Medical Training Review Panel: thirteenth report

Discontinuation of Training

Page last updated: April 2010

Trainees may discontinue training for a variety of reasons, with either the trainee officially withdrawing from the training program or the college or training provider terminating or dismissing a trainee in accordance with college regulations or employment conditions.

In 2009, 130 advanced trainees discontinued training (Table 4.9). General practice and pathology had the highest numbers with 39 and 33 discontinuations respectively. The number discontinuing in general practice was, however, relatively small given that there were over two thousand trainees undertaking general practice training (2,309 compared with 361 for pathology) in 2009. Detailed data on discontinuations for individual colleges and faculties has not been shown due to the small numbers for most medical colleges.

Table 4.9: Advanced vocational trainee discontinuations by state/territory, 2007-2009

(a)NSW

Vic

Qld

SA

WA

Tas

NT

ACT

Aust

2007(b)151356611179
200837292967211112
2009(c)403628715201130

(a) GPET reports joint figures for NSW and ACT.
(b) Australia in total exceeds state/territory totals, as complete state/territory data are not available for all training programs.
(c) Includes 1 overseas trainee.

Source: Medical colleges and GPET



Basic Training

Several colleges require periods of defined basic training prior to an individual commencing the advanced training program. Tables 4.10 and 4.11 provide data for those colleges that require a period of recognised basic training.

There were an estimated 4,502 basic trainees, representing 34.7% of all trainees in 2009. This is a six-fold increase from the 757 trainees in 1997, when the data was first reported. The main reason for this increase is that many colleges have since introduced additional basic training as a pre-requisite to advanced training.

The specialties with the largest number of basic trainees were adult medicine (1,666), emergency medicine (732) and psychiatry (661).

Of the total number of basic trainees, 965 were in their first year. The specialty with the largest number of first-year basic trainees was adult medicine (436), followed by anaesthesia (169) and psychiatry (118). As emergency medicine allows new trainees to enter the program at any time during basic or provisional training, the number of first-year emergency medicine trainees is not included.

Further information on the training requirements for each college is provided in Appendix B.

Table 4.10: Basic trainees and first-year basic trainees by medical specialty and state/territory, 2009

Medical specialty

NSW

Vic

Qld

SA

WA

Tas

NT

ACT

Aust

All basic trainees
Adult medicine431492377141143396371,666
Anaesthesia157116125433417413509
Dermatology791364......39
Emergency medicine(a)2091531935871111814732
Intensive care32620101000482
Obstetrics and Gynaecology(b)91837516187011301
Ophthalmology2013113311153
Paediatrics146114934340995459
Psychiatry24316912749498511661

Total

1,336

1,155

1,034

369

372

92

43

96

4,502

First-year basic trainees
Adult medicine991569342285013436
Anaesthesia4341441713713169
Dermatology(a)44433......18
Emergency medicine(c)..................
Intensive care(d)001010002
Obstetrics and Gynaecology2627173520181
Ophthalmology12652200027
Paediatrics2129281413522114
Psychiatry522318913111118

Total

257

286

210

90

78

20

4

20

965

(a) Includes both basic and provisional trainees registered with ACEM. Total includes 5 trainees working overseas.
(b) Trainees undertake the 4-year Integrated Training program (ITP), which could be broadly regarded as 'basic training'.
(c) Unable to provide as trainees may join the program at any time.
(d) Intensive care trainees commonly receive recognition of prior learning and are generally admitted beyond first year basic training.

Source: Medical colleges



In 2009, 2,133 or 47.4% of the total number of basic trainees were female (Table 4.11). The specialty with the largest number of females was adult medicine, with 747 female basic trainees. However, the specialties with the largest proportion of females are paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology and dermatology with 66.4%, 65.1% and 64.1% female basic trainees respectively.

Table 4.11: Female basic trainees by medical specialty and state/territory, 2009

Medical specialty

NSW

Vic

Qld

SA

WA

Tas

NT

ACT

Aust

Number
Adult medicine19625314662579420747
Anaesthesia5237381617513169
Dermatology48841......25
Emergency medicine83667513261105281
Intensive care13154200126
Obstetrics and Gynaecology(a)6253421314309196
Ophthalmology8812000019
Paediatrics9786553025651305
Psychiatry134105562929147365

Total

649

617

426

173

171

25

24

46

2,133

Percent (%)
Adult medicine45.551.438.744.039.923.166.754.144.8
Anaesthesia33.131.930.437.250.029.425.023.133.2
Dermatology57.188.961.566.725.0......64.1
Emergency medicine39.743.138.922.436.69.155.635.738.4
Intensive care40.616.725.040.020.00.00.025.031.7
Obstetrics and Gynaecology(a)68.163.956.081.377.842.90.081.865.1
Ophthalmology40.061.59.166.70.00.00.00.035.8
Paediatrics66.475.459.169.862.566.755.620.066.4
Psychiatry55.162.144.159.259.212.580.063.655.2

Total

48.6

53.4

41.2

46.9

46.0

27.2

55.8

47.9

47.4

(a) Trainees undertake 4 years of Integrated Training program (ITP), which could be broadly regarded as 'basic training'.

Source: Medical colleges



Caution must be applied when comparing the numbers, particularly across years where the program structure has changed at some point to include a requirement for basic training prior to proceeding to advanced training.