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Preventing and resolving training disputes

Jun 26, 2017

Avant has been examining disputes arising between trainee doctors and their colleges for some time. Representing both trainees and supervisors across all specialties, we see the complexity of these disputes and the serious impact they can have on all involved. We have an interest in helping our members avoid being caught up in training program disputes, and for those who do become involved, in supporting them through the dispute resolution process.

Although small, the number of training disputes we see has been increasing over the past ten years. Several specialist medical colleges also expressed to us their increasing concerns about disputes arising in vocational training programs. With competition for training places becoming more intense, and increasing focus on diversity in healthcare workplaces, we expect the issues raised in these disputes to remain important ones for the profession.

To explore Avant’s role in helping to prevent and resolve such disputes, and to tease out multiple contributing factors, in 2016 we convened a workshop on training disputes. Drawing on the insights gained from the various perspectives of those attending, we continued to explore the issue. Our recently released issues and discussion paper: Preventing and resolving training disputes, offers further reflections on the contributing factors to training disputes and some proposed solutions.

It seems clear that, as with many of the complex cultural issues the medical profession faces today, this issue cannot be solved in silos. It will need input from the many different groups involved to identify solutions designed around the people involved and the real world environments in which they work.

While the most appropriate solutions to the issues raised are likely to be different for each college and workplace, we suggest that there are some core principles that shape those solutions, and we offer these for discussion.

Please share your experiences and responses to the questions posed in the paper, by 18 August 2017 by emailing us at advocacy@avant.org.au.

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We welcome your feedback on this article – email the Editor at: editor@avant.org.au