compilation of this report are attached in Appendix E. Attempts have been made to always source data according to these specifications, but where this is not possible and data differs from the specifications, this is duly noted.

These new processes have greatly enhanced the comparability of data between states and territories and specialties within tables. This has, however, affected comparability of data across years. Where this is known to have significantly confounded the analysis of time series data, cautions have been noted.

There are a number of areas in which there have been attempts to source more and/or better information, in particular to quantify activity in relation to the training and supervision of international medical graduates and specialists and the country from which they came and in which they obtained their primary medical qualifications. Unfortunately most medical college administration systems cannot easily produce this information. As the medical system is stretched to accommodate significant and continued increases in the numbers of students and trainees, collecting information on all activity is increasingly important. It is hoped that medical colleges will introduce new data items over the coming year that will allow this information to be presented in the next report.

Reporting Periods

Given the differing collection methodologies for different data, the year for which data are reported varies. The majority of data presented in the report is for 2011 with most data reported as at 30 June 2011.

The exceptions to these are data on medical graduates, college examinations, new and total college fellows, which are for the previous calendar year, 2010.

Data on international medical graduates and overseas trained specialists are also reported for 2010, however, where data are for the financial year this is noted.

Examination of Trends

The MTRP report has been produced annually since 1997. To aid readability, tables in the body of the report present information pertaining to the latest five years. Where data are available from previous years, this has been included in Appendix D.

In some cases data from previous years have been updated or amended. Where this has occurred, it is duly noted. Readers are therefore asked to exercise caution when comparing data with that of previous editions of this report.

Caution should also be exercised when comparing data across years. Data can vary between years where its scope has changed due to more detailed specifications and different interpretations of what was required in previous reports. Attempts have been made to note where there are significant differences in the way data have been collected or reported across years, or there have been changes in requirements, such as in relation to the training provided.

Medical College Acronyms and Specialties

Data on vocational training has been provided by medical colleges and is reported by medical specialty. Table 1.1 provides a guide to the full names of the medical colleges, the acronyms used for these throughout the report and the associated specialties under which data is reported.

Table 1.1: Medical colleges: Acronyms, names and specialties
Acronym College name Specialty
ACD Australasian College of Dermatologists Dermatology
ACEM Australasian College for Emergency Medicine Emergency medicine
ACRRM Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine General practice
ACSP Australasian College of Sports Physicians Sport and Exercise medicine
ANZCA Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Anaesthesia
Faculty of Pain Medicine Pain medicine
CICM College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand Intensive care
RACGP Royal Australian College of General Practitioners General practice
RACMA Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators Medical administration
RACP Royal Australasian College of Physicians
Faculty of Occupational and Environmental medicine Occupational and Environmental medicine
Faculty of Public Health Medicine Public health medicine
Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine Rehabilitation medicine
Adult Medicine Division Adult medicine
Paediatrics and Child Health Division Paediatrics
Chapter of Addiction Medicine Addiction medicine
Chapter of Palliative Medicine Palliative medicine
Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine Sexual health medicine
RACS Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Surgery
RANZCO Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists Ophthalmology
RANZCOG Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Obstetrics and Gynaecology
RANZCP Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Psychiatry
RANZCR Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists Radiodiagnosis
Faculty of Radiation Oncology Radiation oncology
RCPA Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Pathology
Joint Pathology - Royal College of Australasian College of Physicians and Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Pathology

Information on Sport and exercise medicine, which was recognised as a specialty in November 2009, is included for the first time in this year’s report.