AMA Position Statement on Sexual Harassment a highpoint in AMACDT advocacy in 2015

10 Dec 2015

As the year draws to a close, it’s useful to reflect on what we’ve been able to achieve as a collective voice for doctors in training. And what a year it’s been!

In February, the AMA released the report of the 2014 AMA Specialist Trainee Survey (STS). The survey provides a national snapshot of medical training and provides valuable feedback to medical colleges on how Australia’s future doctors value their medical training experience. The STS revealed that responsiveness to cases of bullying and harassment, feedback, appeals and remediation processes, and the cost of training are ongoing issues for trainees and this informed AMA advocacy on vocational training throughout the year.

In April, the AMA brought together more than 40 profession leaders from groups across the medical profession to address the issue of workplace bullying and harassment. This meeting started the conversation about cultural change and strong action against harassment in all its forms within our profession and has culminated in the development of an AMA Position Statement on Sexual harassment in the medical workplace.

At AMA National Conference in May, the AMACDT was delighted to have the Hon Julia Gillard Ms Gillard address medical students and doctors in training at the AMACDT Leadership Development Dinner. The open exchange of ideas, experiences, and leadership advice that followed between Ms Gillard and the audience of future medical leaders was a highlight of the year for AMACDT.

At National Conference, the AMACDT ran a policy session on the future of GP training. This has focused AMA advocacy on developing a vision statement for the future of general practice training that acknowledges the value, and ensures the sustainability, of general practice. Look out for this early in the New Year. Together with the AMAs proposal for a Community Residency Program, the AMA continues to advocate for, a program to provide Junior Medical Officers with important general practice prevocational training in an effort to encourage more young doctors to choose a career in general practice.

Over the course of the year we have constantly advocated for increasing the number of prevocational and vocational training places to ensure medical graduates can progress to full specialist qualification, and for training models and systems that promote and support a high quality and relevant training experience. We were very pleased that the recent Medical Intern Review has listened to our recommendations to adopt an incremental approach to reforming the internship year and will continue to work with Government to make sure the quality of medical training and patient care is preserved.

2016 looks set to be equally productive and will kick off with the AMA Trainee Forum in Melbourne on 5 March 2016. Topics for discussion will include refugee health, employment for graduating fellows and trainee wellbeing as well as the ever popular trainee soapbox on key issues for 2016.

And so ends what has been a frantic year on so many fronts.  Have a safe and relaxing holiday period and I’ll look forward to keeping you up to date on DiT issues next year.

Dr Danika Thiemt

Chair, AMA Council of Doctors in Training