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  1. Cian McDermott1,
  2. Michael Sheridan1,
  3. Katie Moore2
  1. 1Emergency Department, The Geelong Hospital, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


    Objectives & Background To explore the increasing numbers of Emergency Medicine registrars that obtained their primary medical degree from United Kingdom (UK) or Irish universities, who work in Emergency Departments (ED) throughout Australia and New Zealand.

    Table 1

    Trends in Australasian Emergency Medicine registrar numbers 2008–2013 (courtesy of ACEM Policy & Research Department)

    Methods The VERS-2013 (Victoria Emergency Registrar Study) was published at the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) annual scientific meeting in Adelaide in November 2013.1 As a follow on, ACEM provided the authors with data regarding country of primary degree for international medical graduates (IMG) working in Australasian EDs.

    Results UK and Irish Emergency Medicine registrars make up the largest proportion of IMGs in working in Australasian EDs. These figures have increased from 36.2% in 2008 to 45.2% in 2013 (table 1). In 2013 alone, the largest year-on-year increase occurred, of UK and Irish ED IMG registrars, migrating to work in Australia and New Zealand. Current data shows that over 25% of all ED registrars working in Australasian EDs, studied for their primary medical degree in a university either in Ireland or the UK (table 1).

    Conclusion Many IMGs (in particular from UK and Ireland) leave their country of origin to work overseas in Australia and New Zealand. Highly trained, skilled independent practitioners have, in the past, returned to the UK to work at consultant level. However, evidence from ACEM (table 1) and the VERS-20131 study show clearly that these doctors are now migrating to Australia for the long-term, leaving EDs the length and breath of the British Isles bereft of talented senior EM decision-making personnel. Meanwhile in Australia, continued IMG influx is at odds with a stated Health Workforce Australia taskforce aim to achieve self-sufficiency by 2025.2 The challenge is set for the College of Emergency Medicine, in conjunction with the UK and Irish governments, to enhance the attractiveness of Emergency Medicine as a credible and sustainable career option.

    • emergency care systems

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