Internships not graduates to fix doctor shortage

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - 23 June 2017 - Central Western Daily, Orange NSW

2016 was the first year in which there were more medical graduates than there were internship positions for them to move into to continue their training.

By 2030 Australia will have an oversupply of 7000 doctors unable to continue their path to specialisation.

Now the issue has changed. We have enough doctors, but not in the right areas. This makes the proposed Murray Darling Medical School (MDMS) seem very unnecessary.

MDMS will produce more medical graduates to fight for internship positions. Further, the proposed MDMS communities already have established medical rural clinical schools from other universities.

Bendigo has two rural clinical schools, with students from Monash University and the University of Melbourne learning in the community. Furthermore, the sites of Wagga Wagga and Orange have medical students from University of NSW, University of Notre Dame and the University of Sydney. This makes the establishment of MDMS a seemingly foolish use of $54 million of taxpayer money.

The money for the MDMS should instead be wisely invested in further developing the existing rural clinical schools in proposed MDMS sites. If not it should be used to establish more rural specialty training pathways for existing graduates.

Australian Medical Students Association Rural Health Committee Secretary - Sarah Clark