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Many students find the process of deciding which hospitals to preference in the intern application process and in what order, very challenging.

How do you decide which five to ten health services to preference? Particularly when you only have personal experience with two or three, or in some cases one health service.

The best place to start is by reflecting on what hospitals might be the best fit for you – personally and professionally. 

  • What do they offer their interns?
  • What do they value or look for in their interns (qualities, skills, experience, attitude)?
  • What information are they seeking in their recruitment process and what does this tell you about their culture and values?

(see Tip 2 in our 9 step approach)

After you have completed this we then suggest you do a deeper dive to learn what each health service you are considering is like, particularly those that are less known to you.

What information should you consider?

  • What are the opportunities and rotations that the health service offer interns and HMO2/3?
  • What are their values and how do they live them? 
  • How do they define their culture and how is reflected in the ‘way things get done’ and in the ‘behaviours’ they accept.
  • What are they like to work for – Do they pay over time, do they pay you for mandatory learning, do you get to choose when you take your leave, do they get their rosters out on time?   

To source this information, we would suggest you:

  • Attend their information sessions – in person if possible.
  • Attend any tours they offer or organise to visit them if that is an option (contact them first).
  • Exploring their career portals thoroughly - Download role descriptions and intern information factsheets & resources.
  • Talk to people who work there or used to work there.  Ask them ‘what they liked about working there? And ‘what they didn’t like about working there?
  • Look at any online forums and survey reports
  • Contact the health service if you have questions.

If you know the health service reflect deeply on any personal experiences you have of them - as a student, patient, carer, employee – How might this inform your decision to preference them for internship.

Once you have all the information on the health services you are considering reflect on how each health service will support you to reach your potential:

  • Will you thrive in their environment?
  • Will they leverage your personal style and play to your strengths?
  • Do they cater for your interests – rotations, research and quality improvement opportunities, teaching opportunities, patient demographic they serve and community engagement and specialist inpatient/outpatient programs etc
  • Do they cater for your preferred learning style?
  • Do they align with and support your future career goals?
  • Is there alignment with your values?
  • Does the location and structure of work  congruent with your needs and personal commitments?
  • Do they offer good work conditions and are known to comply with the Enterprise Agreement?

When do I need to finalise my preferences?

You will have the opportunity to add to your preferences until the 6 June 2024. After this date you cannot add any more preferences to your list. From the 7th of June until the 3rd of July, you can then rearrange the preference order or delete from your preferences list as you learn more.

If you would like support in structuring your preferences the AMA Victoria Careers Service offers a 40-minute student career coaching consult in which we can work through your preference options and reasoning and how each health service will support you to reach your potential. We can also assist with your application queries as time allows.

Further details including cost and the booking link can be found here.