Self-perceived preparedness of junior doctors for internship in regional far North Queensland

Authors

  • James N. Sellars Department of General Surgery, Cairns Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
  • Michael Van Der Mark Department of General Surgery, Cairns Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
  • Joanna Neal Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Cairns Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
  • Tom Palesy Department of Vascular Surgery, Cairns Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
  • Lani Palesy James Cook University, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
  • Eshwarshanker Jeyarajan Department of General Surgery, Cairns Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18203/2349-2902.isj20240318

Keywords:

Interns, Preparedness, Concerns, Internship, Far North Queensland

Abstract

Background: Objective of the study was to determine the self-perceived preparedness and concerns of newly graduated junior doctors beginning their internship year in a regional based hospital in far North Queensland.

Methods: A questionnaire investigating the basic demographics, future vocational intentions, perceived medical strengths, and greatest hopes and fears for the upcoming intern year was formulated. The survey was undertaken by all interns starting work in 2023 at Cairns Hospital in regional Far North Queensland. Basic statistical analysis was conducted in Microsoft Excel.

Results: There were 52 total participants. Overall, 40 (76.9%) were aged 23 to 32 years, 45 (86.5%) had graduated from a Queensland university, and 25 (48.1%) had previous exposure to the medical field prior to internship, through a family member or previous work. New interns felt least prepared for discussions regarding dying and palliative care, N=14 (26.9%) at least “prepared”, certification of death, N=11 (21.2%) at least “prepared” and nasogastric tube insertion, N=14 (26.9%) at least “prepared”. The main concerns were feeling unsupported (N=31, 59.6%), tiredness and stress (N=28, 53.8%), and interacting with rude staff or experiencing bullying (N=27, 51.9%). Overall, interns felt least prepared for surgical (N=21, 40.4%) and after-hours rotations (N=19, 36.5%).

Conclusions: The intern year can be daunting for recent graduates, particularly feeling a sense of isolation and fatigue, heightened by potential staff conflict and high-pressure settings in surgery and after-hours. Better preparation and support should be provided for interns to ensure a comfortable transition from university to work to optimise safe and effective patient care.

References

Kelly C, Noonan CLF, Monagle JP. Preparedness for internship: A survey of new interns in a large Victorian health service. Aust Health Rev. 2011;35(2):146-51.

Paliadelis P, Parmenter G, Parker V, Giles M, Higgins I. The challenges confronting clinicians in rural acute care settings: A participatory research project. Rural Remote Health. 2012;12(2):1-12.

Queensland Health, Cairns Hospital Activity. Available at: http://www.performance.health.qld. gov.au/Hospital/HospitalActivity/214. Accessed on 20 November 2023.

Carlsson Y, Nilsdotter A, Bergman S, Liljedahl M. Junior doctors’ experiences of the medical internship: A qualitative study. Int J Med Educ. 2022;13:66-73.

Surmon L, Bialocerkowski A, Hu W. Perceptions of preparedness for the first medical clerkship: A systematic review and synthesis. BMC Med Edu. 2016;16(89):1-11.

Surveyplanet. Available at: https://surveyplanet.com/. Accessed on 20 November 2023.

Gupta TS, Murray R, McDonell A, Murphy B, Underhill A. Rural internships for final years students: Clinical experience, education and workforce. Rural Remote Health. 2008;8(1):1-10.

Petrie K, Deady M, Lupton D, Crawford J, Boydell KM, Harvey SB. The hardest job I’ve ever done: A qualitative exploration of the factors affecting junior doctors’ mental health and well-being during medical training in Australia. BMC Health Ser Res. 2021;21(1342):1-12.

Tyssen R. Work and mental health in doctors: A short review of Norwegian studies. Porto Biomed J. 2019;4(5):1-3.

Ihara Y, Son D, Nochi M, Takizawa R. Work-related stressors among hospital physicians: A qualitative interview study in the Tokyo metropolitan area. BMJ. 2020;5:1-8.

Smith S, Lapkin S, Halcomb E, Sim J. Job satisfaction among small rural hospital nurses: A cross-sectional study. J Nurs Scholarship. 2022;55(1):378-87.

Andrade C. The limitations of online surveys. Indian J Psychol Med. 2020; 42(6):575-6.

Lack CS, Cartmill JA. Working with registrars: A qualitative study of interns’ perceptions and experiences. Med J Aust. 2005;182(2):70-2.

Downloads

Published

2024-02-09

Issue

Section

Original Research Articles