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Annual survey of interns helps medical training to prepare graduates for medical practice

2 December, 2021

A major evaluation of the Australian Medical Council (AMC) – Medical Board of Australia (MBA) Preparedness for Internship Survey has found that the survey has been an effective quality improvement tool for medical schools’ curriculum reviews, for collaboration between the early phases of medical education and training, and for the AMC’s accreditation functions.

Over three years, the Survey has concluded that interns in their first year after medical school have generally felt they were well-prepared for practice. In some areas there was lower reported preparedness, including prescribing medications and providing care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Through its accreditation processes, the AMC has asked medical schools to identify the reasons for lower ratings and report on work to ameliorate them. This work has resulted in broad and sometimes substantial changes to medical programs.

The AMC is also considering the survey results in two reviews of AMC standards:
the standards for assessment and accreditation of primary medical programs and the National Framework for Medical Internship.

The evaluation also identified possible systems improvements including the need for ongoing dialogue between medical schools, health services and intern training accreditation authorities so there is clarity about expectations of medical graduates.

About the survey

The Australian Medical Council (AMC) and the Medical Board of Australia are responsible for ensuring medical education and training results in doctors who are safe and competent to practise medicine.

The AMC-Medical Board of Australia National Preparedness for Internship Survey, launched in 2017, is a survey of Australian doctors in their first year of practice. The survey focused on whether medical interns felt well-prepared for practice by their medical school programs.

A core aim of medical student education is to prepare medical graduates to start work safely as junior doctors working under supervision, including taking on clinical responsibility, working in teams, and managing the pace of work and sometimes stressful and demanding situations. The joint AMC and Medical Board of Australia survey aimed to understand the issues interns face, in order to better prepare graduates for the workplace.

The AMC as the accreditation authority for medical programs, is committed to improving the quality of medical training, with particular attention to transition points in career pathways. This evaluation has demonstrated the value of the Preparedness for Internship Survey in this work.

For more information, please contact the Preparedness for Internship Survey team at

Read the full evaluation report and the 2019 Intern survey results.