Careers of South Australian health Professional Graduates
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In light of continuing debates about shortages in health professional workforces, and decisions over the past few years to increase the number of medical, dental and physiotherapy schools across Australia, this paper reports on a study of the careers of medical, dental and physiotherapy graduates from South Australian universities from 1960 to 2003. We found substantial change over time, including recent graduate cohorts having proportionally more females and fewer having attended a private secondary school. A significant minority reported job dissatisfaction and burnout, with recent cohorts reporting higher levels of stress than older respondents. They were also working part-time more than was the case for older cohorts at equivalent points in their careers. We argue that strategies to increase graduate numbers in the near future can reduce shortages of health professionals, but increased numbers alone may not be sufficient to promote a sustainable health professional workforce.