O Week 2021
- On March 12, 2021
- March / April 2021
O Week 2021
AMA (NSW) visited hospitals across NSW during Orientation Week to welcome new interns to the profession.
O Week 2021 was an orientation like no other. This year’s cohort quickly learned the art of ‘smize’ (smiling with their eyes) as they took in presentation after presentation in a COVID-safe way – socially-distanced and masked up.
“These junior medical officers join NSW Health at a remarkable time in our history,” Richard Griffiths, Acting Deputy Secretary, NSW Health said.
“They come to us in the middle of an unprecedented, world-wide pandemic and have the unique opportunity to play a vital role in in our extraordinary health system.”
There were 1,041 interns in 2021, a 35% increase from 10 years ago.
Of the 1000-plus new doctors, 150 are taking part in the Rural Preferential Recruitment scheme, in which interns undertake the majority of their training in rural hospitals. This has doubled in number since 2012.
While AMA (NSW) wasn’t able to get to all of the interns this year due to COVID restrictions, we did make an effort to visit as many as possible. And in addition to welcoming the profession’s newest members, AMA (NSW) President, Dr Danielle McMullen reminded interns that AMA (NSW) exists to help them throughout their career – with workplace support, careers assistance, advocacy and more.
Last year we heard from DITs that some weren’t being paid for mandatory training, but advocacy from AMA (NSW) has made a discernible improvement to this issue. There were less reports of this happening in 2021, and where it did occur, AMA (NSW) was able to assist those members get paid for any mandatory training that was completed outside of rostered hours.
We were also pleased to tell interns about other positive changes AMA (NSW) has instigated to improve the working lives of DITs. These include online claiming for unrostered overtime and callbacks. The new system makes it easier for DITs to be paid correctly and also provides a clearer picture of the actual number of hours DITs are being asked to work. This data can be used to help us push for better rostering.
If you are an intern and have a question about your employment, please contact AMA (NSW)’s Workplace Relations Team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 02 9439 8822.