NSW Health is aware of the uncertainty in the current COVID-19 environment, and we understand there are many questions, particularly in light of some specialty colleges postponing exams.

We have created this webpage specifically to provide advice regarding JMO recruitment and will post updates on this page as they occur.


Will the 2021 Annual Medical Recruitment campaign proceed?

Yes. The Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) has agreed that the 2021 clinical year will commence nationally, as per usual, on the first Monday in February (1 February 2021). Accordingly, the JMO 2021 recruitment campaign will take place this year, but with some differences to account for COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of everyone taking part in the campaign.

How will JMO recruitment be different this year?

We will need to abide by any rules related to COVID-19, and take into account any circumstances facing our hospitals, clinicians and JMO management staff. For example, physical distancing rules will mean that some or all interviews will need to take place through electronic means rather than face to face. We are currently examining the best ways of doing this.

How will medical college exam delays impact recruitment?

The Ministry is consulting the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC) as well as individual colleges regarding their plans for postponing exams and dealing with other interruptions to training. These plans will be taken into consideration in developing our business continuity plan for JMO recruitment in 2021. We will work with colleges to maintain continuity of training, where possible, including entry to and exit from training programs, as well as progression through programs. We are also considering the position of trainees in unaccredited positions and those seeking to obtain unaccredited training positions.

When will the current campaign dates be published?

We anticipate publishing the dates soon. We need to undertake some further work around the impact of COVID-19 on the campaign and consult stakeholders in this regard. However, we expect advertising for the main round to take place in July and August as usual. We will need to monitor decisions of the medical colleges to determine how they might impact the dates on which offers are made. Of course, if there are unexpected developments with the spread of COVID-19, we may have to reconsider the progress of recruitment.

Does this change the start date for interns?

No. Interns commence on 18 January 2021 for orientation.

How is NSW Health deciding what to do about changes in JMO recruitment?

Decisions will be based on key considerations:

  • the need to ensure continuity of the junior and senior medical officer workforce in order that services can be delivered to patients
  • the importance of providing accurate information to those involved in recruitment as soon as possible in order to limit uncertainty
  • the views of JMOs, senior doctors and JMO Managers will inform our decision making
  • the welfare of all our clinical and non-clinical staff involved in the annual recruitment campaign. The welfare of our staff is of vital importance and will be factored in all considerations.

We are also consulting with industrial and employee organisations, unior and senior doctors, training network chairs, HETI, and medical colleges to determine the best way forward. We are also talking to other States and Territories about national approaches to ensure consistency where possible.

What can be done to prepare for JMO recruitment?

JMOs are encouraged to prepare for JMO recruitment as usual, including:

  • reviewing and updating their CVs/ eRecruit profiles in preparation for the recruitment campaign going ahead
  • monitoring the college websites to keep abreast of changes to the examination plans
  • monitoring this page for more information as it becomes available.

JMO supervisors/ Heads of Department are encouraged to:

  • continue preparing for the recruitment campaign
  • work with the JMO Recruitment Unit to see how COVID-19 restrictions will impact interviews.

What support is available for JMOs feeling under pressure at this time?

The JMO Support Line is available on 1300 566 321. Various support services are also available, including the Beyond Blue corona virus support line (coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au; or 1800 512 348). Your local health district may also have services available to you – check with your JMO Unit.

How do I stay in touch with what is happening?

If you have any questions about this year’s recruitment, please contact your JMO Unit. Please remember that they will not have all the answers at this time, as we are still working through the myriad of issues that this difficult situation imposes upon us. We will always endeavor to communicate decisions to you as soon as possible, and this page will be regularly updated, with the current date of advice shown below.

Thanks to all involved in JMO recruitment

We thank all involved for your patience and understanding. Everyone is facing challenges at this time and we rely on our CORE values to ensure that we treat everyone, junior and senior clinicians, JMO unit staff, and everyone else involved in the campaign, with kindness and respect as we work through these issues together.​​​

Page Updated: Wednesday 29 April 2020