Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Internships: controlling demand

The first way to reduce the imbalance is to reduce demand. And the best way to do this is, of course, to change the rules so that fewer people are eligible to apply for a place or so that there is a ranking of eligibity.

Key goals:
  1. Ensure that those who have been funded through med school by the tax payer complete their training so that the money isn't wasted
  2. Ensure that those educated in that State can complete their training ahead of interstate students to avoid "they're taking our jobs" problems.
The lowest ranking slice of the salami is the easiest to identify: the international / overseas students. Sure, if there are a few internships left in unpopular places, then they can have those. This takes ~500 or ~14% of the 2014 oversupply out of the equation; it's a higher percentage at the better med schools.

The next lowest is trickier but will inevitably be full fee paying students. They have not been funded by the local funding state, and if they are unable to complete their training then caveat emptor. If med schools take up the full 25% of Commonwealth student allowance, then that's another ~20% or 700 graduates out of the running. Hmm.... aren't some private med schools all fee paying... what will happen to them?

This leaves ~2300 "core" Commonwealth funded students to train. We'll need ~600 more traning places which is tricky but surely the States should be able to increase by 40% over six years?

The graphic as the top is from a letter from those responsible for NSW medical training to the University of Sydney and shows NSW will be doing it post-2011: Group A are guaranteed. Nota bene the appearance of merit selection for Group C... MTAS here we come.

Given that NSW (plus ACT) provided 566 places in 2005, a 2015 demand of ~750 (944 with the full fee payers stripped out) will be a stretch to meet the demands but probably (has to be) doable. However, I would be worried if I were in Group C... making it into Group B will be a challenge (what is merit exactly... grades, extracurriculars...?) but then will there be any postions for Group B to fill? Depends on "additional workforce demand" and given that NSW Health will already be overstaffed with Group A'ers, I'm sceptical that demand will exist.

Let's look at the supply side next.

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