Towards an extra year of study for interns in general medicine

Emmanuel Macron’s campaign promise, it could come into force from the start of the 2023 academic year. The Minister of Health, François Braun, intends to extend the duration of general medicine studies by one year, by adding a fourth year of internship , bringing the total duration of this training to ten years.

This measure, presented in the Social Security finance bill which will be examined in the National Assembly from October 20, aims to fight against medical deserts, where this fourth year of internship will be intended to take place, exclusively on an outpatient basis.

In the Loiret, the endless fight against the medical desert

“Given the medical demographics and the distribution of professionals in the territory, this year of consolidation will aim to take place primarily in under-dense areas”, write the ministers of health François Braun and higher education Sylvie Retailleau in a mission letter addressed to four practitioners responsible for leading the consultation on the project, quoted by Agence France-Presse. The measure would affect several thousand interns each year: for the year 2022-2023, 3,634 intern positions in general medicine were opened.

“The addition of this consolidation phase to the diploma of specialized studies in general medicine, which would be exercised exclusively in ambulatory practice, would aim to complete the training, thus aligned with the other diplomas of specialized studies”, explain the ministers. They also hope that this measure will“arming young general practitioners in anticipation of a rapid installation”.

Fronde of intern unions

Except that the project is very badly received by the unions of interns in general medicine, who denounce a measure of “coercion”. “The government wants to force us to go and settle in “under-dense” areas to correct the problems of access to care. We strongly oppose it. Because we know how much the state saves thanks to interns”protested on Twitter the Intersyndicale Nationale des Internes (ISNI), believing that “Patients deserve more than constrained, lonely doctors”.

“This fourth year, we experience it as an injustice”also reacted on franceinfoRaphaël Presneau, President of the National Autonomous Intersyndicale Representative of General Medicine Interns (ISNAR-IMG). “If you want to do a tenth year of training, it has to be a trainer”underlined the trade unionist, warning that “if we have to go to under-dense areas, we won’t necessarily have doctors around us to train us”.

Interns in medicine, a youth on the edge

This announcement comes in a context of already tense relations between the government and the unions of interns in medicine, in particular in the hospital environment, where depressions and resignations are no longer so rare among doctors in training. In July, the unions had already protested vigorously against the increase in on-call allowances announced by the Ministry of Health, which did not concern interns. In a decree of August 30, the government finally corrected the situation by increasing this compensation.


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