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Positive changes to intern training programme

Media Release
20 March 2017

For Immediate Release

Positive changes to intern training programme

An independent review of extensive changes to training for doctors in their first two years after medical school, has found the programme is working well and the experience for those involved is largely positive.

The changes were implemented by the Medical Council of New Zealand (Council) to improve the educational experience for interns and to assist in the continuum of learning before doctors go into vocational (specialist) training.

An independent review of how the changes were working was commissioned by Council and carried out by an Implementation Review Group chaired by Dr Ken Clark, Chair of the National District Health Board Chief Medical Officer Group and Chair of the Health Workforce New Zealand Medical Workforce Taskforce.

The Implementation Review Group, which sought input from a range of stakeholders, considered if the changes had been effectively implemented, how processes and structures were working, and how well the changes had been accepted by interns, training providers and all those involved in intern education.

Dr Clark said the findings of the review group were largely positive.

“Overall, the Implementation Review Group found that the changes to prevocational medical training had been effectively implemented and that the changes provided a greater level of transparency for all involved in intern education,” he said.

“This has contributed to an increased level of interaction between clinical supervisors and interns on clinical attachments and better quality feedback. The collective changes are contributing to a positive change in the perception and culture of prevocational medical training in New Zealand.”

Chairman of the Council, Mr Andrew Connolly, welcomed the review report.

“I would like to thank Dr Clark, the Implementation Review Group and all other stakeholders involved, for their time and expertise in contributing to this important review and developing an excellent report. This is a valuable resource that shows the changes Council made are working, but that there are some improvements we can make,” Mr Connolly said.

The Implementation Review Group made 35 recommendations, mostly relating to improving processes, and these were largely accepted by Council late last year. Mr Connolly said a work programme was being developed to implement the recommendations and ensure progress continued to be made.

The report has been published on the Medical Council’s website


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