Medical Training Review Panel: Seventeenth Report

Notes on the Data and its Preparation

Page last updated: 09 April 2014

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. MDANZ 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 MDANZ and has been directly funded by Health Workforce Australia since July 2011. The MSOD data are collected longitudinally for individual students at all medical schools to create comprehensive demographic, educational and career intentions information. Data are collected directly from students upon entry to medical school (Commencing Medical Students Questionnaire), in their final year of medical school (Exit Questionnaire) and one year after completion of their medical studies (Postgraduate Year 1 Questionnaire). In coming years data will also be collected at three, five and eight years after completion of medical studies which will give opportunity to examine medical graduate statistics at different stages of the medical education continuum.

Data on the first (internship) and second years of prevocational training were provided by state and territory health departments.

Vocational training data relating to doctors pursuing specialist training were provided by each of the specialist medical colleges. 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 for Chapter 5 on international supply were sourced from the Australian Medical Council, the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and the Australian Government Department of Health.

Data Quality Issues

The quality of the MTRP report, as a single reference point covering all aspects of medical education and training, 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 been developed for all areas of the report. These continue to be further refined with the assistance of members of the Data Subcommittee. The specifications used in compilation of this report are attached in Appendix E. It has been endeavoured to ensure the source data is according to the data specifications, but where this is not possible and data differ from the provided specifications, this is duly noted. These continued enhancements have greatly improved the comparability of data between state 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 improved 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. It is hoped that medical colleges will introduce new data items that will allow this information to be presented in future reports.

The MTRP is dedicated to continue working with state and territories, specialist medical colleges and relevant external agencies to improve the data and provide more comprehensive information in medical training as necessary to inform policy and planning decisions.

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 are for 2013 with most data reported as at 30 June 2013.

The exceptions to these are MSOD statistics, data on medical graduates, college examinations, new and total college fellows, which are reported for the previous calendar year, 2012.

Data on international medical graduates and overseas trained specialists are also reported for 2012, however, where data are for the 2013 financial year, this in 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 the 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. Therefore it should be noted that caution should be used when comparing data with that of previous editions of this report. 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. An effort has 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 acronym used for these throughout the report and the associated specialties under which data is reported.

Table 1.1: Medical colleges: Acronyms, names and specialties
AcronymCollege nameSpecialty
ACDAustralasian College of DermatologistsDermatology
ACEMAustralasian College for Emergency Medicine Emergency medicine
ACRRMAustralian College of Rural and Remote MedicineGeneral practice
ACSPAustralasian College of Sports Physicians Sport and exercise medicine
ANZCAAustralian and New Zealand College of AnaesthetistsAnaesthesia
Faculty of Pain MedicinePain medicine
CICMCollege of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New ZealandIntensive care
RACGPRoyal Australian College of General PractitionersGeneral practice
RACMARoyal Australasian College of Medical Administrators Medical administration
RACPRoyal Australasian College of Physicians
Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental MedicineOccupational and Environmental medicine
Australasian Faculty of Public Health MedicinePublic health medicine
Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation MedicineRehabilitation medicine
Adult Medicine Division Adult medicine
Paediatrics and Child Health DivisionPaediatrics
Australasian Chapter of Addiction MedicineAddiction medicine
Australasian Chapter of Palliative MedicinePalliative medicine
Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health MedicineSexual health medicine
RACSRoyal Australasian College of SurgeonsSurgery
RANZCORoyal Australian and New Zealand College of OphthalmologistsOphthalmology
RANZCOGRoyal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and GynaecologistsObstetrics and Gynaecology
RANZCPRoyal Australian and New Zealand College of PsychiatristsPsychiatry
RANZCRRoyal Australian and New Zealand College of RadiologistsRadiodiagnosis
Faculty of Radiation OncologyRadiation oncology
RCPARoyal College of Pathologists of AustralasiaPathology
Joint Pathology – Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Royal College of Pathologists of AustralasiaPathology