Being offered an intern position at a
hospital is an exciting step in your career. It may be your first ‘real job’.
The hospital will send you a letter of appointment which sets out the terms and conditions of your employment. In your excitement, you might be inclined to sign the letter and return it as soon as possible. However, it’s important for you to understand the terms and conditions before you sign on the dotted line so that you know what will be expected of you.
Here are our tips for reviewing your letter
- Your letter of appointment will refer to other documents which specify the terms and conditions of your employment (for example legislation, an award and / or certified agreement and directives and policies). You may wish to familiarise yourself with these documents.
- Read the letter of appointment carefully and ensure that you understand:
Ensure that you understand any specific requirements that arise as a result of the COVID pandemic. For example, you may be required to use personal protective equipment specific to the area you work, or be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (unless exempted). Your letter of appointment and documentation from the hospital may not include all the requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with the current guidance.Ensure
you have all the necessary paperwork you may need before you start work.
start date - there may be an orientation program before the official start of
the intern year and you will not want to miss it.
period of your employment - you will only be offered employment as an intern for
one year. Your employment will finish at the end of that year.
you will be required to work - if you are moving away from where you are
currently living, there may be additional information in your letter of
appointment about your living arrangements.
hours you will be required to work - including overtime and shift work.
you will be expected to do - this is commonly set out in a document called a 'position
description' and commonly allows for your duties to be changed within your expertise and experience.
you can take leave during your intern year - it is likely that you will not be
able to take annual leave when you want to. If you need to take annual leave at
a specific time (for example, because you are getting married), you should
discuss this with the hospital as soon as possible.
- Your employment obligations and hospital policies that apply to you.
you can resign or how the hospital can dismiss you.
the hospital indemnity policy will cover you for - it will not cover everything
that might happen to you as a doctor (for example, if you have a dispute about
your employment with the hospital).
the signed letter of appointment in time. If you can’t, you should call the hospital and seek
an extension. Make sure you get this in writing. Your offer of employment may
only remain open for a particular period (for example, seven days). If you do
not return your signed letter of appointment within that time, the hospital may
withdraw its offer of an intern position. Read
and complete any forms that are sent with your letter of appointment (for
example, a tax file number declaration and a bank details form).
registration with the Medical Board of
the Code of Conduct
a working with children clearance
- update your immunisations – check the Health Care Worker immunisation requirements and
ensure you have documented evidence of your vaccination status to vaccine
preventable diseases including COVID
a pre-employment medical
a Medicare provider number if required
you have medical indemnity insurance.
Finally, if you don’t understand a term in
your letter of appointment, or you do not agree with it, you should contact the
person nominated in the letter as the contact person in the first instance.