2021 Resident Hospital Health Check

Resident Hospital Health Check

In 2021, AMA Queensland and its Council of Doctors in Training, in collaboration with ASMOFQ (Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation Queensland), surveyed Resident Medical Officers (RMOs) throughout Queensland, including Interns, Junior House Officers, Senior House Officers and those on Continued Residency.

The anonymous survey evaluated their experiences of employment in Queensland and subsequently compared hospitals across the state.

Results were reported for a total of 808 junior doctors across 21 hospital and Hospital and Health Services (HHSs).

This was the sixth consecutive year for the survey and was designed to be similar to previous years so that results could be compared to previous years.

Major breakdown among full sample

Leave

  • Of the total sample, 59% were satisfied their leave preferences were taken into consideration, which was slightly lower than 2020 (62%) and 2019 (64%). 

Professional/career development 

  • In total, 36% had applied for professional development leave (PDL), which represents an 8% increase in trainees applying for PDL compared with 2020 and is similar with the 2019 figure (38%).
  • Among those who applied, leave was granted to 79% of applicants, which appears to have been steadily growing from 77% and 73% in 2020 and 2019 respectively.
  • Further, 52% and 32% were satisfied that their clinical rotation preferences had been accommodated, and with opportunities to be involved in research and auditing (this is compared with 51% and 33% respectively in 2020). 

Pay and overtime

  • Among the full sample, a total of 24% of respondents reported not being fully paid for claimed overtime, which was steady when compared with 2020.
  • Further, 25% reported that they had been advised not to claim overtime payment by an administrative officer or a more senior medical officer and 25% also believed doing so would lead to a negative assessment (holding steady with 27% on both questions in 2020). 

Wellbeing and workplace culture

  • Importantly, 30% of respondents reported that they had felt unsafe at work, which appears to be trending up from 27% in 2020 and 22% in 2019, and 51% reported that they had been concerned about making a clinical error due to fatigue related to long work hours.
  • Less than half of respondents were satisfied with the hospital facilities (43%) and the quality of the teaching and training (46%) on offer, with the former appearing to trend down from 47% in 2020 and 57% in 2019.

Bullying, discrimination and harassment

  • Overall, 34% experienced bullying/discrimination/harassment, with a further 17% witnessing one or more of these behaviours.
  • The percentage who experienced bullying/discrimination/harassment in 2021 was steady with 2020 and 2019 (34% and 33% respectively).
  • Only 34% of respondents who reported these behaviours felt they had been addressed appropriately, which was much lower than 2020 (65%) and 2019 (46%), and 71% were concerned that reporting the matter might lead to negative consequences (down from 77% in 2020). 

AMA Queensland and its Council of Doctors in Training, in collaboration with ASMOFQ, will lobby for improvements to RMO's working conditions and entitlements in the upcoming MOCA 6 negotiations in 2022.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of the 2021 AMA Queensland Resident Hospital Health Check Survey in greater detail, please email membership@amaq.com.au.


DISCLAIMER

The AMA Queensland Resident Hospital Health Check survey was completed on a voluntary basis by Queensland doctors in training (including those at Intern, Junior House Officer and Senior House Officer and those on Continued Residency). The purpose of this document is to assist graduating medical students as well as current interns and residents with their decision making process when deciding on which hospitals to apply for in the upcoming intern and Resident Medical Officer (RMO) campaigns. This information is provided in good faith and should only be used as a guide, it is intended to be general in nature and is made available on the understanding that the AMA Queensland, ASMOFQ and the AMA Queensland Council of Doctors in Training do not make any comment or assertion that the information provided by participants is correct, or reflects the experiences of doctors who did not participate in the survey. Before relying on the information contained in the survey results provided, users should carefully evaluate its accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance for their purposes, personal objectives and career goals, and should make their own enquiries, including consulting with the relevant hospital and staff. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the collation of the information in this survey, AMA Queensland, ASMOFQ and its employees and the AMA Queensland Council of Doctors in Training cannot be held responsible for the information provided by participants in the survey and cannot be responsible for any loss or damage arising from any person or organisation as a result of the publication of this survey of information. AMA Queensland, ASMOFQ and the AMA Queensland Council of Doctors in Training do not take any responsibility for the outcomes published in the survey. Comparison of results among hospitals and Hospital and Health Services (HHSs) must be made with caution, as the survey did not involve a probabilistic sampling frame, but instead was open to the entire Queensland RMO population, achieving a response rate of 33%. Further, as RMOs were not randomly allocated to hospitals differences in attitudes and expectations of respondents cannot be adequately controlled. This introduces biases into the results which cannot be accounted for. Thus, all differences among hospitals/HHSs should be interpreted as specific only to the survey respondents and must not be interpreted as representative of the experiences of all junior doctors in Queensland. Lastly, the overall raw percentage of responses for each question in 2021 were compared with the same question in 2020, with improvement, no change or worsening indicated by green, yellow and red traffic lights respectively. All analyses and reporting of results, including the derivation of the grade, were undertaken by an Epidemiologist (PhD) with considerable experience in research design and statistical analysis and a strong track-record in health/medical research.