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While your immediate concern as a new Intern is likely to revolve around surviving in what ever clinical environment you get thrown into, and fitting into the organisational structure, you also need to be thinking more long-term about your ongoing education, learning goals and career direction. This section is designed to get you thinking about some of the support structures to help you with this.

The Director Pre-vocational Training and Education (DPET)

What is a DPET, why do they exist, what do they do and why should interns be interested?

The answer is that the DPET exists to be an intern advocate. The role arises from the fact that as a medical student, the people responsible for your training and development are quite obvious. Likewise, if you stay in the hospital long enough and find your way onto a specialty training program, the answer to the question of who is responsible for your training and development is again, quite clear.

But who is looking out for your interests in between medical school and specialty training?

This is a large part or the role of a DPET. That is not to imply that at Westmead, the RSU and medical administration will not look after your interests, though we know that some hospitals do have a chequered history in this regard.

At Westmead, the DPET is available full-time and is involved in providing educational opportunities, talking to you and acting on your feedback, facilitating support and encouragement, providing career advice and direction and working with RSU to look after your needs. The DPET will formally meet with every intern at least once during the year, is required to countersign your end of term assessments, and will provide advice to the Medical Board of Australia at the end of internship regarding progression to General Registration.

My approach to being DPET is to be as accessible as possible. You can drop in to my office on Level 3 of the education block in the Sim Centre, ring me on my mobile, 0419 281 024, or e-mail me at My mobile is my preferred phone number and you should enter it into your contacts now. I already have yours!

The Intern Education Program

The two regular teaching sessions each week are the formal JMO teaching program between 1-2pm every Thursday in Level 2 in the Education Center and Wednesday afternoon teaching at 2:30pm in the Sim Lab on Level 3 for relievers on afternoon shifts.

The Thursday lunch sessions follow the JMO Forum teaching curriculum and apart from getting educated, it's a great time to catch up with colleagues and take advantage of the free lunch. Pages have to be handed in at the door as this is protected teaching time. All ward-based interns are expected to attend. Relievers or ED staff who are not rostered on duty are always welcome, but obviously there is no compulsion. If you are not on duty during the Thursday education session, the slides and audio will always be posted on the JMO App so you can catch up whenever you feel like it.

In addition, we run special events throughout the year, such as our ACTS half day simulation training or Breaking Bad News workshops.

There is no shortage of educational activities at Westmead. ED has tutorials for the junior staff 4 mornings per week, Medical Grand Rounds is every Wednesday lunchtime in the auditorium and virtually every departments runs one or more departmental teaching sessions on a regular basis.

Plus which, we have a fantastic library with immediate access to an almost unlimited supply of current clinical information.

And for those who want to try their hand at teaching, the Sydney Uni Westmead Clinical School is always happy to talk to you and find an opportunity.

Careers Advice

As a long time medical administrator, I have been involved in thousands of medical interviews and have some insight into what the different training schemes are looking for, how you might need to prepare and who you should talk to.

Worrying about your future career seems to be a popular intern pastime, so you are all encouraged to talk to me about your career plans and direction.

When you become an RMO, I will provide specific tutorials about CV preparation and job applications as well as mock interviews.

You will find an excellent resources provided by NSW health called "Map My Health Career" which gives you a lot of useful information about every career pathway. You may wonder whether the DPET can add much value to what is a very comprehensive site. I would argue I can, because:
  • I can give you more detailed information about the Westmead environment and Westmead is by far the the most likely place you will commence you specialty training
  • I can keep you aware of developing trends - there's often a bit of a lag with the centralised websites
  • I have a little more understanding of some of the early steps before getting onto the training program

Another useful resource is the HETI document - "The Doctors GPS - A Career Guide for JMOs". This can suffer from being a little out-of-date (the current version in 2016) and ultimately you will find more comprehensive information on the individual college websites, but this is a useful overview and a good starting point.

Anyway... if you have any questions you are always welcome to come and have a chat.

Term Supervisors and Term Assessment

Every term which you are allocated to will have a nominated Term Supervisor who should facilitate orientation to the term, ensure that you are adequately supervised during the term and provide mid-term and end of term feedback. The Term Supervisor is usually clearly identified on the Term Description, though occasionally departments share or rotate this responsibility. If it is unclear, you should ask when you start the term.

Mid- and end of term assessments will be documented on the official HETI forms. The Mid Term is an orange form and End of Term is a red form. Both forms align with the national intern training outcome statements, and the intent is that you complete a self-assessment and then discuss this with your supervisor, who adds in their own assessment. 

These forms have to be retained by the hospital, but they are confidential and will not be released without your permission. The forms have to be countersigned by the DPET and they provide the basis for longitudinal oversight by the DPET. They are critical to the hospital's capacity to make a recommendation to AHRPA at the end of your internship, regarding your progression to general registration.

You will find that various training programs may ask you for access to these forms further down the track, and although we are always happy to provide you with copies when you ask, it is advised that you always make your own copy when you submit the original.These forms should be submitted to RSU, Lauren McGroder (Education Support Officer), or the DPET at the end of each term. Failure to do so will result in progressively less polite reminders.

The only term where we do not require end of term assessments is the Relief term.

At the end of each term we will also ask you to rate the term. You will be provided with an orange form for doing this, and this information is important for helping drive change. This information is also confidential and your individual responses will NEVER be provided to Term Supervisors - although the data is collated annually and provided in summary format.

Term Descriptions and Rover Forms

Before you start each new term, you should read through the Official HETI Term Description and the Rover Form - a wiki document created and maintained by the JMOs themselves. Term descriptions will be useful, but should never replace a proper handover from the outgoing JMO. In Term 1, you will have a whole week handing over with the outgoing JMO and this should be an ideal opportunity to answer all your questions. Later on in the year you don't have the luxury of an extended handover, so the Term Description and Rover form assume a greater significance. These documents can be found by clicking the links below. If you notice any errors in the Term Description, you should contact Lauren McGroder at 
Term Descriptions
Rover Forms

The HETI Intern Guide

The question of what you should have achieved after 12 months of internship is a complex one.

The AMC National Intern Training Outcome Statements give you a guide, but these are quite non-specific.We are moving towards the implementation of Entrustable Professional Activities, and the use of log books, but this is still a little way off and wont impact on you as Interns.

In the meantime, HETI have provided a comprehensive Intern Guide, which attempts to translate the Intern Outcome Statements into practical activities each term, and helps you focus on your own personal goals as you rotate through each term.You can download the intern guide here, along with more a detailed explanation.

If you want to know more about this, you should talk to the DPET. 

Pre-vocational Clinical Training Committee (PCTC)

One of the Pre-vocation accreditation standards is that every hospital must have a Pre-vocational Clinical Training Committee. This is a peak body which brings together JMOs, senior clinicians, and key administrators. It has oversight over the circumstance under which JMOs work and learn. This meets at least every term, and all interns and RMOs are invited to participate, either in person or by referring issues to the committee.

When it comes to applying for jobs in 2 years time, one of the things which always impresses is those doctors who are prepared to contribute to the fabric of the hospital and who make an effort to improve the way things are organised. Regular participation in the PCTC is one way you can do this.

Accreditation &HETI

Although the outward signs of an accreditation process only comes around every 4 years, it is important to understand that the hospital is required to adhere to accreditation standards which govern the working and teaching environment for interns. You can find out more about HETI and the accreditation process here.

Some of you may even want to be come a HETI JMO surveyor, and survey other hospitals. This always gives a unique insight into how hospital systems are organised. You can arrange this by contacting HETI.

Completing internship - General Registration

At the end of your intern year, the hospital is required to issue a certificate of completion of accredited internship, before AHPRA will allow you to progress from Provisional Registration to General Registration. In order to be eligible for this you need to have completed:
  • 10 weeks of Medicine
  • 10 weeks of Surgery
  • 8 weeks of ED
  • 47 weeks in total (excluding annual leave)
The hospital is obliged to allocate terms which will meet these requirements, and you should never need to worry about this, although if you have any concerns in this regard you should raise them with the DPET.

Given your academic backgrounds, it is hardly surprising that we almost never withhold a certificate of completion of internship - but were this to happen it should never come as a surprise, because the problems should have been discussed with you well in advance.There would have to have been issues raised during the end of term assessment processes and an agreed performance improvement plan formulated, to try to address these issues.


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