Message from the International Rep

International students are an important group for the Australian National University Medical School (ANUMS) as well as in universities across Australia, and as such, the ANU medical student society (ANUMSS) are keen to protect and advocate for the interest of international students at ANUMS. For any matter, big or small, international medical students at ANUMS are encouraged to speak with the international representative, who serves as the main channel of communication with the ANUMSS and the medical education unit (MEU).

One of the many issues that international medical students are currently facing is the internship crisis in Australia. As the number of medical graduates outgrows the number of internships (which is a requirement for full registration with the medical board), the internships available to international students has decreased dramatically in the past years. As of last year, international students who graduated from ANUMS are no longer guaranteed an internship position in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). International medical students’ priority has dropped by 3 levels from last year, from category 1 to category 4. However, all international students graduated from ANUMS in 2018 who were seeking an internship position have obtained one despite the downgrading, and we will be working towards holding this statement true in the future.

In addition to the internship crisis, international students are also excluded from the Rural Stream, which can be an important learning experience. Many students, after experiencing rural week, find that rural training would be extremely beneficial, and yet international students are not eligible to train rurally in the third year (Rural Stream). As many international students will work in rural areas after they graduate so that they can practice in Australia, it is counterintuitive to exclude international students from these rural training opportunities. This is another aspect that the international representative will advocate for the international students at ANUMS.

The issues described above are two very important and long-term tasks for the international representative, but our work does not stop there. We will also organize numerous bonding opportunities throughout the semester to build a cohesive and accommodating community. The international representative is also in contact with the broader international medical student communities including AMSA International Student Network (ISN). But again, one of the most important tasks for the international representative is to serve as the point of contact for any difficulty that any international student may encounter. We will do our best to help, or direct students in need to other resources for help if we unable to.

Charles Xu
International Student Rep