Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Internships: numbers

Hmm... back to front graphic.

Here's the deal*: since 2000, the number of medical schools in Australia has doubled to 20. Further, the Fed Government eased the limit on full-fee paying students for med school. Some will use this latitude, some won't so the actual number of grads is subject to a degree of variation.

The forecast is for the number of Australian Resident medical graduates to rise from 1287 in 2004 to >3000 by the middle of the next decade. The total number of intern places in 2005 was 1622 (great if you graduated then). You need to do this year to be accredited.

So, the situation is going from one extreme where there were plenty of spare internships for overseas grads to fill the gap (many from the UK), to one where there is a 50% shortfall unless training places are increased.

NB: this number excludes overseas / international students at Australian med schools: another ~500 on top of the ~3000.

So: how to solve the problem? As the veteran who has been at the receiving end of a number of expensive management consultants' reports when I was a BSD I Banker, I am well equipped to solve this one. You'll need to understand the BCG supply / demand relationship, though, and it's tricky. Here's the choices:

1) Reduce the demand for internships
2) Increase the supply of internships.

I'll add a third:
3) Discard the weak.

Clever stuff. I'll address each in turn in different posts.

*Much data used here and in later posts is taken from an Medical Journal of Australia briefing paper and from another report found here. Sorry: don't know how to post the article itself.

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