Encouragement, freedom and fund support to think-beyond and adopt multi-disciplinary training initiatives is WHAT WORLD GOVERNMENTS AND CORPORATE STAKEHOLDERS NEED TO EMPHASIS.
Medical training in critical condition
In my office recently I saw a patient with a large pituitary tumour. It was causing multiple symptoms, including partial blindness. The patient didn’t require surgery; his condition can be managed with medication and he will be cared for entirely as an outpatient.
Consequently, although young doctors in training – interns, residents and specialists-in-training – could have learnt much from this person and his condition, it is unlikely they will cross paths with him.
The theme that has underpinned most of the clinical training of young Australian doctors is “only public hospitals and only in Australia”. The result: not only are we unnecessarily placing additional pressures on the already struggling public hospital system, but trainee medical staff are missing many important lessons in patient care. This is to our detriment.
Broadening the training opportunities for young clinicians will, ultimately, improve the quality of our medical workforce. We know the solutions. Instead of relying on big city hospitals, we could have more specialty training positions in country hospitals. We could have more young doctors learning in specialist rooms, and we could place these doctors overseas where they would be exposed to different ways of preventing and managing illness and allocating resources. All these non-traditional settings – that is, non-Australian public hospitals – offer rich opportunities for gaining one ingredient that contributes to becoming a good doctor: experience.