Clinical training requirements for the Faculty of Health Sciences

Catherine M. Dean, Marcelle Alam, Kathryn Refshauge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: It is well recognised in Australia that there will be shortages in the health workforce. However there is limited accurate, consolidated information on clinical training requirements for allied health professionals to enable clear planning for the projected shortfalls in health workforce. Purpose: To provide comprehensive information on clinical training for eight allied health professions: health informatics, diagnostic radiography, nuclear medicine, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, radiation therapy and speech pathology. Method: Retrospective audit and analysis of 2008 clinical placement data. Results: In allied health professions included in the audit in 2008, the Faculty of Health Sciences, the University of Sydney required 3,393 placements involving a total of 74,876 clinical training days. The majority (87%) of the clinical training was undertaken by providers within the geographical boundaries of the four metropolitan Sydney area health services, including the Illawarra and Central Coast regions. 65% of the providers were funded by the public sector, 30% of providers by the private sector and 5% funded by the Faculty of Health Sciences. The clinical training was undertaken in a variety of settings. While the majority of training (59%) was undertaken in hospitals; interestingly, 38% was undertaken outside the hospital sector in the community or education sector. 12% of the clinical training undertaken was for international students. The characteristics of clinical training varied between the allied health professions. Discussion: This is the first paper which provides a comprehensive analysis of clinical training for a number of allied health professions. Unlike medicine and nursing, a substantial amount of clinical training in allied health occurs in the community and education sectors and is funded by the private sector. This paper provides information that is not readily available but information that is timely given the work of National Health Workforce Taskforce and future funding of clinical training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-27
Number of pages6
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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