Prevocational medical education at the coalface: report from the 2006 national junior medical officer and director of clinical training/registrar forums

Michael J R Edmonds and David S Everett
Med J Aust 2007; 186 (7): S20. || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2007.tb00960.x
Published online: 2 April 2007


Junior medical officer forum report

The junior medical officer (JMO) forum was attended by nearly 80 JMOs from Australia and New Zealand, representing postgraduate year (PGY) 1 through to PGY3 and beyond. Before the forum, representatives from each Australian state and territory and from New Zealand discussed issues important to JMOs; the most pertinent of these were included in the final agenda. The most important issues were education and training; accreditation; rural and remote positions; and JMO welfare. A full report on the resolutions agreed on by the JMO forum is available;1 these resolutions are achievable goals and guidelines that should be used to guide activity or policy that will affect JMOs in Australia and New Zealand.

Education and training

The Australian Curriculum Framework for Junior Doctors:2 The launch of this framework stimulated discussion about implementation and assessment; JMOs felt they should be involved in any planning or decision making. The forum identified potential for the framework to be “misused” for differing agendas that are not beneficial to JMOs. These include the misuse of the framework as a direct assessment tool (eg, as a checklist or logbook), or as a step to a 2-year internship, or replacing core terms with a competency-based system. JMOs believed the framework should not form a barrier to entering vocational training. They felt the emphasis of the framework should be in guiding allocation of specific and adequate funding for JMO teaching and resources, and to ensure educational opportunities are available for JMOs. They identified a need to recognise and reward the teachers and trainers who provide educational opportunities.

JMO involvement in medical school curricula: The forum felt that JMOs are under-recognised in their integral role in teaching medical students, and that they feel unprepared for this role, as well as for the work required in their first years after graduation. The forum believed JMOs can offer details and a realistic perspective on immediate postgraduation requirements to medical school curriculum committees.

Director of clinical training and registrar forum report

Most directors of clinical training (DCTs) at the forum were physicians (adult, paediatric, and emergency medicine) or general practitioners. There was limited representation of surgeons and other procedural doctors. Registrars of varying specialties and levels of training attended, representing most of the Australian states and territories.

Resources for education

The forum noted that DCTs and the units they run have few resources to provide generic skills training for trainees and their supervisors. Important examples include clinical simulation and programs such as “Teaching on the run”.3 This was considered another advocacy issue for the CPMEC; the PMCs should consider the national accreditation standards as a useful tool for obtaining resources for specific training activities.

  • Michael J R Edmonds1
  • David S Everett2

  • 1 Postgraduate Medical Council of South Australia, Adelaide, SA.
  • 2 Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, SA.


Competing interests:

Michael Edmonds’ registration for the 11th National Prevocational Medical Education Forum was funded by the Postgraduate Medical Council of South Australia.


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