Intern Z Score
The Intern Z score is used by Victorian health services in their internship selection process. A standardised score (z-score) for each student will be provided by their university to Victorian intern parent health services. This will provide a means of more effectively comparing students from different Victorian Medical Schools. The four Victorian Medical Schools and PMCV agreed upon this common approach in 2013 following consultation with statisticians, Victorian health services and MSCV.
A z-score is a useful means of transforming a distribution of raw marks into a new distribution where the z-score becomes a measure of how far away from the mean that mark is. In this new distribution the standard deviation is 1 and the mean is usually arbitrarily set at zero. This means that a student with a mark one standard deviation above the mean will get a z-score that is one greater than the mean.
In the InternZ implementation, the mean is set at 3.5, so a student performing one standard deviation above the mean will receive an InternZ score of 4.5 and a student one standard deviation below the mean will receive an InternZ score of 2.5.
If you are interested in converting your InternZ score to a percentile, use this link. Subtract 3.5 from your InternZ score to produce your actual Z score, and click on one-sided. So if your InternZ is 4.5, subtract 3.5 from it and enter 1.0 as your Z-score. This score places you in the 84th percentile of students.
The InternZ score arose out of concerns that the previous process of providing raw scores to health services created difficulty comparing the marks of students from different medical schools.
Until the InternZ score was implemented it had been difficult for health services to compare the marks of students graduating from different Victorian Medical Schools. A raw mark at one medical school is not directly comparable to the same mark at another school when the mean and standard deviation of marks may be different. Calculating z-scores using a uniform approach allows comparison of marks across these different distributions of marks.
Each university will calculate the mean and standard deviation of marks for all graduating medical students at that medical school. Students will then be given a z-score (InternZ score) representing how far their score is above or below the mean mark at their school. This z-score will then be passed on to health services with the consent of each student. To ensure the score achieves its goal of equitable comparison of students, each health service has been provided with an explanatory statement on how to interpret the InternZ score.
What weighting is given to the preclinical component versus the clinical component of my course?
The exact split depends on your university, but at most Victorian medical schools clinical components receive heavier weighting. Specifics breakdowns per university are as follows:
- Deakin University: score is determined solely on your penultimate year results (100% clinical)
- Monash University: score is weighted approximately 2:1 clinical:preclinical
- The University of Notre Dame Sydney: score is weighted approximately 30:30:40 for 1st:2nd:3rd years
- The University of Melbourne: score is weighted approximately 1/3 preclinical to 2/3 clinical
Do all health services receive my InternZ score?
This is university-dependent. In previous years, Deakin University and Monash University have provided scores only to those health services to which a particular student applied (with an optional opt-out process). The University of Notre Dame Sydney and the University of Melbourne have provided scores to all Victorian health services, as per prior consent arrangements with students.
What happens if I opt-out from providing my InternZ score?
In 2014, some health services did not consider any applicants who declined to offer their InternZ score. As such, MSCV advises students that they do not opt out from providing their InternZ score.
Does this apply to me if I am applying to Victorian health services as a graduate of an interstate (or New Zealand) Medical School?