Assessment of medical students’ learning outcomes in Australia: current practice, future possibilities

David Wilkinson, Benedict J Canny, Jacob V Pearce, Hamish B Coates and Daniel J Edwards
Med J Aust 2013; 199 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja13.10061
Published online: 4 November 2013

Programs such as the Australian Medical Assessment Collaboration will allow nationwide comparisons between medical schools

The outcomes of medical education in Australia are generally regarded as being very good, and our accreditation standards are also generally recognised as being of world standard. Although individual cases of medical malpractice typically make headline news,1 there is no evidence of widespread or systemic failure of medical training. Indeed, the limited reports of intern performance that do exist suggest that most interns perform at or above a standard that is expected by their supervisors.2,3 However, there is other evidence that some graduates perceive themselves to be underprepared.4

  • David Wilkinson1
  • Benedict J Canny2
  • Jacob V Pearce3
  • Hamish B Coates3,4
  • Daniel J Edwards3,5

  • 1 The Chancellery, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 3 Australian Council for Educational Research, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 4 LH Martin Institute, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 5 Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC.



Several projects already underway may lead to national standards in competencies for medical students, but more work remains to be done before any model of nationwide, collaborative assessment is acceptable to most medical schools.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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