Medical groups meet at AMA Medical Workforce and Training Summit
More than 70 representatives including doctors in training representatives, prevocational and vocational medical training organisations, the medical colleges, private healthcare organisations, jurisdictional health representatives and AMA representatives met at AMA Victoria in Melbourne on 3 March 2018 to discuss concerns the AMA and many others in the profession have about the distribution of the medical workforce, the long-standing imbalance between generalist training and sub-specialisation, the workforce position of different specialties, the growing evidence of a specialty 'training bottleneck' and the lack of subsequent consultant positions.
A number of excellent speakers addressed the Summit during the morning session. There was unequivocal support from attendees that no new medical school places were needed. How we balance the requirement to train doctors to meet community needs and the service needs of hospitals, provide certainty and security of employment for prevocational and vocational trainees, and how to enhance rural training opportunities for vocational trainees were some of the other key issues discussed during this session.
In the afternoon, attendees worked together to arrive at a list of key strategies to build a sustainable high quality medical workforce in line with community need. The end result of the Summit was a list of suggested strategies for action to address key challenges in the workforce including distribution of the workforce both geographically and within specialties. A full report of the Summit will be available at the beginning of April and while the Summit recommendations are not binding, they will be able to inform future policy development including a review of the AMA Position Statement on Medical Workforce and Training – 2013.
The AMA last held a summit on medical training in 2010 resulting in a Joint Statement for Action on Medical Training. The 2018 Summit examined what had been achieved since then, what gaps still existed and what actions were needed to ensure Australia has a sustainable medical workforce aligned with expected community need.