Training our prevocational doctors

Fiona R Lake and Lou Landau
Med J Aust 2007; 186 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2007.tb00830.x
Published online: 5 February 2007

Education of our doctors needs to be a priority for the health services, not an add-on

Training of doctors is expensive and takes a long time, and so we need to make sure all parts count. It had been recognised for some time that the PGY1 and PGY2 years, sitting between undergraduate and vocational training, were a lost opportunity, with no defined outcomes and marked variation in experience and supervision.1 Gaps in knowledge and skills were often likely after completion of this part of training. A significant number of junior medical officers (JMOs) feel unprepared to deal with, for example, medicolegal issues, emergencies or some procedures, which is unacceptable.2 Worryingly, they receive varying degrees of feedback and often feel inundated with administrative tasks. Many states had started working on defining outcomes for the PGY1 and PGY2 years, and, with leadership from the Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils and funding from the Medical Training Review Panel of the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, they collaborated to develop the recently launched national Australian Curriculum Framework for Junior Doctors ( They drew on previously published frameworks from Canada3 and the United Kingdom,4 and the Australian National Patient Safety Education5 and Committee of Deans of Australian Medical Schools Indigenous Health Curriculum frameworks.6 The Framework documents key areas that we all know are important (clinical management, therapeutics), but also makes explicit areas that are usually minimally addressed, such as patient safety, communication and cultural safety. The consensus is a significant achievement in terms of agreement and collaboration across states.

  • 1 Education Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA.
  • 2 Postgraduate Medical Council of Western Australia, Perth, WA.


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