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Top tips for medical intern applications

🕑 4 minutes read


“My name is Charles Aitken, I graduated from Monash University then completed my Internship at Bendigo Health”

My top tips for medical intern applications (which are things that I wish I’d done but didn’t):

1)    Do your applications now!

There’s nothing to be gained by putting it off so the next spare moments you have just update your CV and put some cover letters together! You’ll have time to put a bit more thought into it and be less inclined to just copy paste the same cover letters. Which brings me to point number two…

2)    Don’t “copy and paste” your cover letters!

Phrases or sections maybe – but I’d be extremely hesitant to transfer anything hospital/year related. I think it’s much safer to just read your cover letter that you’ve already done and then re-type it while saying the hospital and job you’re applying for on repeat in your head (only half joking). From speaking to Medical Workforce/HR staff in general this is all too common and will get you an automatic “NO”. Unless you plan on applying everywhere in the country compared to other industries we actually don’t have to do many applications at all. Only down side to pre-vocational training is you have to go through this process every 12 months.

3)    Make sure your cover letter has something that shows why that employer is good for you AND why you’re good for them.

(“I’m smart and you need smart people” is not what I mean…) If you want to work, or have worked, under a particular person, be/been involved in something unique or if that location or community will enable you to do something valuable outside the workplace then let the reader know. I think generally Hospital’s ask you to show/tell how you’ll be a good match for their values (iCARE etc) so it’s probably worth addressing these as well.

4)    Don’t hang all your hopes and dreams on just two or three hospitals.

The application process for jobs is alarmingly straight forward, yet unpredictable and no-one is going to tell you the trick to success (there is none). Training places are becoming increasingly competitive especially if you have your eyes on solely Quaternary Centres in capital cities. Some good advice I received was not to rank hospitals you wouldn’t want to work at – there is always the possibility of getting an “unmatched” position (essentially ‘round two’ of job allocations, however you CANNOT refuse a round one offer and be eligible for round two) which some of my friends have had some luck with at highly competitive employers. I think it’s definitely good advice for after internship (when you can locum and jobs become available after people quit etc), but until you meet the requirements of your internship there really isn’t any clinical work outside research that is available, bringing me to point five.

5)    Wherever you get allocated, make the most of it and enjoy!

If you end up heading to one of your lower preferences, don’t stress (it makes it worse). I haven’t met anyone that’s hated where they did their internship, people definitely hate particular people and jobs, but that is universal Between the realization that someone is actually willing to pay you for what you know, the excitement of your signature actually ‘working’, and the great social life that comes with being a JMO in any hospital, be brave, give everything a go and you’ll have a great time!

Also read- Top 5 tips for salary packaging in your intern year 

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