Unique opportunities as an Assistant in Medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic

Friday, September 17th, 2021



In Australia, the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic led to the formation of a new and unique role within the medical system, known as the Assistant in Medicine. The Assistant in Medicine program involved a group of selected final-year medical students joining the workforce as a government initiative to expand and reallocate hospital resources.


This reflection explores the unique opportunities in professional development as an Assistant in Medicine. Similar pre-internship models seen in New Zealand reported higher levels of competence and preparedness for internship compared to other final-year medical student placement models (92% in New Zealand, compared to 58% and 64% in the UK and Australia, respectively). These positive outcomes lead to an interesting question: could the Assistant in Medicine placement or a modified version be integrated into Australia’s final-year medical student curriculum?

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