Medical Training Review Panel: sixteenth report

Trends in Basic Vocational Training

Page last updated: 09 April 2013

From 2008 to 2012 there were incremental increases each year in the number of first year basic trainees.

It should be noted, however, that figures for earlier years are not comparable due to training program changes, notably the introduction of a requirement for basic training prior to proceeding to advanced training in some specialties in the five-year period.

Table 4.6: Vocational training positions/trainees: Total, basic, female basic and first-year basic trainees, 2008–2012

Source: Medical colleges

Total college traineesBasic training positions/ traineesFemale basic traineesProportion female (%) First-year basic traineesProportion first-year (%)
2008
11,668
4,087
1,878
46.0
854
20.9
2009
12,958
4,502
2,133
47.4
965
21.4
2010
14,679
5,040
2,498
49.6
1,244
24.7
2011
15,478
5,264
2,672
50.8
1,425
27.1
2012
16,740
5,744
2,962
51.6
1,805
31.4
Increase
2008-2012 (%)
43.5
40.5
57.7
12.2
111.4
50.4

The total number of basic trainees between 2008 and 2012 has increased by 40.5%. While there are a number of medical specialities that have had larger increases than the total namely, emergency medicine (157.4%), intensive care (68.4%), paediatrics (52.3%) and anaesthesia (50.0%).

Table 4.7: Basic training positions/trainees by medical specialty, 2008–2012

(a) RACS ceased the basic surgical training program after 2008 and now conducts an integrated program.

Source: Medical colleges

Medical specialty20082009201020112012Increase 2008-2012 (%)
Adult medicine
1,609
1,666
1,893
1,951
2,197
36.5
Anaesthesia
410
509
504
617
615
50.0
Dermatology
41
39
42
44
42
2.4
Emergency medicine
319
732
803
785
821
157.4
General practice - ACRRM
..
..
50
141
..
..
Intensive care
114
82
167
152
192
68.4
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
277
301
295
330
354
27.8
Ophthalmology
51
53
55
53
55
7.8
Paediatrics
436
459
554
530
664
52.3
Psychiatry
623
661
677
661
804
29.1
Surgery(a)
207
..
..
..
..
Total
4,087
4,502
5,040
5,264
5,744
40.5

The basic trainee numbers by state and territories shows that the increases in 2012 compared with 2008 were greatest in, Victoria (470) and Queensland (415) (Table 4.8). As a proportion, the growth was greatest in South Australia (54.7%) followed by Western Australia (52.6%) and then Queensland (47.7%).

The number of basic trainees in each jurisdiction has increased each year between 2008 and 2012. Some of these increases have been small, particularly in the smaller jurisdictions, such as Tasmania, Northern Territory and the ACT, however, these increases are consistent with their size and available training capacity.

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Table 4.8: Basic training positions/trainees by state/territory, 2008–2012

Source: Medical colleges

NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAust
2008
1,262
1,078
870
309
352
93
45
78
4,087
2009
1,336
1,155
1,034
369
372
92
43
96
4,502
2010
1,492
1,275
1,148
424
437
106
53
105
5,040
2011
1,508
1,388
1,189
419
481
130
42
107
5,264
2012
1,607
1,548
1,285
478
537
134
46
109
5,744
Increase 2008–2012 (%)
27.3
43.6
47.7
54.7
52.6
44.1
2.2
39.7
40.5

Behind the increases in overall basic trainee numbers are major increases in some specialties in the intake of new trainees. Adult medicine showed a marked increase in first-year basic trainees over the five years, increasing 81.5% from 336 in 2008 to 610 in 2012. Paediatrics showed an even higher proportional increase of 170.1% from 67 to 181 first-year basic trainees in 2012. The largest proportional increase, however, was in psychiatry, which increased almost three-fold (180.1%) from 109 first-year basic trainees in 2008 to 314 first-year basic trainees in 2012 (Table 4.9).

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Table 4.9: First-year basic trainees by medical specialty, 2008–2012

(a) RACS ceased its basic surgical training program after 2008 and now conducts an integrated program.
(b) Percentage is not applicable as the data in 2008 were based on different definitions to 2012.

Source: Medical colleges

Medical specialty20082009201020112012Increase 2008-2012 (%)
First-year basic trainees
Adult medicine
336
436
522
583
610
81.5
Anaesthesia
197
169
240
321
314
59.4
Dermatology
23
18
23
20
26
13.0
Emergency medicine
9
..
..
..
240
(b)..
Intensive care
7
2
11
7
9
28.6
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
81
81
77
87
83
2.5
Ophthalmology
24
27
25
26
28
16.7
Paediatrics
67
114
123
142
181
170.1
Psychiatry
109
118
223
239
314
188.1
Surgery (a)
1
..
..
..
..
..
Total
854
965
1,244
1,425
1,805
111.4

Table 4.10 shows the numbers of first-year basic trainees in each state and territory for 2008 to 2012. There has been an overall increase of more than double from 854 in 2008 to 1,805 in 2012 (an increase of 111.4%) of first year basic trainees.

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Table 4.10: First-year basic trainees by state/territory, 2008–2012

Source: Medical colleges

NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAust
First-year basic trainees
2008
214
250
196
71
70
25
11
17
854
2009
257
286
210
90
78
20
4
20
965
2010
350
341
267
124
100
22
16
24
1,244
2011
387
410
298
124
130
39
15
22
1,425
2012
407
545
420
146
190
50
17
30
1,805
Increase
2008-2012 (%)
90.2
118.0
114.3
105.6
171.4
100.0
54.5
76.5
111.4

Table 4.11 shows the proportions female basic trainees in each specialty. There do not appear to be any significant trends, but rather the table highlights the fluctuations in the numbers of female basic trainees in specialties from one year to another. The year of 2012, was the second year when the number of female basic trainees was over half (51.6%) of all basic trainees.

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Table 4.11: Proportion of female basic trainees by medical specialty, 2008–2012

(a) RACS ceased its basic surgical training program after 2008 and now conducts an integrated program.

Source: Medical colleges

Medical specialty20082009201020112012Increase 2008-2012 (%)
Proportion female (%)
Adult medicine
41.0
44.8
47.4
49.9
48.9
19.3
Anaesthesia
40.0
33.2
45.0
45.9
46.0
15.0
Dermatology
73.2
64.1
64.3
63.6
45.2
-38.3
Emergency medicine
46.7
38.4
38.2
39.4
42.4
-9.2

General practice

- ACRRM
..
..
26.0
16.3
..
..
Intensive care
28.1
31.7
33.5
24.3
32.2
14.6
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
63.2
65.1
69.8
77.6
79.0
25.0
Ophthalmology
33.3
35.8
40.0
43.4
41.8
25.5
Paediatrics
66.7
66.4
67.9
70.6
72.7
9.0
Psychiatry
50.6
55.2
54.1
55.4
53.4
5.5
Surgery(a)
22.2
..
..
..
..
..
Total
46.0
47.4
49.6
50.8
51.6
12.2
Total female trainees
1,878
2,133
2,498
2,672
2,962
57.7

Table 4.12 provides data on female basic trainees by state and territories. Greater fluctuations are generally seen in those jurisdictions with smaller basic trainee numbers.

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Table 4.12: Proportion of female basic trainees by state/territory, 2008–2012

Source: Medical colleges

NSWVicQldSAWATasNTACTAust
Proportion female (%)
2008
49.1
50.0
40.5
42.4
42.0
32.3
37.8
52.6
46.0
2009
48.6
53.4
41.2
46.9
46.0
27.2
55.8
47.9
47.4
2010
51.3
56.0
42.0
50.0
49.7
29.2
41.5
51.4
49.6
2011
52.2
56.5
44.5
48.2
49.5
40.8
52.4
53.3
50.8
2012
51.9
55.6
46.9
51.5
52.0
44.0
52.2
51.4
51.6