Medical Training Review Panel: thirteenth report

Trends in Vocational Training

Page last updated: April 2010

It is important to note that some figures presented in the trend data tables below are not necessarily comparable with the figures from previous years due to training program changes. Comparable figures have been referenced where possible.

In 2009, there were 12,958 vocational training positions/trainees, an increase of 4,248 (48.8%) from 2005 (Table 4.17).

Between 2005 and 2009, the number of advanced training positions/trainees increased one third (36.1% or 2,190). The proportion of female advanced trainees stayed relatively constant across the five years. The number and proportion of part-time advanced trainees, however, varied significantly from year-to-year with no discernible trend.

Table 4.17: Advanced vocational training positions/trainees: Number, female trainees and part-time trainees, 2005-2009.

Training positions/trainees

Advanced training positions/trainees

Females

Proportion females (%)

Part-time

Proportion part-time (%)

20058,7106,0592,76545.693215.4
20069,3176,5143,01846.367610.4
2007(a)11,2496,8333,18146.673910.8
2008(b)11,6687,3243,42146.75567.6
200912,9588,2493,96748.1105212.8

Increase 2005-2009 (%)

48.8

36.1

43.5

5.4

12.9

-17.1


(a) Number of training positions/trainees has been revised from the 2007 report.
(b) Number of Advanced training positions/trainees has been revised from the 2008 report.

Source: Medical colleges and GPET



Over the five years from 2005 to 2009, a number of medical colleges markedly increased their training. Adult medicine experienced the largest increase in the number of advanced vocational training places with 485 more places filled in 2009 than in 2005 (Tabled 4.18). Psychiatry more
than tripled its number of trainees from 87 in 2005 to 322 in 2009, a 270.1% increase. Intensive care and paediatric trainees almost doubled over this same period, increasing by 100.5% and 93.6% respectively. Adult medicine and emergency medicine trainees also increased substantially by 72.2% and 77.1% respectively.

In contrast, decreases in training numbers from 2005 to 2009 were seen in the numbers of advanced trainees in several specialties. Caution should be exercised when looking at these figures. Some showed considerable fluctuations in the numbers across years. For dermatology and obstetrics and gynaecology, the apparent decreases are due largely to differences in the way data is reported across the years, with the medical colleges only being able to report data for advanced trainees separately in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Only occupational and environmental medicine appears to have sustained a decrease in the number of advanced trainees since 2006.

Data on advanced vocational training positions/trainees for all years of MTRP reporting, 1997–2009 is provided in Appendix D.

Table 4.18: Advanced training positions/trainees by medical specialty, 2005-2009

Medical specialty

2005

2006

2007

2008

(a)2009

Increase 2005-2009 (%)

Adult medicine(b)(g)6726909481,0431,15772.2
Anaesthesia4774774164634851.7
Pain medicine..36494553..
Dermatology(c)6064313339-35.0
Emergency medicine45848646248081177.1
General practice1,9052,0032,0032,1622,30921.2
Intensive care187180285326375100.5
Medical administration818486809213.6
Obstetrics and Gynaecology(d)299325338109131-56.2
Occupational and Environmental medicine7274596155-23.6
Opthalmology535047(e)70(f)7745.3
Paediatrics(b)(g)23428428639545393.6
Pathology282194176211224-20.6
Pathology and RACP (jointly)..10795124137..
Psychiatry87178177278322270.1
Public health medicine7180757561-14.1
Radiation oncology77579610410131.2
Radiodiagnosis26328829931432824.7
Rehabilitation medicine11812513112113816.9
Surgery(h)663732774(f)79190135.9
Total6,0596,5146,833(j)7,3249,15051.0

(a) International medical graduates were included in trainee numbers for the first time.
(b) Includes trainees undertaking advanced training in more than one subspecialty.
(c) Dermatology was able to identify and report advanced trainees separately from 2007.
(d) Obstetrics and Gynaecology was able to identify and report advanced trainees separately from 2008.
(e) Includes 6 trainees in overseas training positions.
(f) Includes 8 trainees in overseas training positions.
(g) These figures include trainees within the joint RACP and RCPA program, conditional advanced trainees and trainees
overseas.
(h) RACS does not differentiate between basic and advanced surgical trainees. The College can only provide information on
SET trainees.The BST program is closed.
(i) 2008 figure was incorrect and has been changed. 257 BST trainees are no longer included.
(j) Includes 39 trainees undertaking dual training in adult medicine and paediatrics.

Source: Medical colleges and GPET



Advanced vocational training increased markedly in all states and territories from 2005 to 2009 (Table 4.19).

The increase in training positions/trainees was highest in the Northern Territory, with an increase of 71.1% to 130 places in 2009, and New South Wales, with an increase of 66.8% to 3,491 positions/trainees in 2009.

Table 4.19: Advanced training positions/trainees by state/territory, 2005-2009

NSW

Vic

Qld

SA

WA

Tas

NT

ACT

(j)Aust

20052,0931,6731,03048651311176776,059
20062,1881,7701,144524529116102986,154
20072,3121,8311,2205256191211011076,833
2008(b)(c)2,4862,0401,3515996891471201297,581
20093,4912,1901,4866237221561301228,249
Increase 2005-2009 (%)66.830.944.328.240.740.571.136.953.0

(a) Australian total differs from the sum of state/territory totals in some years because it includes trainees in overseas placements.
(b Australian total and state total differ because 20 positions were not broken into states/territories.
(c) The 2008 total includes 257 trainees enrolled in Basic Surgical Training who are not included in Tables 4.17 and 4.18.

Source: Medical colleges and GPET



Overall, the proportion of advanced vocational trainees who were female has changed little over the five years from 2005 to 2009, remaining at just under half of all advanced vocational trainees (Table 4.20).

The proportion of female trainees fluctuates in many speciality areas over the years, particularly for those with smaller numbers. However, there are a number of specialities that have over the years had a far less proportion of females, such as medical administration, surgery, intensive care and occupational and environmental medicine (14.1%, 23.1%, 24.3% and 25.5% respectively in 2009). In contrast, obstetrics and gynaecology, general practice, paediatrics, rehabilitation medicine and public health medicine have continued to maintain higher proportions of female advanced trainees (at around two-fifths for each).

Table 4.20: Proportion of female advanced vocational trainees by medical specialty, 2005-2009.

Medical specialty

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Increase 2005-2009 (%)

Proportion females (%)
Adult medicine41.243.243.043.140.2-2.5
Anaesthesia36.536.539.737.150.739.0
Pain medicine....26.531.135.8..
Dermatology55.054.751.666.759.07.2
Emergency medicine39.141.444.243.541.97.2
General practice58.258.958.962.063.89.5
Intensive care23.520.034.724.524.33.3
Medical administration35.833.320.910.014.1-60.5
Obstetrics and Gynaecology63.265.565.768.867.97.5
Occupational and Environmental medicine25.023.023.716.425.51.8
Opthalmology39.648.031.934.331.2-21.3
Paediatrics62.064.163.660.158.7-5.3
Pathology(a)55.377.553.945.364.516.7
Psychiatry55.247.852.526.353.1-3.8
Public health medicine66.268.869.326.359.0-10.9
Radiation oncology54.570.244.852.957.45.4
Radiodiagnosis33.133.030.430.934.85.0
Rehabilitation medicine51.760.860.360.361.619.1
Surgery16.018.018.323.323.144.3
Proportion of total (%)45.546.646.645.148.1
Total number2,7583,0153,1803,4213,96743.8

(a) Data includes trainees undertaking pathology and RACP jointly.

Source: Medical colleges and GPET



Each state and territory showed a fairly consistent pattern in the proportion of female advanced trainees, with the proportion remaining relatively constant in the range of 41% to 51% across states in each year. However, the pattern was different in the two territories, with the Northern Territory having a far higher proportion of female advanced trainees (ranging from 55.7% in 2005 to 60.0% in 2009) and the Australian Capital Territory having a lower proportion of females than any other jurisdiction in each year.

Table 4.21: Proportion of female advanced trainees by state/territory, 2005-2009

NSW

Vic

Qld

SA

WA

Tas

NT

ACT

Aust

Proportion females (%)
200545.346.244.241.446.151.355.740.345.6
200646.947.746.041.446.849.155.939.846.6
200747.547.545.243.646.043.860.430.846.6
200846.345.044.344.942.746.959.233.345.1
200939.249.446.247.245.248.760.042.648.1

Source: Medical colleges and GPET



Part-time advanced trainees represented 12.6% of the total advanced trainees in 2009 (Table 4.22). Considerable variability in reported numbers of part-time advanced trainees from year-to-year make it difficult to distinguish any discernable trend in this area.

Table 4.22: Advanced trainees undertaking part-time training by medical specialty, 2005-2009

Medical specialty

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Adult medicine(a)3327462951
Anaesthesia6663221
Pain medicine....537
Dermatology22221
Emergency medicine804937206na
General practice690453453364743
Intensive care21302
Medical administration00011
Obstetrics and Gynaecology14817(b)725
Occupational and Environmental medicine57000
Opthalmology00012
Paediatrics(a)335162970
Pathology(c)2241719
Psychiatry2027245760
Public health medicine1716271517
Radiation oncology30001
Radiodiagnosis77245
Rehabilitation medicine1618151117
Surgery(d)22240
Total9326767397551,042

(a) These figures include trainees within the joint RACP and RCPA program, conditional advanced trainees and trainees overseas.
(b) Includes those undertaking elective training only.
(c) Data includes trainees undertaking pathology and RACP jointly.
(d) RACS does not differentiate between basic and advanced surgical trainees as the surgical program is an integrated program (SET).

Source: Medical colleges and GPET