PMID: 7993289Jun 1, 1994Paper

Career choice and experience of distress amongst interns: a survey of New South Wales internship 1987-1990

The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
F Hume, K Wilhelm


Successive cohorts of interns assigned to a Sydney teaching hospital since 1987 were interviewed at the beginning and end of their intern year to document factors influencing career choice and psychological morbidity, with comparisons between the graduates of the three NSW medical faculties. Intellectual challenge and altruism were the two most reported motivating factors in choosing Medicine. Many interns expressed regret at their career choice. Apart from anger, self-reported psychological morbidity during internship was low. Interns' evaluation of the relevance of their undergraduate training declined during internship, except for Newcastle graduates. Increased "hands on" clinical experience during undergraduate years, career guidance, assertiveness training, and time management skills should be included in the undergraduate curriculum. More registrar teaching, frequent performance feedback, regular grievance sessions and decreased clerical activities contribute to more enriching intern experiences.


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