Medical Training Review Panel: sixteenth report


Page last updated: 09 April 2013

Medical Training Review Panel

GPO Box 9848, Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: (02) 6289 3907 Fax: (02) 6289 8600

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP
Minister for Health
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Minister

In accordance with the requirements of subsection 3GC(4) of the Health Insurance Act 1973, I am pleased to submit to you the 16th Report of the Medical Training Review Panel (MTRP).

In July 2012, the Department transferred responsibility for collating data for the MTRP annual report to Health Workforce Australia (HWA) for 2012 and future years. The production of this report was completed by the Department.

The report covers the three levels of medical training in Australia; providing data on all trainees in undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational training programs in 2012. It also provides information on graduates and college fellows for 2011. Additional information on overseas trained doctors and the countries in which they undertook their studies, those who applied for, and those who have been granted visas to work in Australia is also included to provide a more complete picture of the supply of medical practitioners.

The data were provided by the Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand Inc, medical colleges, General Practice Education and Training Limited, state and territory health departments through their postgraduate medical councils, and the Australian Medical Council. Selected administrative data from this Department and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship are also included in the report.

There are now 16,868 medical students studying in Australian medical schools. This is an increase of 377 or 2.3% from 2011.

In 2012, there were 2,950 trainees in their intern year and 3,101 in their second year of prevocational training. In addition, there were 16,740 doctors who were working or training in an accredited vocational training position, post, facility or program and were seeking to specialise in one of the 23 recognised medical specialties.

In summary, the data within the report highlight the continued increase in medical training that has occurred, particularly since 2007. The boost to the health workforce is key to addressing shortages in many parts of Australia, however, presents significant challenges for all involved in medical education and training as the numbers of commencing medical students and vocational trainees continue to grow.

The Medical Training Review Panel is constituted of representatives of the key stakeholders in medical workforce training. Together the membership brings knowledge of the various levels of training and different insights into the way medical education and training is being undertaken currently and how the system can deal with the challenges of not only ever increasing numbers of students and trainees, but producing the workforce trained in the areas needed and equipped with the skills necessary for the future.

The Panel is looking forward to continuing its work over the coming year focusing on key issues affecting medical education and training. It will be working with Health Workforce Australia to better understand Australia’s medical workforce supply and how to tailor medical education and training to ensure that the workforce is able to meet the future needs of Australians.

Yours sincerely

Kerry Flanagan


Medical Training Review Panel

26 February 2013