Medical Training Review Panel: Seventeenth Report

Trends in Basic Vocational Training

Page last updated: 09 April 2014

It can be seen in Table 4.6 that 2013 was the first year since 2009 that there was not an incremental increase 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. This includes, most notably, the introduction of a requirement for basic training prior to proceeding to advanced training in some specialties during the five-year period.

Table 4.6: Vocational training positions/trainees: Total, basic, female basic and first-year basic trainees, 2009–2013
Total college trainees
Basic training positions/
trainees
Female basic trainees
Proportion
female
(%)
First-year basic trainees
Proportion
first-year
(%)

Source: Medical colleges

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
2013
17,888
6,056
3,235
53.4
1,669
27.6
Increase
2009-2013 (%)
38.0
34.5
51.7
12.7
73.0
29.0

The total number of basic trainees between 2009 and 2013 has increased by 34.5%. Though, there are a number of medical specialties that have had larger increases than the total namely, intensive care (142.7%), paediatrics (76.9%) and adult medicine (48.6%). Emergency medicine and ophthalmology remained stable over the past five years.

Table 4.7: Basic training positions/trainees by medical specialty, 2009–2013
Medical specialty
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
Change
2009-2013
(%)

(a) Includes registrars on the Independent Pathway only. In the Independent Pathway all registrars receive recognised prior learning for first year of training. In 2009-2011 ACRRM reported those in Primary Rural and Remote Training as basic.

Source: Medical colleges

Adult medicine
1,666
1,893
1,951
2,197
2,475
48.6
Anaesthesia
509
504
617
615
555
9.0
Dermatology
39
42
44
42
46
17.9
Emergency medicine
732
803
785
821
727
-0.7
General practice - ACRRM(a)
..
50
141
0
0
..
Intensive care
82
167
152
192
199
142.7
Obstetrics and gynaecology
301
295
330
354
356
18.3
Ophthalmology
53
55
53
55
53
0.0
Paediatrics
459
554
530
664
812
76.9
Psychiatry
661
677
661
804
833
26.0
Surgery
..
..
..
..
..
..
Total
4,502
5,040
5,264
5,744
6,056
34.5

The basic trainee numbers by states and territories (Table 4.8) shows that the increases in 2013 compared with 2009 were greatest in Victoria (448) and New South Wales (374). As a proportion, the growth was greatest in Western Australia (56.7%) followed by Tasmania (43.5%) and then Victoria (38.8%).

The number of basic trainees in most jurisdictions has increased each year between 2009 and 2013, though the size of the increase varies according to jurisdiction size and available training capacity. Northern Territory basic training positions fluctuated in number, but resulted in an overall increase of 23.3% between 2009 and 2013.

Table 4.8: Basic training positions/trainees by state/territory, 2009–2013
NSW
Vic
Qld
SA
WA
Tas
NT
ACT
Aust

Source: Medical colleges

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
2013
1,710
1,603
1,382
469
583
132
53
124
6,056
Increase
2009–2013 (%)
28.0
38.8
33.7
27.1
56.7
43.5
23.3
29.2
34.5

Top of page

Behind the increases in overall basic trainee numbers are major increases in some specialties’ trainee intake. Psychiatry showed a marked increase in first-year basic trainees over the five years, increasing 165.3% from 118 in 2009 to 313 in 2013. While the numbers are small, intensive care showed the most dramatic proportional increase in first year trainees (1,300%) from 2 in 2009 to 28 in 2013. Adult medicine, anaesthesia and paediatrics all increased their intake of first year basic trainees by around a third (Table 4.9).

Table 4.9: First-year basic trainees by medical specialty, 2009–2013
Medical specialty
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
Change 2009-2013 (%)
First-year basic trainees

(a) Introductory training period is now for a period of 6 months.

Source: Medical colleges

Adult medicine
436
522
583
610
585
34.2
Anaesthesia(a)
169
240
321
314
215
27.2
Dermatology
18
23
20
26
22
22.2
Emergency medicine
..
..
..
240
241
..
Intensive care
2
11
7
9
28
1,300.0
Obstetrics and gynaecology
81
77
87
83
89
9.9
Ophthalmology
27
25
26
28
25
-7.4
Paediatrics
114
123
142
181
151
32.5
Psychiatry
118
223
239
314
313
165.3
Total
965
1,244
1,425
1,805
1,669
73.0

Top of page

Table 4.10 shows the numbers of first-year basic trainees in each state and territory for 2009 to 2013. Overall, first year basic trainees have increased by around three quarters from 965 in 2009 to 1,669 in 2013 (an increase of 73%).

Table 4.10: First-year basic trainees by state/territory, 2009–2013
NSW
Vic
Qld
SA
WA
Tas
NT
ACT
Aust
First-year basic trainees

Source: Medical colleges

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
2013
397
494
402
132
154
38
15
37
1,669
Increase
2009-2013 (%)
54.5
72.7
91.4
46.7
97.4
90.0
275.0
85.0
73.0

Top of page

Table 4.11 shows the proportion of female basic trainees in each specialty. There do not appear to be any significant trends, but rather the table highlights the fluctuations in the number of female basic trainees in specialties from one year to another. The year 2013 was the third consecutive year where female basic trainees comprised over half (53.4%) of all basic trainees.

Table 4.11: Proportion of female basic trainees by medical specialty, 2009–2013
Medical specialty
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
Change 2009-2013 (%)
Proportion female (%)

(a) Includes registrars on the Independent Pathway only. In 2010 and 2011 ACRRM reported Primary Rural and Remote Training as basic.

Source: Medical colleges

Adult medicine
44.8
47.4
49.9
48.9
49.5
10.5
Anaesthesia
33.2
45.0
45.9
46.0
45.8
38.0
Dermatology
64.1
64.3
63.6
45.2
56.5
-11.9
Emergency medicine
38.4
38.2
39.4
42.4
42.9
11.7
General practice - ACRRM(a)
..
26.0
16.3
..
..
..
Intensive care
31.7
33.5
24.3
32.2
40.2
26.8
Obstetrics and gynaecology
65.1
69.8
77.6
79.0
80.6
23.8
Ophthalmology
35.8
40.0
43.4
41.8
34.0
-5.0
Paediatrics
66.4
67.9
70.6
72.7
71.4
7.5
Psychiatry
55.2
54.1
55.4
53.4
54.5
-1.3
Total
47.4
49.6
50.8
51.6
53.4
12.7
Total female trainees
2,133
2,498
2,672
2,962
3,235
51.7

Top of page

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.

Table 4.12: Proportion of female basic trainees by state/territory, 2009–2013
NSW
Vic
Qld
SA
WA
Tas
NT
ACT
Aust
Proportion female (%)

Source: Medical colleges

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
2013
53.6
57.0
48.8
53.9
53.9
45.5
58.5
58.9
53.4