​The assistant in medicine (AiM) frequently asked questions provides information regarding the role which was first developed and implemented in 2020 as part of NSW Health COVID-19 medical surge workforce planning to supplement the exisiting junior medical workforce.

Last updated: 12 August 2021

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What will the assistant in medicine do?

The assistant in medicine (AiM) provides medical care and support, as part of the multi-disciplinary team. This includes the assessment and management of patients across a range of clinical areas, while working under supervision. The Assistant in medicine position description outlines the assistant in medicine key accountabilities.

Is this a new role?

No. The assistant in medicine was first established in 2020 and between June 2020 to December 2020 over 400 assistants in medicine worked across 10 local health districts/specialty networks in 41 facilities.

Who is eligible to be employed as an assistant in medicine?

Final year medical students of an NSW or ACT medical school, who register an interest in undertaking the role and are nominated by their university as a suitable candidate for the role.

Is being an assistant in medicine mandatory for students?

No. Final year students can choose whether they wish to work as an assistant in medicine.

Will the assistant in medicine be paid?

Yes. The assistant in medicine is a new classification, which has been established by Determination, in accordance with the provisions of section 116A (1) of the Health Services Act 1997. The assistant in medicine remuneration will be equal to 75% of the base intern rate, plus superannuation. The assistant in medicine conditions and terms of employment are consistent with the Public Hospital Medical Officers (State) Award 2019.

Are assistants in medicine indemnified?

Yes. The assistant in medicine is indemnified by the NSW Treasury Managed Fund (TMF) for liabilities arising from health care claims in respect of patient treatment provided during employment with the NSW Health Service.

How many hours can an assistant in medicine work?

The assistant in medicine is a part time role. The assistant in medicine will be rostered to no more than 32 hours per week. However, the health facility will determine the number of hours, based on workforce needs, that the assistant in medicine can work. This may be less than 32 hours per week.

Can assistants in medicine work after hours?

Yes. Assistants in medicine can work evening shifts and on the weekends. Assistants in medicine must not be rostered to work night shifts.

Where will the assistant in medicine work?

The employing health facility will determine which clinical areas the assistant in medicine will be allocated to, based on workforce requirements. In most cases health facilities will offer a role to final year medical students that have undertaken their clinical placement at that facility or within the local health district. However, there are exceptions to this that are made on a case by case basis.

Does the assistant in medicine get protected time to attend medical school tutorials?

No. The role has been structured as a part time role to allow students to be able to attend and participate in their university training requirements. Attendance at university tutorials should be done outside of the assistant in medicine rostered hours.

Can assistants in medicine order pathology and radiology tests?

The range of pathology and radiology investigations that an assistant in medicine can order, and the sign off processes required, is determined by the employing local health districts/speciality networks (LHD/SN) policy.

Can an assistant in medicine make entries in eMR?

Yes. LHD/SNs determine the level of access to eMR and eMR sign off processes in their facilities and as such, there may be variability across districts.

Can assistants in medicine prescribe medications?

Assistants in medicine are not eligible for a prescriber number and will not have prescribing rights in eMeds.

Are assistants in medicine eligible for a provider number?

No. They are not eligible to apply for a prescriber number or a provider number.

Have assistants in medicine graduated early from university?

No, they have not graduated. The assistant in medicine will continue as a final year medical student enrolled in their university medical program. They will graduate after completing all course requirements, including assessments and examinations as per their medical program requirements.

What type of registration will the assistants in medicine have?

Assistants in medicine, as medical students, have student registration with the Medical Board of Australia. Assistants in medicine are not eligible for provisional registration.

How do I apply?

Students seeking an assistant in medicine role are to register their interest with their University. LHD/SNs will advise their respective universities of the number of assistants in medicine they require. Students who have been nominated by their university for an assistant in medicine role will be contacted to undergo the standard recruitment process and probity checks for employment in NSW Health.

Who can I contact if I have further questions?

Feel free to contact MoH-MedicalWorkforce@health.nsw.gov.au should you have any further questions.

Current as at: Thursday 12 August 2021