Message from the International Rep

An important group within the student cohort is comprised of full fee paying international students. As such, ANUMSS has a keen interest in the welfare of these students and issues affecting their education experience in Australian Capital Territory and the Executive created the International Representative position to deal with these concerns.

The International Representative is part of the ANUMSS Executive and lobbies for the needs and interests of international medical students at ANU. We have biannual meetings and are currently trying to guarantee internship spots for international medical students that graduate from ANU. The internship year is a vital component of training competent, safe and qualified doctors. Furthermore, completion of a supervised internship in an accredited Australian public hospital is a requirement for full registration with current State and Territory medical boards and as such, ANUMSS views this as an obligatory component of medical training.

The significant increase in medical students in Australia will decrease the number of accredited internship positions available to international students; creating a critical flaw in international medical student education. These students are being forced offshore to complete their medical training, as they are unable to secure positions in Australia. This is a critical loss of highly educated and accomplished professionals in a country where the need for qualified doctors is rising rapidly. Thus, the ANUMSS supports prioritizing internship spots for Australian-trained medical graduates ahead of supervised training position for overseas trained doctors, as well as a guarantee for ANU medical graduates to have an internship placement within ACT Health to have the opportunity to achieve full medical registration.

Furthermore, we are also lobbying for integration of international students within the Rural Stream. Positive experiences in rural medicine and rural lifestyle are predictive of doctors wishing to pursue a rural medical career and make it easier for these doctors to integrate into the community. Currently, international Australian-trained medical graduates who want to practice in Australia must spend at least 2 years in a specified regional area to be eligible for permanent residency and 10 years to receive an unrestricted Medicare provider number. It is counterproductive to exclude international students with an interest in rural medicine from rural clinical schools, and the ANUMSS supports the position that international students should be permitted to apply for and be considered for participating in the 'rural stream' for their third year.

The International Representative is also in constant contact with other International Societies at Medical Schools across Australia. Issues such as returning to our home countries and writing registration exams are explained for those interested, as the processes can be quite confusing.

Roshan Dalpadado
International Student Rep