The Australian Medical Council (AMC) and Medical Board of Australia (MBA) undertook a survey of interns in September 2017, designed to assess how well medical school prepares students for their internship.

Click here to see a powerpoint with detailed results.

The survey was voluntary and anonymous. De-identified data was used in analysis of survey results. After adjustments for incomplete data, 661 responses (representing about 20 per cent of interns) were included in the data set.

Respondents agreed that medical school had prepared them to undertake the role and responsibilities of an intern, with the following responses:

  • Strongly agree:               16 per cent
  • Agree:                                  59 per cent
  • Neutral:                               15 per cent
  • Disagree:                             8 per cent
  • Strongly disagree:           2 per cent.

Respondents thought medical school had prepared them well in skill areas such as:

  • core clinical skills, including taking a history and examining patients, and patient-related skills such as communication with patients and involving patients in decisions
  • other skills such as informatics, preventing cross-infection, IV cannulation, knowing one’s own limitations, and participation in multi-disciplinary teams

Areas in which interns did not feel as well prepared included:

  • prescribing medications and IV fluids
  • nutritional care, error reporting, and certain aspects of familiarity with hospital systems and self-management skills.

Most respondents did not think that medical school had prepared them well for issues such as seeking support for psychological distress, bullying and harassment, or raising concerns about colleagues who were distressed or not performing.

The results of the survey have been communicated to medical schools and other stakeholders involved in medical education, and has provided a significant improvement in understanding of how best to align training with the real demands of the job.

Thanks to all who participated.

If you have any questions about the survey you can contact the AMC by email at